For starters, I want to say to my followers / readers, thank you for coming alongside of me for the journey. I’m looking forward to how the rest of this year ends up. 2014 has some big things on the horizon, but then again, big things took place this year, too. All that aside, I wanted to clarify a few things with respect to yesterday’s post titled “The Other Side of the Coin.” Because I enjoy writing, and I believe in taking great pains to be mindful of what I publish on this blog, I must say that I’m not the biggest fan of yesterday’s blog post. It reads somewhat jumbled and disconnected from my heart.
Maybe this is hindsight or perfectionism rearing its ugly head on my part. In my own mind, I wanted to clarify the central idea behind “The Other Side of the Coin.” If you recall, I built the piece upon the passage in Deuteronomy 32:10. The larger context of this verse has to do with Moses’s charge to the people of Israel. He’s stepping down as their leader while making way for Joshua to lead God’s people into the Promised Land. It should be added here that Moses sinned against the Lord earlier on in the wilderness, which prevented him from entering the land of promise. Consequently, the Lord instructed Moses to appoint Joshua as his successor.
Now, the key point that I either left out or allowed to remain unsaid was the necessity for believers to remember where God found us, or from what condition he rescued us. Based on my reading of Deuteronomy chapter 32, that appears to be the central point and the underlying subtext for verse 10. It seems to me that Moses reminds the Israelites about how the Lord protected and preserved Jacob in order to encourage them that the Lord hasn’t changed toward them. Moses demonstrates two essential qualities that must characterize those who lead God’s people: pointing them to the Father, and reminding them of his provision throughout the whole of their lives.
How does this serve as the other side of the coin? If you recall in my other post titled, “A Desolate Place,” I remarked how the Lord invites his people to join him in desolate places for rest. I based the post on Mark 6:30-32, where Jesus invites the apostles to join him in a desolate place for rest after a hectic day of ministry and spiritual warfare. In Deuteronomy 32:10, the Lord finds us in a howling waste condition, but he transforms our condition into an oasis. This is what God did in Jacob’s life. When God renamed him Israel, this confirmed the reality of his transformed life. Once this new life takes root within the believer, God send us out like the apostles to bear witness of him and his work.
Because the act of witnessing is busy and hectic, the Lord invites us to rest with him in a desolate place. On one level, this seems like the Lord asks the believer to return to the very place from whence he took him. In truth, this is not entirely accurate as the spiritual condition of the believer is vastly different. When the Lord found him, he was unregenerate, lost. After conversion, the believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling with him every day of his life. The believer isn’t returning to a prior condition. Because God’s Spirit indwells the believer, he is able to rest with his God in a desolate place. He’ll be protected and preserved by the sealing presence of the Spirit. I think that’s pretty neat.