Not being conformed, to live differently than the world… Looking at this verse it’s easy to say that I do live differently–I don’t swear, I don’t dress immodestly, I don’t party But what if that isn’t enough? What if God calls us to a higher standard?
This past month or so, we have been going through two different books: Touching Godliness by K.P Yohannan and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. These books have really impacted my view of life. Life is so fragile and short. The Bible says it is like a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. What we do in this little while determines our eternity.
Deuteronomy 10:13 puts everything I have been learning in one paragraph:
now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear
the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the
Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep
the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you
today for your good?
It sounds simple but when I look at each command more closely, I realize it is so different than the normal Christian life.
To fear God: To fear God means to show
respect and reverence. How often do we give a hurried prayer asking God
to bless our day and then not think of Him again until we are in need of Him? If we took the time to examine and ponder over how great and amazing our God is, it would cause us to come before Him in awe and reverence.
To walk in His ways: How many
of us truly live as Christ lived on earth? Do we love the poor and
needy as he did? Do we take time to share the gospel with the people
around us ? Do we forgive those who wrong us and love those who hurt us? Christ did all these things and He calls us to follow Him.
To serve the Lord your God with all your heart and soul: This is taking it a step further. We are not only called to follow Christ, but to do so with a joyful heart. Everything we do as we follow Christ must be done with a genuine heart of love,
and not just because we feel obligated to serve. God doesn’t want
half-hearted service; He wants all of us or nothing. Jesus said to pick
up your cross and follow Him. He certainly didn’t leave room for excuses or halfheartedness.
We are to keep His commandments: Someone asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was. Jesus replied: “‘Love
the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with
all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” When we are more concerned about things in our lives than the things of God, or God Himself, we break this commandment. How many of us even think about others half as much as we think of ourselves? I know I don’t!
The most encouraging part of this verse is the end of it. God
commands these things for our good. God wants us to enjoy life and make
the most of it and He knows the only way to do so is by obeying His commands.
As you probably have realized by now, this sure doesn’t sound like the life the world advertises. In my personal life, I find it difficult to stay focused on Christ and the things
that will count for eternity. It is so easy to get caught up in the day
to day, to worry about all the little things that happen. What
encourages me and keeps me going is that I don’t have to do it on my own. God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us and gives us the power to live out this abnormal lifestyle.
—Disciple in GFA Discipleship Program