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Obedience Beyond the Blessing

You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession 
of the land the Lord your God is giving. When you have taken it over 
and are living there, be sure that you obey all the decrees 
and laws I am setting before you today.
Deuteronomy 11:31-32
 
Nine years ago I moved to Fayetteville, NC. Most people wondered why the heck a 22 year old woman would want to move to a small town.  The truth is, I didn’t want to. (LOL) When God asked me to trust Him, I really thought I’d end up in Los Angeles or Brooklyn, even Charlotte or Atlanta.
God is so funny.
In His infinite wisdom and knowledge of both the desires of my heart and the dynamic plans and purpose He placed on my life, He led me to Fayetteville, NC.
God is so wise.
During my time in Fayetteville I learned a lot about myself.  I learned a lot about God.  I learned a lot more about the desires of my heart. It was a wonderfully tough time in the wilderness.  At a certain point I felt so in tune to God’s desires.  I thought, “Yep, I can do this! What?! What?!  I’m a Christian!”
Like many people I desired to become married and eventually have children. I desired to obtain a master’s degree. I desired to completely rock out in my career. I desired to …
What do you desire?
So, I prayed about these things.  I submitted them to God.  I allowed God to work on my heart, to mend the broken places.  I offered up my insecurities, my ugliness.  I eagerly allowed God to till the hard soil of my heart and to prune the unruly shrubs of my soul.
You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession 
of the land the Lord your God is giving. When you have taken it over 
and are living there, be sure that you obey all the decrees 
and laws I am setting before you today.
Deuteronomy 11:31-32
 
Just as God used the Israelite’s time in the wilderness to pick and prune, to prep and produce, he used my time in Fayetteville to prepare me for the next leg of the journey. Just as God had Moses remind the Israelite’s to remember the sure foundation on which they currently stood, He reminded me.
Has He reminded you?
In the next season of my life I crossed the Jordan and took possession of my blessings. I got married, I had a child, I obtained my master’s degree, I was rockin’ out in my career. I was in my promised land… I thought. (But, that’s a story for another day. :-))
How many times do we receive the blessings we’ve so fervently prayed for and then not remain steadfast and obedient to the promise giver?
In our disobedience we destroy the very gift God has given.
When I read the aforementioned verse in Deuteronomy, along with the verses and chapters surrounding it, I had a heart check.
God loves us and enjoys blessing us, but He knows our hearts.  He knows how easily we forget the joy of the blessing.  How easily we forget the joy and fullness we must have in Christ in order to truly enjoy the blessing.  The sure foundation.
The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden.  But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven.  It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. So, if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today – to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul – then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.  I will provide grass for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.  Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will perish from the good land the Lord is giving you. Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 
– Deuteronomy 11:13-18
Like I said, “Heart check!”
God, bless me with this job. A husband/wife. A car. A place to live. Some children. A degree. A friend.
Whatever the blessing, it is only as fulfilling as your relationship with Christ. “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.  He is head over every power and authority” (Colossians 2:9-10).  Turning things or people in to gods that are worshiped cracks your sure foundation. The job can’t give you a lasting confidence and assurance.  The wife can’t give you endless love and acceptance.  The dwelling can’t give you unshakable protection and comfort. You see where I’m going with this.
I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s not easy at all.  We can get so wrapped up in what is right in front of our face – the husband, the kids, the job, the friends – we forget… “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” -Colossians 3:2
Unfortunately, I’m writing from experience, but I implore you to trust wisdom that you don’t need to experience the cracking foundation.
Your relationship with your spouse will be healthier.
Your work/life balance will be healthier.
Your relationship with family and friends will be healthier.
YOU will be whole and healthier
Have faith in the sure foundation and be blessed beyond the blessing.

Always Striving,

Joce

 

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7 thoughts on “Obedience Beyond the Blessing

  1. Those have been my prayers for the past few years, and I have been growing in my faith and relationship with God so that He and I can work together to fulfill these dreams. This spoke to my heart, touched my spirit and blessed my soul.

  2. Those have been my prayers for the past few years, and I have been growing in my faith and relationship with God so that He and I can work together to fulfill these dreams. This spoke to my heart, touched my spirit and blessed my soul.

  3. Soooooooo, I've been distracted (was heading to HC when you texted me)… But when I say it was meant for me to read this right now! This very moment! Thank you for being an inspiration! This touched me in an unexpected way but the way that it needed to.

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