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August 5, 2013

I’ve often heard Deuteronomy 28:13a quoted as a blanket promise for everybody who calls themselves a Christian. It’s vital to read the verse in context. The best way to do that is to read the chapter before, that chapter, and the one that follows. In this case even if all you do is read the rest of the verse you can clearly see that this promise is conditional. “And the Lord shall make you the head, and not the tail; you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day, and are watchful to do them.” * This has a tone of a strict “to do” list.

Let’s back up to verse 1. “If you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord our God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth…” * This speaks to me of the relationship He wants with us. The Father is speaking to us all the time. It’s up to us to listen. If my favorite radio station is an FM station I won’t be able to listen if I’m on the AM dial. Or if I want to post something on Facebook I’m not going to log into my email account. I need to choose each day to rest my ear against His chest so I can hear His heartbeat.  When I start my day this way, I’m more likely to continue at least somewhat in this vein throughout my day. Do you hear the difference between rules and relationship? Those who don’t understand the relationship Daddy wants with them are the ones who have invented the rules. That’s not His heart, though.

Now listen to verse 2. “And all these blessings (verses 3-13) shall come upon you and overtake you, if you heed the voice of the Lord your God.” * The Father has extremely rich blessings He wants to pour out on us if we’ll listen and obey. This has not been an easy thing for me to learn since I came from a dysfunctional home with a rage-aholic father. I can’t say I ever developed a relationship with him because I was afraid of what hair trigger would set him off on a tirade. This is one reason I love to observe a strong, healthy relationship between children and their parents that’s based on two-way respect, a rich love, and trust. The fruits in the child are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. (Do these sound familiar? See Galatians 5: 22-23.) It’s no different with a relationship with God.  He’s not an overbearing control freak that sends down lightning bolts if we don’t obey His every command.  He simply enjoys being with His kids.  Yes, there are boundaries just like with any other parent, but they’re for our protection.  Don’t worry, I haven’t arrived on this one; I’m still in the learning stage right along with you. What I am finding is that is a rich, joy-filled journey that I’m enjoying more each day.  Actually, it’s AWESOME!!

( See my post “Lean Listen Obey”.)

*The Amplified Bible

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