““Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NKJV
Over the last few weeks, I have endured a withering assault of the evil one. He has struck at me in so many ways, probing for weaknesses, hoping to find that right one to bring me down. His goal is to destroy my testimony, to cause me to remain silent. We are in the twilight hour of the age, and the devil knows that he has only a little time left.
Through the assaults, I have been able to hold on to what has sustained me: my faith in Jesus, His word, and the Holy Spirit who urges me on. I abide in the Lord.
Abiding comes through constant contact. There are some who think that in their salvation, they have no more need for the Lord, that they have a reservoir of protection, that all magically kick in when they have need. That is not so for me. I know that I am but a leaky vessel, always needing to be filled.
Reading through Deuteronomy six this morning, I came to the passage where Moses is giving his final instructions to the children of Israel, as the Lord gave utterance. He instructed them to love the Lord completely.
““Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 NKJV
What God is saying to the children of Israel, heirs of the physical promises of God, He says to the follower of Jesus, spiritual heir. Moses caution them to keep the word of God always before them, teaching to the young, and interweaving it throughout ones life.
In keeping the word of God near, and constant in the day to day conduct of life, one builds up a dependence on the Lord, that cannot be neglected, for it is the source of our spiritual sustenance.
““I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 NKJV
The Lord Jesus has given us a mission to go and share the Gospel, to go across the street, the other side of town, and around the world. It is not a mission that can be accomplished by our own strength, even without opposition.
In this world the Lord promised that we would have trouble. We are, day to day, being assaulted emotionally, spiritually, and even physically, whether we witness or not. The mere fact that we are saved and adopted children of God, is enough to make us a target.
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:11-12 NKJV
I have held this passage in the sticky part of my mind these past days of despair, as it has been a reminder that the evil one is all about using missiles of flesh and blood to attack the followers of Jesus. Some missiles are aimed in opposition, with the goal of causing the Christian to strike back. Others are the people we love, who are caught up their own all consuming struggles, who turn to you.
Sometimes those we love are like people awash in a drawing pool, flailing about, grabbing for anything to stay afloat. In those situations, those who are come to help, are placed in danger, as they too can me taken down.
In those moments, I must abide, seeking the wisdom of God, and not charging headlong into the abyss.
Brothers and sisters, let us seek the Lord and abide in Him. He has given us so many great advantages, as we have His complete word, His only revelation, requiring no new revelation, which is ceaselessly relevant. We have the power of His Holy Spirit, God in us, to help us have the mind of Him who resides in us.
We are in the waning time, when we must put aside the things that are not of God, and seek a pure faith that is wholly based on our obedience, holiness and complete abidance in Jesus.
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