1. A LACKADAISICAL APPROACH TO OBEYING GOD’S WORD
Many of us surrendered ourselves to God in our youthful years – a time when we were “running scared.” Scared because we were unsure of our capabilities, and untested in the crucible of life. I suspect that few of us had any idea at that time as to the implications — or demands — of that commitment. However, as we gained the confidence that often accompanies “success,” we found our dependence upon God and His Word slowly (almost imperceptibly) waning.
Moses addressed a similar issue with the Israelites: “Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers… He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8:1, 3) (See Deuteronomy 4:1; 5:32; 6:1-3; 32:46, 47; Psalm 119:4-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:1, 12)
2. FORGETFUL INGRATITUDE FOR GOD’S BLESSING
“Success” we discovered, tended to dull our memory of God’s blessings. Thus, it was not uncommon for us to lapse into benign ingratitude: “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands… Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day… But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8:2, 11, 18) (See Deuteronomy 7:18; 32:18; Psalm 77:11; 106:7; 2 Peter 1:12; 3:1, 2)
3. TAKING CREDIT UNTO OURSELVES FOR GOD’S PROVISION:
Few among us, it seems, survive the dizzying effects of “success” and still retain childlike humility. (Matthew 18:2-4) “When you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery… You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.‘” (Deuteronomy 8:12-14, 17) (See Deuteronomy 9:4; Isaiah 10:12-14; Daniel 4:28-33; 2 Corinthians 4:7; Galatians 6:14)
PRAYER: “O Lord, if I have wandered in my passion for you and your word, would you purify me, and rekindle the hunger I once held so dear. I ask for your forgiveness where I have failed to express my gratitude for your blessings. I ask your cleansing for taking personal credit for your bounty. In Jesus‘ Name. Amen.”