Pursuing God With Passion
by Joyce Bright
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What makes your heart race and leap with joy within you? What are you pursuing with passionate excitement and anticipation? Whatever it is will rule your life for good or for evil.
You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of 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 raise 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: 5-9 If these are the things, we seek above all others, should they not be first on our prayer agenda and our constant motivation for all that we do?
Our relationship (just as it was in the day this command was given, God changes not) is based on a relationship of love. Jesus considered Deuteronomy 6:5 to be the first and greatest New Testament commandment. The heart is considered the seat of the mind and the will. When Jesus quotes this passage in Mark 12:30-31 and Luke 10:27 He actually adds the word mind. ( And in Luke, your neighbor as yourself. Luke actually writes both as one verse.) Mind is probably added by Jesus here so that we would be sure to realize it means our understanding unto application. The idea is that the Israelites were, as we also are, to be a people of commandments. Deuteronomy 6:17 says, "you shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, His testimonies and His statutes which He has commanded you. And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with you, and that you many go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers." (See also Deuteronomy 18-19.) These are still binding on us if we desire to enter into the fullness of the Spirit and possess the abundant life that is our in Christ Jesus. And cast our satanic enemies before us as we are commanded by Jesus to do. God has delivered us out of the kingdom of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Through whom we have redemption through His blood the forgiveness of our sins. (See Col. 1:13-14) The rules of the Kingdom of God always remain the same. The difference is that we who are in Christ now have the power to keep them more perfectly by the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is these things actively pursued and lived out that demonstrate the righteousness that is ours in Jesus to ourselves and others. ( It is the bearing of the fruit of righteousness that is our assurance that God's word is true.)
We are to utterly enforce over satan the victory that Christ won for us over him and his kingdom on the cross. The pathway to all victory however is obedience. Always! Do we fail? Yes many times! But if we diligently seek to heed His voice and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes. We will still be the apple of His eye, as David was even though he committed murder and adultery. The thing here is that He was quick to repent and be restored. Christian liberty has its limits; it does not include fraternizing and flirting with the enemy. Satanic powers are very real and he never ceases to take advantage of your doubt and unbelief concerning what you have heard God say.
For example Israel left Egypt with the wealth of their slave masters in their hands, not a feeble sick one among them, on an 11-day journey to a land flowing with milk and honey. And by their complaining and rebellion against what God said turned it into a forty-year affair with the enemy. GOD'S WORD TELLS US THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT NOT TO DO IF WE DESIRE TO POSSESS THE FULLNESS OF HIS PROMISES. It is necessary that we look at Old testament examples if we have our hearts set on possessing the promises of the new Testament Covenant. Testing is a normal process in the plan of God. And our response will be to stick to what God has said no matter what we are faced with or what our eyes sees, if we desire to possess the abundance of our salvation in Christ.
However, NOT ONLY DOES GOD MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE EXAMPLES OF WHAT NOT TO DO. BUT EXAMPLES THAT CANNOT FAIL US IF APPLIED, EXAMPLES THAT WILL INSURE THAT WE POSSESS THE FULLNESS OF LIFE THAT IS OURS IN CHRIST.
Jesus wilderness journey last only forty days? He demonstrated for us have the Israelites should have handled their period of testing. Jesus did not mummer and complain against what He had heard the Father say no matter what else He heard or saw. He knew who He was and why He was there. He was just as tempted as the Israelites were. (And as we are.) However He believed and desired God above all that He was tempted with.
Both of these are examples to us. Jesus demonstrates to us how Israel should have handled their time of temptation. And how we must handle ours if we wish to achieve the results that Jesus did and fulfill our God appointed assignment while we are on this planet.
How long our time of wilderness testings last depends on our response. We can respond by faith to what God has promised no matter what we see and feel or we can complain doubt and do without. Your obedience is directly proportional to your Faith. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. And without faith it is impossible to please God. (See Hebrews 11:6 ) And the only way we can prove our faith is by our obedience. To live and move in the authority that is ours in Christ, we must first learn to live under His authority.
It is God's desire that we possess all of His promises all of the time. The Israelites failed repeatedly. We must decide if we are going to follow their example which God has set before us or Jesus example. To possess or not possess the promises of God depends on the choices we make.
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