Have you ever tried to cram final words of instruction into the ears of someone, right before you leave them on their own to do something significant?
Maybe that's as a parent, dropping a child off at overnight camp or university. Maybe that's as a coach or teammate, right before the big game starts. Maybe that's as a co-worker or boss, in the moments leading up to that huge presentation.
Whenever I read Deuteronomy 10:12—22, I feel like I'm listening in on a similar type of conversation. God is giving final instructions to Israel, right as they're about to cross the Jordan River into the land of promise.
I would encourage you to read the full passage on your own, but it begins with these two verses:
"And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?"
This passage begins with a great question, as good of a question as anyone who is committed to Christian living could ever ask: What does God ask of you?
First, it's important to recognize that God rarely asks us to abandon our current lifestyle and pursue entirely new and different things. Rather, he asks us to change the way we respond to our current situations, locations, and relationships in very new and different ways.
The rest of the command then goes on to give us a list of what God asks, which I think can be summarized in a three simple yet profound action words:
FEAR: Fear of the Lord means that I carry around with me such a deep awareness, awe, and reverence for the power, holiness, wisdom, and grace of God that I would not think of doing anything other than living for his glory.
LOVE: The fundamental difference between holy living and selfish living is what has captured the love of my heart. If I love God more than anything else, I won't focus all my energy on my needs and wants, instead pursuing the Kingdom of God in word, deed, and thought.
ACT: God-focused living is not just about an attitude of heart and mind, but about a functional lifestyle. Our Father has precisely revealed his will for us in his Word; our principal job is to simply obey what has already been revealed.
There's one more thing that I need to say in closing: unlike a parent dropping a child off at summer camp, God never leaves us or forsakes us.
God never calls you to a task without giving you what you need to do it. He never sends you without going with you.
In the mundane moments of everyday Christian living, your Lord is with you every step of the way, as he asks you to live for him.
- FEAR: How has the Lord proven himself to be worthy of your awe?
- LOVE: What does your calendar and bank account reveal about what has captured the love of your heart, other than the Lord?
- ACT: What is one thing that God is asking you to do this week, that is clearly defined in His Word, that you predict you will struggle with?