If you've ever picked out a piece of furniture
and stood waiting for someone to bring it to your car,
only to see it appear in a long, thin, flat box.
Then you should value today's reading as much as I do.
For what the Israelites are promised...
what God is wanting to give them,
does not come in a box of pieces requiring assembly.
So it shall be, when the Lord your God brings you into the land
of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build,
houses full of all good things, which you did not fill,
hewn-out wells which you did not dig,
vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant...
when you have eaten and are full...
then beware, lest you forget the Lord
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Deuteronomy 6:10-12 NKJV
Sometimes, these are the verses we skim past without much thought.
But in today's reading, we find out that God wants to give to
the children of Israel, not only land, but the entire kingdoms
of seven of the greatest and mightiest nations...
clearly more established and powerful than the Israelites have themselves.
But God wants them to trust in His power to lead them there.
And then, when these wicked, idol worshipping people are 'utterly destroyed,'
the children of Israel will get to settle down in their pre-built cities,
with their already decorated houses,
their pre-dug wells, and their fully planted gardens.
All... that someone else labored to establish.
This simply boggles my mind!
They get the box marked... 'No assembly required!'
This is God is offering them the true FULL-ness of life.
As if the mortgage is paid, the fridge is stocked with groceries,
and the laundry is folded and put away.
And all they need to do...
is trust God to fight the battle.
And actually, our God has not changed.
He is the same God of yesterday... as He is today!
God still wants us to have the FULLness of life.
That is, in fact why Jesus came...
I have come that they may have life,
and that they may have it more abundantly... to the full.
So how do we experience it?
Because the Israelites didn't earn it.
God simply chose them.
Even though they were difficult, whining and complaining.
And we cannot earn it either.
But God chooses us... all of us... any of us who will have Him.
He GIVES us life.
And once we accept His forgiveness, and gift of eternal life...
we can certainly go on living as we were.
But it won't be that FULL life.
It will still be the life of long, thin, flat boxes and lots of assembly.
Because this world is broken, flawed and messy.
But if we want that kind of life God was offering the Israelites...
the one with FULLness,
then we simply need to let go of the world's ways.
Just as God asked the Israelites not to intermarry...
and be joined to these nations,
worshipping their idols, and living for themselves.
God asks us not to live as the world lives around us.
Not conforming to this world...
making idols for ourselves
of our money, careers, status, possessions.
God still wants to give us His kingdom...
with No Assembly Required.
But are we willing to give up our selfish desires...
trying to piece together what we see
as the perfect life.
Long ago, just as now, God longs for our love and devotion.
Devoted hearts to Him first.
No only in words, but our actions... our true heart's desire.
You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
with all your soul, and
with all your strength.
Word of God... train me, today...
to love You Lord, with all my heart, soul and strength,
to be keenly aware of idols and the trap they can be to steal my devotion.
Lord, I long to love You first.
Help me sort out my life.
Point to the places You long to be
and help me to yield them to You.
Renew my mind,
my heart, my soul...
that all of me is consumed by You.
I long for the FULL
No Assembly Required
kind of life.
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