You Can Do It

For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.  It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it… I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days.” Deuteronomy 30:11-16,19-20

Obedience is not easy, but it is commanded. Life is not easy, but it is to be lived eagerly, and can be with great gusto and joy and fruitfulness. Discipline is not easy, but is good and produces a harvest of righteousness and peace. Why is it we shirk “commandments,” resist the idea of restriction, or submitting to authority other than our own? What makes us want to write our own rules or live by no rules (which is actually rather directionless and arbitrary)? Because since the garden of Eden, we think, even subconsciously, that we know better than God does what will make us happy– and happiness is our goal, in the flesh. But we must see that our benevolent God imposes commandments for the good of His people, not harm. His intention is to bless, that man’s days be bountiful in giving, relationships, meaning, joy. (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-7; John 10:10; Hebrews 12:5-11)

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When pressure to give in or go along with others is insurmountable, when ‘doing the right thing’ is awkward or risky, when temptation to gossip or lust or greed or idolatry or sloth is overpowering, we can obey! God offers a way out! He does not dangle the ‘rule carrot’ impossibly beyond our reach. Jesus, the perfect Savior, died to cleanse us from sin and free us from sin’s power over us. His Spirit indwells to regenerate our passions, refocus our energy, clean our minds and mouths, and reorient our affections until His ways become our default desire. Certainly, while living here on earth, we will struggle with our flesh, but tasting the fruit of obedience makes us want more. Grounded on the Word, we can soar within its borders and freedom. (Romans 7:14-25; 1 Corinthians 10:13)

Lord, thank You for Your accessibility, Your good rules, and the fulness of life. Have Your way in me so I want all You want for me, and gladly, gratefully, obey. (Psalm 16:11)

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