December 20th

 

Heeding & Keeping in Diligence

"Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'
"For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?  And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?  Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. 
Deuteronomy 4:5-9
NKJV

Moses spoke these words to the Israelites as they prepared to go into the land of Canaan.  He was reminding the people of God’s miraculous deliverance from the Egyptians and exhorting them to keep the laws that God gave them.  The part that caught my eye was when Moses told them to “heed yourself” and “diligently keep yourself.”  Failure to do so apparently led to permanent loss of memory regarding God’s miraculous works among them. 

As Christians, we can apply these principles to our daily walk with God.  To heed ourselves is to give attention, or take notice of what we are doing in our lives.  It’s easier to live without heeding ourselves, sowing to our various lusts in the pursuit of personal pleasure and success.  Following the way of our flesh is sure to lead to trouble.   

I’ve found that having a daily quiet time helps me stay in a habit of heeding and keeping myself.  I’ve discovered that the scriptures often act like a mirror, calling attention to the things in my life that are not right with the Lord.  They also provide the practical guidance I need to get things back into alignment with God.   With the Holy Spirit as my “onboard guidance system,” I have the power I need to live for God and put off the corrupting desires of the “old self.”  Every person who believes in Jesus has these tools to help them, just as they have helped me.   

A key attitude we should practice in our “heeding” and “keeping” work is diligence.  Moses mentioned that diligence would protect the people from forgetting what God had done in their lives.  We, too, need to keep ourselves cognizant of what God has done in our lives and what his word says.  We should be aware that our Adversary is constantly looking for ways to steal, kill or destroy us and prevent God’s word from working in us.  Diligence will help prevent a breach in our life that the enemy could exploit.   

Diligence is ultimately tied to our faith and ability to please God.  Consider what the author of Hebrews wrote concerning the need for diligence in our walk:  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV).  If we diligently keep ourselves in tune with God, we will be blessed beyond anything we can imagine. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, your written word in the scriptures and your word written on my heart.  Please forgive me for the times when I have ignored your convictions.  Please forgive me for any apathy or laziness I have tolerated in my relationship with you.  I accept the invitation to diligently follow you and to heed and keep myself in line with your standards.  I know that this would be impossible without the Holy Spirit’s help, and I invite you to fill me afresh with the Spirit today. I embrace the freedom to live for you and to no longer be a slave to sin. May your will be done in my life on earth as it is in heaven.  Thank you, Father!  I praise you now and forever, Amen.”