08 May 2015

On Contradicting God

Be watchful that you are not ensnared into following them after they have been destroyed before you and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? We will do likewise. You shall not do so to the Lord your God, for every abominable thing which the Lord hates they have done for their gods. For even their sons and their daughters they have burned in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be watchful to do it; you shall not add to it or diminish it.   
If a prophet arises among you, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder he foretells to you comes to pass, and if he says, Let us go after other gods—gods you have not known—and let us serve them, you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or to that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being. You shall walk after the Lord your God and [reverently] fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and cling to Him. ~Deut 12:30-13:4 AMP
God knew, has always known, human nature. Moses understood this, as well. As Moses wrote these verses, he laid out such a clear set of instructions to the Israelites. First, they are NOT, under any circumstance, to follow after the idols of the people whose land they live in.

Next, Moses tells the Israelites straight up that even if a prophet or visionary passes the test specified by God, the moment that person contradicts the Living God, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE DON'T DO WHAT THEY SAY!!! In the following verses of Deuteronomy 13, the death penalty is decreed for false prophets who would lead Israel into idolatry. This is a seriously big deal to God.

These verses caught my attention sharply this morning. First, it was the incredibly plain instruction to not follow anyone who contradicts God. And then, I began to wonder why on earth we humans are so eager to run after idols, so prone to abandon the One who has faithfully betrothed Himself to His church.

We should cling to, devote ourselves to, the Living God. To what He has said, and what He has asked. To following in His footsteps. It's so easy to get caught up in the demands of modern life, of our culture, of the common practice of our day. There are alluring things everywhere--beautiful, good, lovely things--that quickly take the place of our GOD in this time. He should be first--always. He should be in our mind & hearts constantly. We should speak of His words and His hand in our lives with one another. There are riches, feasting, healing, renewal of life, joy and rejoicing to be had at the table of the Lamb of God . . . why are we so eager to settle for McD's? There is so much more that God is eager to give us . . . so much more that He holds out before us. So much more than a pleasant warmth or faint goosebumps. We have records in scripture, showing how God has interacted with and blessed and poured out upon others. He is no respecter of persons: every one of us can and should seek after everything He will give. And He has told us that He will give us everything that He has. And then He did--on the cross.

Father in Heaven, I don't know how I can ever thank you enough for all that You do, constantly, continually, for all of Your children. I praise You for Your patience, Your mercy, Your lovingkindness that draws us to repentance, Your Spirit and the power that rests upon those who follow You the way You have set forth. Your yoke truly IS easy, and Your burden light. I will walk therein, rejoicing all the way, seeking always to learn Your Word and Your will, so I may keep them, in Jesus' name, amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!