Today’s Devotional: Deuteronomy 11
We have choices. We can chose to be blessed or we can chose to be cursed. I think we know the obvious desire when given those two options. That’s what Moses is saying in verse 26-28, “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.”
Pretty straight forward if you ask me. So why would anyone disobey God? Who would be so stupid as to bring a curse upon themselves? Answer: Me.
Obedience is hard and I’m stubborn and selfish. I have blogged about Prosperity Preachers and how deceiving it is that they promote the gospel as if the Christian life is the ticket out of hardship, pain, and struggles – when the opposite is true. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion waiting to devour us. (1 Peter 5:8) Non-believers are no threat to the devil, he has them right where he wants them. It’s the souls of the saved that are his target. Our salvation is Satan’s biggest threat, but nobody wants to sign up for a life of pain and strife.
You can argue that if we can’t get to heaven on works and good deeds, why would we have to struggle and endure pain and suffering to get to heaven? There are a lot of answers to that, but there are two I will highlight here:
1. Philippians 1:6-7, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.“
2. Colossians 3:9-11, “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”
Why do Christians suffer? So God is glorified for what He has done for us and help us to grow (process of being sanctified) in the likeness of God.
Obedience isn’t easy, but the blessing is the reward. Living each day without a conscious and deliberate focus on living a life of obedience is far more pain-staking than any temporary trials.