This morning, I read Deuteronomy 30. The title for the chapter was A Call to Return to the Lord. Moses is speaking to the Israelites and imploring them to return to the Lord. He urges them to make the right choice. He presents them with two options: choose life or choose death. Even after the Israelites had turned away from God so many times, God still extends His mercy and grace to them. God wants them to have life and He knew that they could not have true life without Him.
The Lord your God will change your heart and the hearts of all your descendants, so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live! Deuteronomy 30:6
This verse is so encouraging because it shows that God wants to change our hearts...He wants to replace our desires with His desires and help us love Him with all our heart and soul. And the result is so that we may live! He knows that to truly live is to live only for Him. When we live for ourselves, we are not living at all. We are taking...taking from others, taking from this world to try and satisfy a longing that will never truly be satisfied.
Sometimes we can get a distorted view of God. We can feel like He is so out of reach, so intangible, a standard that we can never attain. We can feel like since we know we'll never measure up, we shouldn't even try...that He is going to be disappointed no matter what happens. But this is so untrue. Deuteronomy 30 reminds us that His commands are not too difficult for us to understand:
This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach...No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it (vs. 11, 14).
Yes, we are all sinners and we will not always make the right choice. But, His Word is there to guide us and bring us back to Him. God doesn't want us to fail. He wants us to cling to Him, to forsake everything else and to choose life. When we are tempted to think that His standards are too high for us to ever attain, may we remember that it is not too difficult for us to understand.
God wants to give us a new heart to obey Him in place of our former stubbornness. This new heart will teach us how to love the Lord wholeheartedly. Thank God that He can replace our sinful hearts with a new one so that we may have life. But, are we willing to let Him have control of our lives, to surrender our old heart's desires for His new heart? It may be hard to let go of our pursuits, our dreams and our goals. This world has a way of making our desires look so attractive. The enemy wants nothing more than to see us choose our own way of living instead of His way of living. But the sad part is that when we choose our way of living, we really are not living at all. Because He is the key to our life.
You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is they key to your life...(vs. 20).
This whole chapter is so full of verses that remind us to forsake our old way of living. Take time to read Deuteronomy 30.