Deuteronomy 7 – Do You Need to Declutter?

Marie Kondo has given rise to the recent trend in decluttering our living spaces. Marie encourages people to get rid of anything that doesn’t give them joy.

We all have have things we don’t really need and no longer give us joy. We walk around the stuff, trip over the stuff, and eventually become blind to the stuff. Though it adds no value to us, we still hold onto this stuff.

The same thing can happen in our spiritual lives. We can accumulate things that clutter and steal our joy spiritually. They are things that add no spiritual value, but we continue to walk around, trip over, and hold onto them.

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Deuteronomy 6 – God’s Locker Room Instructions

Just before a big game, a coach will gather the players together in the locker room and go over instructions about the attitudes and behaviors they will need to win the game.

You would think that Moses would give the same kind of locker room instructions just before sending the Children of Israel across the Jordon river to fight for the Promised Land. But that’s not the case!

In Deuteronomy chapter 6, instead of telling them what they need to do to win the battle, Moses tells them what they need to do after they have won the battle. He warns them not about the struggle, but about the success.

It’s true. Once we’ve achieved the success we’ve desired, we must be even more on our guard, for complacency is much more threatening than combat. Struggle heightens your senses, while success dulls them. When we’re in need, we acknowledge our dependency on God. When our bellies and our bank accounts are full, we act out of self-sufficiency.

So Moses reminds them that when the battle is over, and they are living in the peace and prosperity they always dreamed of, then it’s even more important that they…

  • Revere God as the One and only sovereign Creator and Sustainer.
  • Respond obediently and promptly to His commands and directions.
  • Recall all He has done for them.

This sounds like a good reminder/warning for us. Compared to the rest of the world, we are very wealthy…even the poorest of us. We live in an abundance that much of the world can’t imagine. We’ve been blessed with this, but not guaranteed it.

So don’t forget to revere the God of your blessings. Don’t forget to respond obediently to His commands and directions. And don’t forget to recall His mighty interventions in your life.

Deuteronomy 4 – Focus!

Focus! If you’re a photographer, this means to train your lens on the most important part of the photograph, making it sharp and clear. If you’re someone with a touch of ADHD and facing a lot of demands, it means to train your mind on the most important thing at the moment…so as to not get sidetracked or pulled away.

As the Children of Israel prepared to cross over into the Promised Land, I imagine their hearts and minds were crowded with lots of thoughts, fears, excitements, dreams, anticipation, apprehension, memories, etc.

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Deuteronomy 3 – Who Would Have Believed It?

I started playing guitar at the age of nine and very quickly was playing music wherever I could. All through my high school years, I spent my weeknights rehearsing and my weekends playing in clubs and bars around the area. My hair was long, I hung out with a questionable crowd, and I’m sure there were many who thought I would never amount to anything.

But at the age of twenty-two, I gave my life to Christ. I stopped playing in the bars, and gradually got plugged in at church. God continued to grow me, and eventually called me into full-time ministry. The kid who didn’t care about God, religion, or education is now a teaching and counseling pastor with two graduate degrees. Who would have believed it!

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Deuteronomy 2 – The Wilderness is Not a Waste!

Ever fell like you’re wasting your time? Like you’re getting nowhere fast? This must have been what it felt like to wander in the wilderness for forty years.

In this age of instant text, google searches, and three minute microwave popcorn, wandering in the wilderness seems like such a waste of time.

But Deuteronomy chapter 2 shows us that God doesn’t waste anything! He uses even the difficult times in our life to teach us and prepare us.

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Numbers 20 – Swinging at Rocks

If you’ve ever had trouble following directions, you can relate to Moses. There was a specific time in Moses’ life when failing to follow God’s directions cost him dearly.

In Numbers chapter 20, God tells Moses to gather everyone in front of a rock and speak to the rock, that it might provide water for the grumbling Israelites. But rather than speaking to the rock, Moses strikes the rock with his staff. Because of this, Moses was not permitted to enter into the Promised Land.

You may be thinking, “What’s so bad about striking the rock?” There’s two problems with it:

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Numbers 14 – Trading “I Remember” for “I Can’t Wait to See”

I was working in the oil fields of West Texas when God called me into full time ministry. After some preparation, I moved my wife and two small children to Ft. Worth, TX and began my seminary education.

At first, it was exciting. But the new eventually wore off when the demands of graduate school kicked in. There were mountains of books to read, a constant demand for papers to write, and tedious projects to complete. All of this (along with holding down a job) increased the stress on my marriage and family. Too little time, too little money, and too many expectations began to wear on us.

I found myself thinking, “I miss the good old days.” Graduation was in sight, but this nagging thought kept getting louder. Others around us called it quits and went back home. But we stuck it out, and it turned out to be one of the best things we’ve ever done.

So I can relate to Numbers chapter 14, and the feeling of being in that difficult in-between spot. God’s people were not in slavery, but they still were not in the Promise Land. God was asking the Israelites to do something that required a lot of risk. Consequently, they longed for what was behind them, rather than what was ahead of them.

We must be willing to follow God and step into the freedom of the unknown, rather than retreat to the bondage of the comfortable. The key to is believing God is good (Psalm 100:5) and brings all His power to bear for one purpose..our good. If we believe this, we will launch into the risky unknown, knowing that no matter what happens, it will be better than the past.

Let’s trade in our “I remember” for “I can’t wait to see.”