February 28, 2017

February 28, 2017

DEUTERONOMY 3-4

Focus Verse: “At that time I pleaded with the Lord and said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, you have only begun to show your greatness and the strength of your hand to me, your servant. Is there any god in heaven or on earth who can perform such great and mighty deeds as you do? Please let me cross the Jordan to see the wonderful land on the other side, the beautiful hill country and the Lebanon mountains.’

“But the Lord was angry with me because of you, and he would not listen to me. ‘That’s enough!’ he declared. ‘Speak of it no more. But go up to Pisgah Peak, and look over the land in every direction. Take a good look, but you may not cross the Jordan River.

Deuteronomy 3:23-27

 

I have a strange hobby. I love to pick apart cheesy Christian Facebook and Instagram posts and find all of the theological problems with them. I’m not a jerk about it…I keep the thoughts primarily to myself, but I do It a lot. I’m going to go public with one of those thoughts today.

There is a saying out there in Christians circles about how God has three answers to our prayers, “Yes”, “Not yet”, and “I have something better in mind”. This is one of those nice fluffy answers to make us feel good. And it perfectly encapsulates what we think about God today.

This example from Deuteronomy shatters that concept though. Moses begs God to enter the Promised Land. And God says, “No, Moses, I have something better for you…you are going to go over here to another Promised Land that you get all to yourself!” Nope. That’s not what He says. He says, “No. You’re going to die because you didn’t listen to Me. Get Joshua ready to do your job.”

We need to stop thinking that God owes us anything. We try to make Christianity and Jesus and God so appealing to non-believers that we start making up all of this nonsense about how God is never going to deal with you harshly, He’ll never tell you no, He’ll never judge you when you mess up and make you do something you don’t want to do. I just don’t know who that kind of god is. It’s not my God. It’s not the God of the Bible.

Now Moses did have something better waiting for him. We all do. But it’s not what most people think when they read cheesy social media posts about God. We get so fixated on the blessings this earthly life has to offer that it can destroy our faith when those blessings don’t come. We need to get over that. We need to fix our eyes on heavenly blessings, on eternal promises, and let the things of this world pass away.

Moses was about to enter the ultimate Promised Land…heaven. But if his eyes were fixed on this world, he would have pouted and maybe even turned away from God and missed out on the biggest promise we all have waiting for us. He didn’t though. He leaned into God’s everlasting arms and submitted to God’s decision…even though it hurt, even though there was no earthly blessing in that decision, even though it was a straight up NO.

Do we have that kind of relationship with God today? Where He is able to tell us “no”, to give us an answer that has no earthly reward, no material blessing behind it, maybe even an answer that involves nothing but suffering? It ultimately comes down to this: is Jesus Christ enough? Or do you need stuff from Him to make that relationship worth it?

I don’t think I need to tell you which of those is the right answer.

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