I feel like right now, it's hard to imagine what it would look like because of all the hatred, pride, and ugliness that swirls around us each and every day. I see glimpses of what this world would look like if everyone loved God so fiercely that it changed their hearts completely, and I love those sweet moments.
As I have been studying in the Old Testament about the Children of Israel, I have learned so much and have seen parallels in some of the lessons God taught them with some of the lessons I feel God is trying to teach us today.
One of the things that I feel He desperately wants us to get, is that we are making things way harder than they need to be. He has told us what we need to do to have peace. He has told us what we need to do to have patience and love. Throughout the whole book of Deuteronomy, the message is clear...
Sounds easy enough...but in reality, not so much because...Satan. (Ugh. Satan.)
We don't need to fear Satan! Because, guess what? The Lord has provided a way for us to conquer that old toad, Satan, and fulfill this request of keeping His commandments.
Just as He states over and over again that if we keep His commandments, He will bless us, He tells us over and over again to trust that He will help us do this.
*Joshua 1:5, 9
So, the Lord asks us to love and serve Him with all our hearts, might, mind, and strength and promises us that if we do that, He will bless us beyond measure. AND...He promises us that He will help us to serve Him with all our hearts, might, mind, and strength. It seems like this is the greatest win/win situation EVER. Why would we not trust in Him?
Now, to go back to my original question...
What would the world look like if everyone loved God with all of their heart, their whole soul, and every ounce of might they had in them?
Here's the answer...
"All society would be dramatically altered"
Do you believe that could happen? I do.
People talk about social media challenges all the time. The "ice bucket challenge", the "plank challenge", the "tide pod challenge" and every other stupid challenge under the sun.
What if...just what if, my friends, we actually created a challenge that meant something. A challenge that would dramatically alter society for the better.
So, here's my challenge for you. Let's take the Lord up on this promise that He will help us love Him and serve Him with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. Let's teach this to our kids every waking moment by setting an example of goodness, love, and service. Let's devote ourselves to righteousness and holiness.
It's not going to be easy. Definitely not as easy as dumping a bucket of ice over your head. BUT IT WILL BE SO WORTH IT!!!
ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE?
*Years of enslavement in Egypt which were unpleasant to say the very least.
*Living through some of the plagues that afflicted the Egyptians when Moses was trying to free them from enslavement.
*Being hungry, thirsty, and uncomfortable as they wander through strange places, not knowing where their next meal is going to come from.
*Parents worried about their children as they most likely listen to them cry because of hunger pains. As a parent, the thought of this tugs at my heartstrings.
So, what have I learned from this group of wanderers?
But that is why God is God and He is perfect. He is perfectly patient and perfectly merciful and we see that being exhibited in His interactions with the Israelites. After the first dozen times of non-stop whining, He could have said, "You know what? I'm done. Enjoy your time in the wilderness. I have blessed you and helped you and for what? More complaining?"
But, He didn't. He kept blessing them. He kept giving them chance after chance after chance to turn to Him, to learn from their mistakes, and to make changes in their lives. As a parent, this helps me to see where I can improve in patience and mercy as I encounter frustrating times with my children. As a child of God, this helps me to know that God loves me, no matter how many times I turn away from Him, forget Him, or whine and complain.
This has caused me to think about how many times the Lord has given me an opportunity to humble myself before Him and I haven't taken it because I think I know better than Him. (Ugh. The natural man/woman in us, am I right?)
The thing that is interesting is that most of the time, when we do not take the opportunity to humble ourselves on our own accord, we actually make things harder for ourselves. Look at the Israelites and the poisonous serpents that the Lord sent down to "humble them". All they had to do to save themselves from dying from the bite of the poisonous serpents was look at the brass serpent that Moses had been instructed to make. They just had to look up! That's it! It wasn't a difficult thing to do! (Numbers 21:5-9).
I think I'm more like the Israelites than I want to admit.
Thankfully, though, the Lord is just as patient and merciful to me as He was to the Israelites. He gives me chance after chance after chance and man, I am so thankful for that. I need those chances and I need His love and mercy in my life.
I am loving my second chance at life.
What's Happening on
Copyright Desirae Ogden, www.desiraeogden.com, 2015.
All rights reserved.
All images and content are property of Desirae Ogden unless otherwise stated. You may not use images or content without express written permission.