Friday, August 22, 2014

August 22 – A promise too good to be true?

If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.  (Leviticus 26:3-5 NET)

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  Rain that nourishes all that we plant will cause our plans and projects to yield great returns.  As we are working on bringing in the returns from one project, the returns from another will be ready to enjoy, and we will have all our needs met in abundance and safety. It almost seems too good to be true!

This feels like an unreachable dream for so many, and we all know people who believe in God who struggle daily to get by on the little they earn.  How could this be a real promise and not just some fantasy?  Was it only meant for those Israelites at that particular time in history, since plenty of sincere Christians today aren’t seeing it happen at all?

First of all, we need to agree on one thing.  The Word of God is true.  Period.  Secondly, the people of God today are those who live out a practical faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord.  God’s promises to His people in the past are the same to His people now.   And thirdly, our definition of a “true believer” may not be the same as God’s definition. 

The beginning of this beautiful promise states, “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands…”  Let’s examine ourselves and see if we are careful to obey God in all we do.  Who hears God urge them to sacrifice fleshly habits but then insists on doing them anyway?  Who allows fears and anxious emotions to run rampant without rebuking them in faith?  Who tolerates evil in their families or even in their own hearts and makes the excuse that they are “only human?”  Who opts for sleeping in/something fun/family functions/headaches/bad hair days or other mundane distractions, over coming to God’s house to hear His Word?  Who hates the thought of giving offerings and tithes, but does it anyway so no one will suspect their bad attitudes? 

We may like to paint a pretty picture of how much we love God, but it’s in the deep motives and choices we make in our hearts.  Nothing is hidden from His sight, and Satan knows full well whenever we give him room to settle into our lives. 

Why be a superficial Christian and settle for scraping by, if God is offering such an abundant life?  Begin by examining yourself.  Ask your pastor for counsel if you need to get an outside perspective on what you might be getting wrong.  This promise is for you, and maybe the only thing you’re getting wrong is that you aren’t fighting in faith and determination that it truly is for you.  The God of Moses’ time didn’t promise this only for the ancient Hebrews.  Jesus says to us now, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NASB)

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