Sometimes a fresh look at something from a different persepective of time and experience yields a completely different understanding. The thing that you thought it was may still be true, but the fresh glimpse affords a depth of understanding that makes the original observation different while remaining the same.
I intend to read through the entire Bible several times this year and recently re-read Deuteronomoy for the first time in a while. Part of the story found there is God giving Moses the Ten Commandments as He takes Moses and the Israelites to the promised land. This most recent reading clarified and highlighted a few things for me:
- God delivers the Commandments with the promise of if you do these things, it will “go well with you” (6:18) and do these things “so that you may live and prosper (5:33).”
- They (and we) were prone to forget God when they started to experience success (8:11 and 31:21).
- Wealth brings satisfaction that lends itself to pride which gives way to putting things above God (8:14 and 31:20).
- There is no compromise of middle ground, we either follow Him and experience the promise of His blessings or we reject Him and experience the consequences of rebellion (30:19).
In a nutshell, God is not mad at people nor does He give them rules. He simply lays out the way it works in the context of His holiness. The Commandments are a framework for how to experience the fullness of life and know the rewards of abundance that come in His kingdom. They are, at their core, an invitation to walk with God. We get to choose life or death but inherant in the love which is being expressed through allowing us to exercise in our own will is the reality that we will have to live out the consequences, good or bad.
John 10:10 says that there is a thief that comes to kill, steal and destroy but Jesus wants to give us abundant life. The thing about the life that Jesus offers is that it costs everything. We have to lay down our life to exchange it for His. That’s the invitation; His life for ours. It’s an invitation, and the rewards are immediate and eternal if we’ll submit ourselves to enjoy His fullness.
There is no middle ground. Going to church on Sunday won’t deliver on His promises and being good won’t, either. It’s an “all in” proposition one way or the other and the consequences and rewards are certain in this life and the next. With God’s invitation, the all in requires everything. With the world, you can maneuver in the gray but in the Kingdom the compromise is actually a rejection of Him. The American Dream is not a viable substitute for the Kingdom call. The suburbs are not the mansion and being dutiful is not the same as being dead.
Where have you declared your “all in” to be?