“Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the LORD, the God of your ancestors, is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 4:1) (NIV) 

            No doubt that from the time we are babies we love the idea of taking over, of having things our way, of making it all about us and about the fulfillment of our own personal needs. As Christians, we are encouraged to focus on serving others, sacrificing for others and giving ourselves for the benefits of others. This is a strange language in today’s culture and way of thinking! However, in all the dynamic and complexity of Scripture, we must also understand that God is preparing us to; once again, move on this earth in a spirit of dominion just as it was in the Garden of Eden.

            This is a very complex and controversial topic, but we must understand, for the sake of the emphasis of this small writing, that we will be missing out on much, as long as we refuse to listen to what God has to say. Many want the “taking over part,” but then close their ears to what God is saying. In this verse we are encouraged to listen to God and to specifically listen to God’s “decrees and laws.”  This, my friends, is God’s Way of life! This verse then, takes us to a higher level because it encourages us to “follow them.” To follow something is “to pursue, to chase and to go after something.” In this case, it is to chase after God’s way of doing things.”

            Our problem is that we chase after so many things in our selfish pursuit of dominion, that we always end-up, like the children of Israel, losing it all to our enemy. Chasing after God’s way of doing thing is precisely what will give us that abundant life that Jesus came to give. It is more than just accepting Jesus as our Savior, but also as our Lord. When we combine all these things together we position ourselves in the place of God’s blessing; the place where we will take possession of the land of our dreams. Everything starts with listening…will you listen to God?











One response to “Would You Listen to God?”

  1. Dennis Owem Avatar
    Dennis Owem

    We know that Moses was not perfect; the fact that his life ends at the threshold of the Promised Land attests to his humanity.  Yet he was a man whose trust in God was such that he dared to go against the more powerful man in the known world; whose love for God moved him to lead a very stubborn people, and still love them through it.

    May we be people like Moses, of whom it can be said that our eyes were not darkened nor our vigor gone. It is interesting to note that God’s first words to Joshua are no different than Moses’ words to the Israelites: Obey God, trust him, do not fear, for God is with you wherever you go.

    Scripture exhorts us to listen to God’s “decrees and laws.” We are admonished to “chase after God’s way of doing things,” and as we do, the accumulation of evidence will “encourage us to serve others, sacrifice for others and give ourselves for the benefit of others.” But Jesus never asked anyone to give him their life solely on the basis of someone else’s testimony. His final word was always, “come and see.” The witness of prophets like Moses and John the Baptist were powerful and full of significance. But the gospel ends with words akin to this old gospel song: “You ask me how I know he lives, he lives within my heart.”

    No matter how hard we may try, we cannot turn Christianity into a religion. It is a relationship: “Come and see….follow me.” This is the heart and soul of Christian life. Clearly we must listen to God’s “decrees and laws” in order to know what the nature of the relationship is, but we do not merely follow God’s “decrees and laws.” We follow a person. We give our lives to another life, not a report about that life.

    For us today, this implies the resurrection. If Jesus is not still alive, then Christianity can only be a religion, albeit a good one. But for it to remain a relationship, as it was for the first followers of Jesus, he must still be present among us. Otherwise, relational Christianity stopped about 30 a.d.

    We cannot improve on the words from the song I mentioned above: “I serve a risen savior; he’s in the world today.” John the Baptist’s words still echo throughout the centuries, they are our exclamation today, “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

    We can point to Jesus because he is still here. We can give our lives to him because he is still present to receive us. We can listen to God “decrees and laws” and “chase after God’s way of doing things” because his Spirit fills us with joy, enables us with grace, and empowers us to overcome. Our greatest witness still is: “see for yourself.” If you are willing to commit all that you know of yourself to all that you know of God, the Holy Spirit will bear witness with your spirit that you are child of God. Furthermore, you can be filled, and filled, and filled to overflowing, with the Spirit of the living God!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: