After reading Deuteronomy 30:11-14, i was convicted that my experience with our Lord’s call to righteousness (His Commandments) has been very difficult. Moses states, “These commandments are not too difficult and are not far from you (you have the ability to keep them).” I was confused. i fail regularly. Moses statement indicates to me that i am missing something.
When Moses states, “These commandments are not too difficult and are not far from you”, do you think he means just keep the commandments or is he saying, just please God. Is it less difficult to try to please God versus trying to be perfect?
It could be, that i am too hard on myself; that it’s me trying to be righteous when it should be by faith in Jesus. I remember what Jesus said about the Pharisee who claimed he kept all the commandments while putting down the tax collector who was on his knees pounding his chest asking for forgiveness, he said the tax collector had it right. So should i be humbled, or troubled by my imperfection?
Jesus says He will take my burdens and He says his load is light and His yoke is easy.
Could it be that my difficulty in keeping the Lord’s commandments are because i am trying to do them as works?
I saw a movie about a priest who was on trial for negligent homicide because of a young girl’s death because she was possessed. The exorcism failed and she died for lack of medical attention. The priest said the young girl was filled with faith and gave him the courage to stand up to the six demons in her. Even though the priest’s effort failed, the young girl claimed she would be saved by the Lord. She was right, because He took her home. The last scene was her tombstone which read, “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling…”.! So, is it necessary to tremble and be scared out of your wits in order to keep his commandments?
These four questions should lead to a conclusion:
To ‘work out your salvation with fear and trembling’ is to have respect for who God is and what He has done for you. Salvation is an eternal gift, it requires gratitude. Fear is the respect of recognizing that your God loves you and died for you and that he saved you from His wrath. Tremble in His presence. Taking Him for granted will make keeping His commandments very difficult, He dwells in you!
If i decide to ‘work out my salvation with fear and trembling’ by concentrating on God’s qualities (like the Fruit of the Spirit), obedience is the result. No wonder i was finding Moses statement difficult, i had fallen into a pattern of striving for perfection outside the New Covenant. The verse after ‘work out my salvation with fear and trembling’ is for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Phil 2:13