Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Choice, Authority or Frustration: Deut 28

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If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world.

But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today...The Lord himself will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in everything you do, until at last you are completely destroyed for doing evil and abandoning me.

This was the agreement God had with the Israelites.  It doesn't explain why all good or bad things happen, but it really did happen exactly that way for the Israelites, at least all of the bad things. When they honored God, all of the blessings happened just like He described, and Solomon's reign showed the scope of God's ability to bless them. After the final seige of Jerusalem, where people did eat their children out of starvation, they were exiled back to Egypt where no one would even buy them as slaves (we'll see that later this year when we get to Jeremiah).

The thing that stands out to me is that His blessing comes with authority and His curse comes with confusion and frustration. Many of the individual blessings and cursings listed in this chapter happen at a corporate level, but I see them happening in my own life all the time. PJ's getting annoyed hearing the verse from Proverbs: "Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor." One of the first things you admit in Celebrate Recovery is that "My life is out of control and has become unmanageable." Disobedience (whether mine or others) puts lives out of control and leads to frustration and confusion. Obedience means relinquishing control to God and ultimately regaining real control under His authority.

Jesus was able to say that all authority under Heaven and earth had been given to Him because He was obedient, even obedient to death on the cross. Our authority is equally contingent on our obedience. That's important because we have no real power. Without God's authority, we won't have a chance--the enemy will eat our lunch. Once you choose obedience, your circumstances may not change immediately. You probably didn't get here overnight either. I can tell you that when you relinquish control to God through consistent obedience, He can eventually bring things back under your authority because you are under His authority.

So, where in your life do you feel out of control? Is there anything God can't do to bring that back under His control if you choose to let Him? (Yes, I'm preaching to myself too...)

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