God’s Commands are Near to Us

11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.

Deuteronomy 30:11-14 ESV

The commandments of God are not difficult to know. But they may be challenging to perform. We too often confuse the two. The more we grow in our understanding of what God has desired, the greater our ability to live in God’s will and under God’s blessing.

The passage here is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, in the passage, we are reminded that we spend too much time trying to hear from God something new. But, we overlook and even diminish what God has already said. We should not be constantly asking God to speak some new insight or revelation for our lives. We should rather be looking at what has already been said, and ask, “Is this reality present in my life today?” An additional question we could ask is this: “How consistently am I living this reality out?”

the second reason this passage is interesting is it identifies where these commandments are (or should be!). The commandments are “in your mouth and in your heart.” Wow!

I don’t know about you, but that really convicts me. Is this true in my life? Is this true OF my life?

If God’s commandments are not in my mouth or in my heart can I honestly say that I am living as I should? I know this may not make us feel comfortable, but maybe that’s the point. We should be convicted by this.

Not for one second do I believe this is supposed to make us feel bad. But it might. And if it does, we should not run from it. We should ask ourselves, why? Why do I continue doing what I know is not helping draw me closer to God? There may be a million reasons. Only you know yours.

A final thought about this passage is that it clearly details what we should be doing and why. But it also helps us to understand the promises attached to our obedience. When we understand our part in hearing and doing what God commands we will feel and experience the nearness of God.

The link between obedience and our growing awareness of God’s presence can be missed if we are not careful. It is in obedience that we know God is near. Why? Because our obedience is how God knows we are serious about our relationship with him. He doesn’t forsake when we falter. But, when we obey, all the other distractions are removed so we can more fully experience how near God really is.

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