We have a hard time focusing.
You’ve probably already checked your phone 7 times just after reading the first sentence. If you’re anything like me, you check to see if you’ve gotten any emails. That’s immediately where your thumb goes after you slide to unlock. You tap the mail icon. You see that you have no new emails. You close out of the email. 10 minutes later you’re doing the same thing again. Really, no one is emailing you…
And if it’s not from our phones, it’s our computers; we are eagerly waiting to see the next little red notification pop up notifying us of who just liked our post. And in the car, we just cannot sit in silence. We are constantly taking in everything around us, whether it’s music, social media, books, friends, etc. We are all ADD. We can’t sit still. We can’t set our eyes on things above because there’s just way too many things here that are shiny and sparkly. It’s not that we don’t want to focus, there are just so many things that are competing for our attention. Who will win the prize of having our undivided attention?
The Israelites had similar problems. They just couldn’t get it right. Even after God’s continued mercies, there were too many other things that seemed just as good. Obviously they were being deceived, as are we. They were becoming weary and didn’t want to believe. It was easier for them not to. Moses speaks to his people and makes things clear.
“Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?”
Let’s really think about the Israelites situation here. What in the world could have been distracting them from serving the Lord with their whole heart? Maybe a few cows and a big, empty piece of land that they walked around for 40 years. We have to understand that our situation is so much worse than theirs. We don’t just have a few cows. We have millions of cows distracting us.
The Lord expects the same things of us that Moses encouraged the Israelites to do.We have to strive towards godliness. We have to work hard to keep our eyes on the prize. He wants us to fear Him, to walk in His ways and love Him, to serve Him with all our heart and soul and to keep His commandments. Being obedient to the Lord by loving Him in these ways only brings good.
And Moses promised this to the Israelites, too.
“It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.”
All of us want to “eat and be satisfied.” We all want to be blessed. The desire we have to be blessed can never be enough to keep our focus on the Lord. What keeps us focused is the Cross. For the Israelites, what would have kept them focused would have been to remember the Lord’s great mercies He continually bestowed on them. We have to remember the Cross. Is it not enough to keep us wholly devoted to our Lord and Savior? We can’t let the things of this world distract us. Our Lord Jesus Christ shouldn’t have to compete with trivial things. He is worthy of all of us.
“Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them.”
We may not want to believe the Lord’s promises. It may be easier for us to “give up” and follow after the things of this world. But brother and sister, beware. There are eternal consequences for the temporal decisions we make here. He is the only God that deserves all of who we are. We have to choose Him. Nothing will beat our soon-coming life with Jesus Christ in eternity. And absolutely nothing can compare to a sweet relationship with Him.