As I continue on my walk through the Bible from front to back I just started in the book of Deuteronomy. As I have made it through the first 3 chapters I am amazed at how relevant the old testament is to us today, and love how it all points to Jesus. I challenge anyone (like me) to read through the old testament with an open heart and prayerfully ask the Lord to reveal himself through it. You will be amazed and what he shows you.
In order to sort of help set te stage I am going to go all the way back to Genesis 17. Stealing a line from Pastor Dan this morning, I think this is where Abraham genuinely becomes the father of faith. In this chapter God gives Abraham the covenent of circumcision, and getting circumcized at the age of 99 takes greater faith than most have today. But seriously, when we look at the old testament versus the new testament it is so awesome to see it all pointing to Christ. God gave Abraham the covenant of Circumcision to set his nation apart. I don't think it is by chance, obviously, that God chose circumsicion. To me this makes faith a whole lot more than just face value, and seriously no PON intended. In order for someone to know that you were circumcized, well I am not even certain how this came out, but you know that it was something that was discussed with those who had a close relationship. It was not something that just was meant to be a superficial marking. If that were the case God could have said to stamp a cross on your forehead. I think this was intended to be something that in order to be shared a relationship on a deep level had to be present. It is the same today. For those that follow Christ they can easily proclaim verbally that they do so, but it takes fruit in their lives for others to see that it is truly genuine.
I just used that as another example of how they old testament and the new testament are perfectly complementary of each other. Now if we look in the first three chapters of Deuteronomy we see a recount of the lives of the Israelites once they left Egypt. I think this is important because it re-iterates the importance of using our story to share the gospel. We have to constantly remember where we came from in order to understand where we are going. Just like Dan said this morning, Identity predicates action. If we are going to put our faith into action then we must understand what our identity is, and for most that involves a personal encounter with Christ. This typically includes both the good and the bad. What is really speaking to me right now though is when they begin to talk about all the people that they conquered. Here you have a group of people who constantly come up againt resistance in their path to the promised land that without God's help they would never be able to defeat. The same thing happens to us in life, God calls us to take a leap of faith and we know that when we take that leap we will hit resistance. But, just as the Israelites could rest in the fact that God would help them defeat their resistors, we have the hope and faith that no matter what resistance we face when taking a leap of faith that God will defeat them.
At the end of the day it is easy to get wrapped up in day to day life to the point where we miss an opportunity to see God deliver a resistor into our hands. This passage in Deutoronomy was only written because of what God said to Abram and what his response was. Imagine what this may have looked like if Abram would have said, nah think I'll pass. Why don't you just use me here. Lets not look back on our lives and say wow, I bascially told God that His plan was not good enough or valuable enough for me.