This morning I read the words of Moses when he was recounting some of the highlights (or lowlights) of the desert wanderings. When the Israelites heard God speak from Sinai they were overwhelmed and asked not to hear from God because they were terrified by his awesome presence. And interesting line follows that description of their fear. God said, "Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever." (Deuteronomy 5:29)
Why do our hearts change? Why do we revere God one moment and struggle with rebellion the next? Why is it so hard to string together several days of faithful behavior without succumbing to some petty thinking, carnal sin, or faithless doubt? Why is it so hard to simply obey the commands of the Lord? That kind of faithfulness even comes with rewards; we would prosper! Our descendants would even prosper! But alas, we're only human. We fail. We're flawed. WE are prone to do the things that we know hurt us and offend our Heavenly Father. We don't accept that fatalistically and go on sinning. But neither can we simply will ourselves to quit sinning altogether.
So what are we supposed to do? We're supposed to remember that the Israelites were the proof that people can never live up to God's glorious standards. But we don't have to. We have been accepted in the grand New Covenant because of who know and not what we've done. Ironically, it seems easier to have hearts for a God who accepts us by means of his own grace! Instead of trying to earn his favor through faithfulness, we should strive for faithfulness because we already have his favor! Stop and praise him today; Oh, that our hearts would desire to obey in response to this divinely given prosperity in Christ!
Read the Bible in One Year Plan: Deut 5-7