Responding to God’s Testing

Deuteronomy 13:3 “The Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Observation: Through Moses, God warned the people to have their guard raised high against false prophets who, though they come with signs and wonders, are not from God.

Application: The context here is that people and things will come into my life with the intent to draw me away from following God wholeheartedly. My response is to be two-fold; first, recognize the distraction for what it is so my heart and soul will be protected; and, secondly, kill the tempter. Remarkably, the rest of Deuteronomy 13 says to kill the tempter even if he or she is a prophet whose words come true, or even if he was my brother, “the wife you cherish,” or “a friend who is as your own soul” (verses 1, 6).

Whew! God seems pretty serious about wholeheartedly following Him. But this passage also makes clear that God uses the distracting things of life to test my heart. Will I be faithful to follow Him even amidst the distractions and temptations of life? His desire is that I brutally oppose those things that could distract my walk with Him. 

Turn off the TV! Cancel some subscriptions! Say no to some things I’m doing or being asked to do that don’t reinforce and build my secret life in Him. It’s interesting that verse 3 says I’m to love Him not just with my heart, but with my soul, as well. It’s soulish things that are my most immediate problem, things my eyes delight in or things I love to eat or the hottest car, the bigger home. Even such phrases as “love to eat,” “hottest,” or “bigger” reveal soulishness that is to be opposed as ultimately distracting me from whole-heartedness.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I’m thankful that You came to lay down a marker. The line in the sand that You draw is not flexible. You never bend Your standards nor reduce Your expectations for me. Yet even as You see me struggle, You remain my most faithful cheerleader, my affirmer. I’m so grateful that You look at me as the finished work You have in mind. Forgive me for my soulish pursuits, Lord, and draw me into greater intimacy with You. Let me be content to simply be still, allowing my mind to fix its gaze on nothing but Your beauty, Your majesty, and Your passion for me. I love You, Lord.

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