When the Expected Arrives - Part 3
- Thursday, October 08, 2009
There are dangers incumbent to eating a good meal and being satisfied—growing fat and complacent. This is the danger in all our spiritual lives and especially we who do not have to look far for our "daily bread." When the expected arrives and we, like Israel, will look toward Canaan with real anticipation.
We will stand as though the great law-giver Moses were preparing me for this leg of the journey.
"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good … He has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God. ..." (Deut. 8:10-11).
His words echo a strange chorus. "Praise!" he says, "Do not forget the Lord." I speak of that time when the expected arrives but none of us can escape the need for praise. The writer of Hebrews admonishes us, "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name" (Heb. 13:15).
Whatever our place in life we dare not forget to praise the Lord "otherwise, when [we have eaten] and are satisfied, when [have built] fine houses and settle[d] down [our] hearts will become proud and [we] will forget the Lord [our] God" (Deut. 8:12, 14).
The way Moses presents it there is a direct connection between praise and remembrance, a direct correlation between forgetting and a lack of praise. To praise the Lord is to remember Him and to remember His workings on our behalf. To fail to praise is to forget the Lord and to drift toward that dangerous place of pride.
When the expected arrives we dare not forget that it is He that "led us through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land" (Deut. 8:15). It is He who "gave [us] manna to eat in the desert" (Deut. 8:16). As Moses sees it, we praise the Lord—or we forget Him. It is a simple formula, praise the Lord "otherwise" we will forget Him and all that He has done for us.
Either we praise Him or we forget Him and somewhere in our hearts we "may say to [ourselves], ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me'" (Deut. 8:17). It is not so. What a deep lie from the pit it is to believe that our wit or charm is what it takes. Herein lies that delicate balance between God's sovereignty and human free will.
We do not simply sit and wait for love to find us.
We do not simply hope that we will get married.
We dare not be unprepared when love finds us.
But usually when we are not waiting we are rushing.
Usually when we pursue we pursue our own whims.
We must prepare but cannot earn love.
It is God who uses the energy within us and directs our steps so that we might find the one love our hearts desire. This is why we should accept neither formula nor method for finding a mate. Each person's story is as varied as the sand of the sea. Each example is really only applicable to that person in that situation. What must remain consistent is the raising of voices in praise to a God who works all things together for good. We dare not fail to praise—lest we forget.
Despite what we might think, we live in constant need of our daily bread. We live in constant need of the Lord's provision. We must try! We must rise up and make the effort to meet and know people and believe that the Lord just may work through that process. We must act righteously and respectfully toward one another while bringing our desires before the Lord. We act and seek the one we might love but cannot forget "it is He who gives [us] the ability to produce wealth," or in this case—He who fulfills our hearts desire (Deut. 8:18).
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