After coming out so well from Leviticus and Numbers I strolled into Deut fairly confident that something great was going to come from it.
By chapter 28 I was getting a little nervous. It seemed like the only thing happening was Moses telling everyone what had already happened.
I thought about trying to think out some great revelation from the idea of God including a whole book of the Bible to just say what had already happened to illustrate the point of telling people, reminding people, what God has already done. But that wasn’t really hitting me. And I really wanted something to stand out to me.
What ended up happening wasn’t some great insight. It’s so simple it makes me literally want to cry with frustration. But it was God speaking directly in answer to what I asked Him this morning.
On the drive to work I was talking to God about how I wanted to grow, and learn, and how I wanted to sink into the idea of community with believers and encouraging them and iron sharpening iron and fellowship on more than a once a month basis. As I walked to my car and saw my neighbors houses and said “God, I want to fellowship with them, I want to know them and their struggles and be a source they can come to when they need a hand – but I honestly don’t even know how to meet them.” And as I drove I was telling Him how I wished there were someone in my life to just show me how it’s done. Show me what they did to open doors. Show me how they have these conversations with fellow believers. Show me how they sit down and press into the spiritual discussion of growth and change, and struggles and sin instead of only touching surface nothingness like games and sports and movies. Why can’t someone teach me?
But in chapter 30 God seemed to be responding in a way that I didn’t want to hear – this is what He says:
And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:
If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. Deut 30:6-14
I remember back when I was seeking the Holy Spirit that someone told me that I was making it too hard. That all I had to do was stop making it so hard and it would happen. I’m proud to say that I managed to not kick him in the shin. Never has a more frustrating phrase been uttered than “It’s easier than you’re making it.”
And here is God saying “DO THIS”, and I will make your heart able to do it. And what I’m telling you isn’t hard to understand. It doesn’t have to be taught to you. It’s in your heart. All you have to do is do it.”
It doesn’t mention my specific questions, obviously, but something about it just tells me it applies. I just have to, somehow, stop making it a difficult process, and let it be something that is simply written in my heart – something already in my mouth.
The biggest promise in these scriptures is that first verse I shared - And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
He’s doing the work in my heart. At some point, just like speaking in tongues eventually happened, all I’ll have to do is open my mouth and speak His words to my neighbors, follow the promptings of a heart that is written upon with His words, after His heart.
His calling isn’t far off, it’s not too high, it’s not across the sea, it’s not impossible for a person like me. (Yes, I made it rhyme on purpose because sometimes I roll like that.)
I didn’t come into this year with a lot of expectations like I did last year. But here’s what I think now:
2011 is going to be very embarrassing and humbling.