Lessons from my mentors

Many years ago Wayne Cordeiro published a book entitled “The Divine Mentors”. The book takes the reader on a journey through the Bible outlining the men and women of old and how their relationship with the godhead helped them to stay the course of their journey with Abba.

The stories in this section are my lesson’s from some of those same incredible folks who, like myself struggle from time to time with discerning the voice of the Lord in the midst of the battle.

David

There are three key elements of David’s life that offer encouragement that are found in the Goliath story.

Upon arriving at the camp of Israel, David discovers a Philistine bully who has been taunting the soldiers for 40 days. The first thing you notice about this encounter is David’s response to what those around him are saying.

 

It captures his attention when he hears of rewards and blessing from the king on the one who defeats this giant. Even though this isn’t one of the key elements to learn about David’s story, it is interesting to note that this incident is what triggers those three key elements.

The manner of David’s response to such blessing, is to speak of this adversary as an enemy of God. To call Goliath uncircumcised is to refer to him as one without the blessing of God; as one who opposes God thereby opposing the armies of the living God.

 

The intensity of David’s words gets him an audience with the king.

 

Consider this.

 

The words of this young man, who is possibly in his early twenties, are so powerful that those around him believe him. In fact they believe it so much that they begin talking about his words to others.

It is the depth of what David believes that is conveyed by what he says.

This is what gets him an audience with the king.

 

Anyone can say anything; but those who are convinced at what they believe are those who speak with boldness and authority.

David had so much confidence in his God that it showed up in both his attitude as well as his words.

To have that much confidence in your God is the first key of David’s encounter with the giant

The question becomes how does one gain such confidence?

The answer is by developing an intimate relationship.

Do you suppose that David was simply counting sheep when the idea of a psalm just rolled across his brain? Would you imagine that he spent his days talking to the sheep or learning their ways? Do you think the young shepherd gained such confidence by yelling at the lion and the bear as they attacked the sheep? David gained such confidence by spending time with the God of his forefathers.

He listened to the stories the Rabbi’s would tell. He would go into the field and meditate on them. He did this so much that it inspired words that became songs.

This is the second key element of David’s life. Confidence grew into passion.

These songs lifted his spirit and brought boldness into his heart so that he did not fear when the lion and the bear came to attack the sheep. Each of these things played important roles in helping David develop such confidence in his God.

Before David could have confidence in the Lord, he had to have a relationship with him. This built trust, which lead to faith, which lead to confidence.

Once David knew the depth of trust he could place in the Lord, he was able to rely on him to take care of him.

This enabled him to stand in the midst of certain defeat and proclaim unwavering victory.

Once David found out how certain God’s care of him was, he had no problem proving God in impossible situations.

This reveals the third element of David’s life; he lived in boldness.

This is why he ran toward the giant instead of away from him.

What this means for the believer today is that you must start by building a relationship with the godhead. Such a relationship is not unlike any natural relationship you build with another person. It starts with communication that grows to confidence that develops trust that moves one to boldness.

 

David grew up strong and brave, not afraid of the wild beasts that prowled around and tried to carry away his sheep. More than once he fought with lions, and bears, and killed them when they seized the lambs of his flock. David, alone all day, practiced throwing stones in a sling, until he could strike exactly the place for which he aimed. When he swung his sling, he knew that the stone would go to the very spot at which he was throwing it.

It seemed as though David had forgotten about being anointed with oil by the prophet to lead God’s people. Yet on the other hand, it was like God was preparing the young man for the adventure of his life.

David never stopped thinking of God, or singing songs to him. He talked with God, and God talked with him showing David His will.

After Saul had disobeyed the voice of the Lord, the Spirit of the Lord left Saul, and no longer spoke to him. And Saul became very sad of heart. At times madness would come upon him. Saul was very unhappy and his servants knew it. They noticed that when someone played the harp and sang, that Saul became more cheerful; and the sadness of soul left him.

Saul recognized this too and commanded that someone be found who could play well, and that he be brought to him.

One of the young men spoke to him about a young man, a son of Jesse in Bethlehem, who can play well.

Then Saul sent a message to Jesse, David’s father. Telling him to send David, the one who is with the sheep; he must come and play before me.

David came to Saul, bringing with him a present for the king from Jesse. When Saul saw him, he loved him, as did everybody who saw the young man. David played on the harp, and sang before Saul. David’s music cheered Saul’s heart, and drove away his sad feelings.

Saul liked David so well that he made him his armor bearer; and David carried the shield and spear, and sword for Saul, when the king was before his army.

But Saul did not know that Samuel had anointed David.

After a time, Saul seemed well, so David returned to Bethlehem and his sheep.

Perhaps it was at this time that David sang his shepherd song, or it may have been long afterward, when David looked back in thought to those days when he was leading his sheep. No one knows for certain; but what is certain is this is a song that has been heard often.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leades me beside the still waters,
He restores my soul;
He leades me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me;
Your rod and staff comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil until my cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

We know it as Psalms 23; David knew it as a song to the Lord.

The lesson from my Mentor

                  1) The promise of God rarely happens the way we think

It is possible, probable even, that when David was told he had to go to the palace to play his harp for the king, that he thought of God’s promise to promote him to be king. This however was very far from the case. As we understand from history, this incident in David’s life set the stage to prepare David for that kingship.

If we are not careful, we will miss the blessing of the Lord by being wrapped up in thoughts of what didn’t happen—David being announced the king—and completely miss the preparations the moment was intended to accomplish. Even though it isn’t stated in scriptures, David learned a lot about running a kingdom during he stay in the palace.

                 2) The promise is often wrapped in a journey

I am discovering that the promises of God are often revealed at the end of an adventure with the godhead rather than simply handed to me after I have prayed long enough. As it turns out, this was David’s first encounter with the king and the palace. It was the first step towards the fulfilling of the promise of God in David’s life.

               3) The attitude of the heart is key

It is certainly understandable that David would have been disappointed when he returned to being a shepherd. There is a proverb that says—according to a contemporary translation—you find what is in the heart by giving it a little fame. If David had ill motives about being king, they were certainly challenged when he had to return to the sheep. If we have ill motives in our heart, the Lord will certainly reveal them to us in order to rid them from our heart. This is an act of love, not of anger or disappointment. Much could be said of this lesson. It is a place where the adversary of our soul could run wild thereby destroying—at the least severely damaging—the heart.

THE STORY OF THE FIGHT WITH THE GIANT

All through the reign of Saul, there was constant war with the Philistines who lived upon the lowlands west of Israel. At one time when David was still with his sheep, a few years after he had been anointed by Samuel, the camps of the Philistines and the Israelites were set against each other on opposite sides of the valley of Elah. In the army of Israel were the three oldest brothers of David.

Every day a giant came out of the camp of the Philistines and dared someone to come from the Israelites’ camp and fight with him. The giant’s name was Goliath. He was nine feet tall and wore armor from head to foot. He carried a spear twice as long and as heavy as any other man could hold. He had a shield bearer who walked before him. He came every day and called out across the little valley:

“I am a Philistine, and you are servants of Saul. Now choose one of your men, and let him come out and fight with me. If I kill him; then you shall submit to us; and if he kills me, then we will give up to you. Come, now, send out your man!”

But no man in the army, not even King Saul, dared to go out and fight with the giant. Forty days the camps stood against each other and the Philistine giant continued his call.

One day Jesse sent his son David to visit his three brothers in the army. David came and spoke to his brothers; and while he was talking with them, Goliath the giant came out as before in front of the camp calling for some one to fight with him.

They said one to another:

“If any man will go out and kill this Philistine, the king will give him a great reward and a high rank; and the king’s daughter shall be his wife.”

And David said:

“Who is this man that speaks in this proud manner against the armies of the living God? Why does not some one go out and kill him?”

David’s brother Eliab said to him:

“What are you doing here, leaving your sheep in the field? I know that you have come down just to see the battle.”

But David did not care for his brother’s words. He thought he saw a way to kill this boasting giant; and he said:

“If no one else will go, I will go out and fight with this enemy of the Lord’s people.”

They brought David before King Saul. Some years had passed since Saul had met David, and he had grown from a boy to a man, so that Saul did not know him as the shepherd who had played on the harp before him in other days.

Saul said to David:

“You cannot fight with this great giant. You are very young; and he is a man of war, trained from his youth.”

And David answered King Saul:

“I am only a shepherd, but I have fought with lions and bears, when they have tried to steal my sheep. And I am not afraid to fight with this Philistine.”

Then Saul put his own armor on David — a helmet on his head, and a coat of mail on his body, and a sword at his waist. But Saul was almost a giant, and his armor was far too large for David. David said:

“I am not used to fighting with such weapons as these. Let me fight in my own way.”

So David took off Saul’s armor. While everybody in the army had been looking on the giant with fear, David had been thinking out the best way for fighting him; and God had given to David a plan. It was to throw the giant off his guard, by appearing weak and helpless; and while so far away that the giant could not reach him with sword or spear, to strike him down with a weapon which the giant would not expect and would not be prepared for.

David took his shepherd’s staff in his hand, as though that were to be his weapon. But out of sight, in a bag under his mantle, he had five smooth stones carefully chosen, and a sling, — the weapon that he knew how to use. Then he came out to meet the Philistine.

The giant looked down on the youth and despised him, and laughed.

“Am I a dog?” he said, “that this boy comes to me with a staff? I will give his body to the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field.”

And the Philistine cursed David by the gods of his people. And David answered him:

“You come against me with a sword, and a spear, and a dart; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel. “This day will the Lord give you into my hand,” was David’s reply. “I will strike you down, and take off your head, and the host of the Philistines shall be dead bodies, to be eaten by the birds and the beasts; so that all may know that there is a God in Israel, and that He can save in other ways besides with sword and spear.”

And David ran toward the Philistine, as if to fight him with his shepherd’s staff. But when he was just near enough for a good aim, he took out his sling, and hurled a stone aimed at the giant’s forehead. David’s aim was good; the stone struck the Philistine in his forehead. It stunned him, and he fell to the ground.

While the two armies stood wondering, and scarcely knowing what had caused the giant to fall so suddenly, David ran forward, drew out the giant’s own sword, and cut off his head. Then the Philistines knew that their great warrior in whom they trusted was dead. They turned to flee to their own land; and the Israelites followed after them, and killed them by the hundred and the thousand, even to the gates of their own city of Gath.

So in that day David won a great victory and stood before all the land as the one who had saved his people from their enemies.

The lesson from my Mentor

  1. David obeyed his father, which brought face-to-face with his destiny

In his instructions to children of Israel, Moses instructs them to be careful to walk down every road the Lord shows them. This is what David was doing, simply obeying his father’s instructions. Who knows Jesse’s motive for sending his son to the camp. Perhaps it was strictly out of desire to check on his boys that were following king Saul into battle. Perhaps he was following a prompting of the Lord to send David. Either way, the key factor is that David was simply obeying. When prophet Elisha told Naaman to dip seven times in the dirty river Jordon, the leporous general refused until a servant had him think better of it. The servant asked the military leader a very simple question. “If he had asked you to do some great thing, would you not have done it,” he asked? “What is wrong with doing some simple thing as he asked,” he said to his master. The result is the same. Naaman was healed, David took another step toward his destiny.

2. This encounter revealed David’s heart

What do you think David was thinking about on his trek to the battlefield? Do you think destiny occupied any part of his thinking? Perhaps, but I would rather think he was looking forward to watching a battle unfold. It was only after David arrived that he learned of the situation. It was only after he heard the chatter about what would happen to the person who defeated the giant that David’s heart was stirred. There are two—equally important parts to understand. David heard that he would be rich, his family taken care of and someone famous in Israel. This was David’s lower nature or his flesh. It is important to note that it was—and will always be—present in our natural lives. The second part to be revealed is anger over someone openly defiling his God. This is the spirit nature. Both moved David; however only one would enact faith. The lower nature is unwilling to risk loosing what you already have. Maintaining status quo is its motto. The spirit nature isn’t willing to risk loosing, it simply accepts victory as the outcome thereby appearing to risk looking like a fool—and thereby risk loosing everything—in order to step out.

3. Faith is the key

I am certain that when David was chasing the bear’s and lion’s away from the sheep, that he had no idea that they would be tools of preparation for his destiny. As David’s heart is revealed, we see these past victories rise like cream to the top of his heart. Those victories were stowed away waiting for the right moment to spring back to life in his heart. However faith served only as the springboard to move David forward. He could have been encouraged by those memories and equally discouraged by all the negative talk around him. He could have chosen to look at Goliath and whisper, “Sure, I fought lions and bears, but he is too big to hurt,” and no one would have said a word about it. David chose, however, to cry out, “He is too big to miss; let me gather some stones!”

This is the kind of faith that resides in everyone who presses into a close personal relationship with the godhead.

Samuel

Living at Ramah, in the mountains of Ephraim, there was a man whose name was Elkanah. He had two wives, as did many men in that time. One of these wives had children, but the other wife, whose name was Hannah, had no child.

Every year Elkanah and his family went up to worship at the house of the Lord in Shiloh, which was about fifteen miles from his home. And at one of these visits Hannah prayed to the Lord, saying:

“O Lord, if thou wilt look upon me, and give me a son, he shall be given to the Lord as long as he lives.”

The Lord heard Hannah’s prayer, and gave her a little boy, and she called his name Samuel, which means “Asked of God”; because he had been given in answer to her prayer.

Samuel grew up to be a good man and a wise Judge, and he made his sons Judges in Israel, to help him in the care of the people. But Samuel’s sons did not walk in his ways. They did not try always to do justly.

The elders of all the tribes of Israel came to Samuel at his home in Ramah; and they said to him: “You are growing old, and your sons do not rule as well as you ruled. All the lands around us have kings. Let us have a king also; and do you choose the king for us.”

This was not pleasing to Samuel. He tried to make the people change their minds, and showed them what trouble a king would bring them.

But they would not follow his advice. They said: “No; we will have a king to reign over us.”

So Samuel chose as their king a tall young man named Saul, who was a farmer’s son of the tribe of Benjamin. When Saul was brought before the people he stood head and shoulders above them all. And Samuel said:

“Look at the man whom the Lord has chosen! There is not another like him among all the people!”

And all the people shouted, “God save the king! Long live the king!”

Then Samuel told the people what should be the laws for the king and for the people to obey. He wrote them down in a book, and placed the book before the Lord. Then Samuel sent the people home; and Saul went back to his own house at a place called Gibeah; and with Saul went a company of men to whose hearts God had given a love for the king.

The lesson from my Mentor

1) keep my commandment

We live according to the words of God. If the Father spoke it, it is for a reason and the reason—even though not understood—will bless your life.

2) the plans of God are long-term

It took years for Samuel to grow and mature into the godly man the Lord both intended him to be as well as the man he needed him to be.

3) the patience of the Lord is beyond comprehension

God’s plans are so complete, so precise, that they take years to be fulfilled. This requires patience on our part allowing His plans to be carried out in our lives.

“And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.” I Sam. 16:1

 

So after three hundred years under the fifteen Judges, Israel now had a king. But among the people there were some who were not pleased with the new king, because he was an unknown man from the farm. They said:

“Can such a man as this save us?”

They showed no respect to the king, and in their hearts looked down upon him. But Saul said nothing, and showed his wisdom by appearing not to notice them. But in another thing he was not so wise. He forgot to heed the old prophet’s advice and instructions about ruling wisely and doing as the Lord said. It was not long before Samuel told him that he had disobeyed God and would lose his kingdom.

When Samuel told Saul that the Lord would take away the kingdom from him, he did not mean that Saul should lose the kingdom at once. He was no longer God’s king; and as soon as the right man in God’s sight should be found, and should be trained for his duty as king, then God would take away Saul’s power, and would give it to the man whom God had chosen. But it was years before this came to pass.

The Lord said to Samuel: “Do not weep and mourn any longer over Saul, for I have refused him as king. Fill the horn with oil, and go to Bethlehem in Judah. There find a man named Jesse, for I have chosen a king among his sons.”

But Samuel knew that Saul would be very angry, if he should learn that Samuel had named any other man as king. He said to the Lord:

“How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.”

The Lord said to Samuel: “Take a young cow with you; and tell the people that you have come to make an offering to the Lord. And call Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice. I will tell you what to do, and you shall anoint the one whom I name to you.”

Samuel went over the mountains southward from Ramah to Bethlehem, about ten miles, leading a cow.

The lesson from my Mentor

1) the Lord’s will shall be done

Even though God had chosen Saul to lead his people, it was depended upon Saul obeying the voice of the Lord. Once God saw this was no longer the case, he removed Saul.

2) how you finish is important

Saul began with a right attitude. This is what allowed him to experience the successes he had. However pride began to creep in which caused him to believe he could do things his way. It became his down-fall.

3) the attitude of the heart is key

Once Saul began to entertain pride, his heart began to change. The Bible clearly instructs us to keep a sharp eye out on our heart, protecting it at all cost. By not doing this, Saul lost his place in God’s plan.

The rulers of the town were alarmed at his coming, for they feared that he had come to judge the people for some evil-doing. But Samuel said:

“I have come in peace to make an offering and to hold a feast to the Lord. Prepare yourselves and come to the sacrifice.”

And he invited Jesse and his sons to the service. When they came, he looked at the sons of Jesse very closely. The oldest was named Eliab, and he was so tall and noble-looking that Samuel thought:

“Surely this young man must be the one whom God has chosen.”

But the Lord said to Samuel:

“Do not look on his face, nor on the height of his body, for I have not chosen him. Man judges by the outward looks, but God looks at the heart.”

Then Jesse’s second son, named Abinadab, passed by. And the Lord said: “I have not chosen this one.” Seven young men came and Samuel said:

“None of these is the man whom God has chosen. Are these all your children?”

“There is one more,” said Jesse. “The youngest of all. He is a boy, in the field caring for the sheep.”

And Samuel said:

“Send for him; for we will not sit down until he comes.” So after a time the youngest son was brought in. His name was David, a word that means “darling,” and he was a beautiful boy, perhaps fifteen years old, with fresh cheeks and bright eyes.

As soon as the young David came, the Lord said to Samuel:

“Arise, anoint him, for this is the one whom I have chosen.”

Then Samuel poured oil on David’s head, in the presence of all his brothers. But no one knew at that time the anointing to mean that David was to be the king. Perhaps they thought that David was chosen to be a prophet like Samuel.

From that time the Spirit of God came upon David, and he began to show signs of coming greatness. He went back to his sheep on the hillsides around Bethlehem, but God was with him.

 

What effect did this have on David? Did he become proud? Did he dress himself in royal robes? Not at all! He went back to his sheep. But a heavenly spirit surrounded him. His prayers, his Psalms and his music, full of this Divine spirit, traveled and spread across the hills of Judah, and whoever heard them felt as if a new soul had awakened in him. The sad person was filled with joy; the downcast felt his heart revive; he who had lost hope regained his faith and all exclaimed: “Listen! It is David, the son of Jesse, who is singing!”

The lesson from my Mentor

  1. God does not lie

This lesson is not apparent because the promise of God has just been spoken over David’s life. It is important to note however since it will be many years before he is called King David.

2. David’s heart in contrast to Saul’s heart

Once Saul was selected Israel’s first king, like David, he went back to doing what he had done. The difference is that Saul’s heart began to be lifted up in pride. David continued doing what he had always done. This time however there was a difference; an anointing was present that had not been there. This is represented in the story by people in various stages of sadness or pain found comfort and hope when David sang out his psalms while watching the sheep.

3. The presence of God—the Holy Spirit—is key

David had to be aware of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit when he sang. This inspired David rather than filled him with pride. This was a heart that could be used to fulfill the will of the Lord

Moses

Moses is likely one of the most studied men in the Old Testament. I still recall a statement about Moses that I heard in Bible College. It went like this. Moses spend 40 years of his life thinking he was somebody; 40 years of his life thinking he was nobody; and 40 years of his life finding out what God can do with a nobody. In this portion of Lessons from my Mentor’s, I am focusing on the last 40 years—finding out what God can do with a nobody. In fact, Moses is near the end of his natural life. He has endured the exodus from Egypt, the rebellions of the children of Israel, and the 40-year trek through the wilderness. This portion of his story is found in the book of Deuteronomy, where he is giving the children of Israel one last bit of instruction before they cross the river Jordan to enter the Promised Land. Follow along in the eighth chapter as he unfolds the Father’s plans for Israel.

“Keep and live out the entire commandment that I’m commanding you today.” Here is a condition to the fulfillment of a promise that was made hundred’s of years earlier to the patriarch Abraham. Pay very special attention to this, for it is of utmost importance. The God who does not lie promises to give Abraham’s descendants a certain plot of land. The birth of that promise is days away and Moses stands to proclaim to Israel to keep and live out the entire commandment. A book could be written on that phrase alone, but it is important to see the heart of the godhead as this historic event takes place.

“Keep and live out the entire commandment that I’m commanding you today so that”—in order that, to allow you to—“you will live and prosper and enter and own the land that God promised to your ancestors.”

Allow me to take a little poetic license and expound on what Elohim just said. He says to them, I understand that you are cut from the same cloth as your parents who are buried throughout the wilderness that you have just left. I understand the propensity for you to act just like them. Because of that I want you to understand how much I desire for you to enter into this centuries old promise that I made with Abraham. I meant what I said then, and I mean what I say now; I want you to have this land. However, I know what it will take for you to keep this land as much as I know what it will take for you to be removed from it. Because of that, it is vitally important that you do the following:

  • keep my commandment
  • remember your past—the manifold trials that I brought you through
  • remember my discipline was and is in love
  • remember how you overcame each trail—by obeying my word
  • remember to obey and reverence me

There are five things that the Father wants the children of Israel to know. This means that these five things are for us to embrace today. There will be more about that a little further down the page.

Before we forget, understand the heart of the Father in this. The Lord is saying that a promise is about to be fulfilled. He wants his children to understand how important that promise is. For this reason he reminds them of these five necessary things, but not before outlining something very important.

“Keep and live out the entire commandment that I’m commanding you today so that you will live and prosper and enter and own the land that God promised to your ancestors.”

The Father is saying, Please know my dear children that it is my desire that you have this. I want you to live; I want you to prosper; I want you to enter; and I want you to own the land; but I also want you to keep it. And in order to keep you, you must do these five things,

  • keep my commandment
  • remember your past—the manifold trials that I brought you through
  • remember my discipline was and is in love
  • remember how you overcame each trail—by obeying my word
  • remember to obey and reverence me

Allow me to break this down in order to gain a greater level of understanding.

There are two ways to keep commandments; by fear or by reverence. The first illustration is easy. I obey the posted speed limit for “fear” of seeing those flashing blue lights in my rear-view mirror. I do not reverence the officer as he or she walks up to my car with their hand on their pistol, I fear that a few hundred dollars is coming out of my account.

If this explains your relationship with the godhead, then you will have a difficult time moving forward into the promise land. Your mind will be filled with worry that you are about to get caught doing something you know you should not be doing—even though in your heart you desire (take pleasure even) doing. This is a definition of religion by keeping you in line through fear and intimidation.

Reverence however is far different. Reverence speaks of admiration. You do or do not do something out of love or respect for someone. This speaks of relationship, in this case, with the godhead—God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It can take time to develop such a relationship; which is a downside to the world we live in today. If it takes too long, we get anxious, upset or even angry. The society we live in today perpetuates such behavior with instant everything. However taking the necessary steps to develop such a relationship will have tremendous rewards.

Another downside to the world we live in today is that of remembrance. To remember your past is not to remember the bad negative things, which is what our world teaches us. Rather it is to remember the rough road and how our Father showed up to get us through it. Another of my mentor’s, David, has a lot of examples of this. The result of the world’s example of remembering your past leads to anger and depression while the Lord’s way leads to hope and a future.

Discipline is hardly ever a fun thing to endure. However it is a necessary thing if we are to enjoy the good life the Lord speaks of in Moses’ story. The problem with having no moral absolute is not having a consequence for your actions. In my opinion, this is why our Hollywood hero’s of today live on the edge of the law, breaking it whenever they deem it appropriate in order to accomplish their objective—whatever that may be. Discipline means learning a better way of doing something in order to become a better person.

David offers some great insight into this fourth remembrance. In fact, this is the crux of what the Lord is speaking to Moses. Later in this chapter he tells the children of Israel not to think this happened because of their ability—oh no—but because of their willingness to obey the voice of the Lord.

The fifth remembrance echoes the first as a reminder to constantly check our intention. Am I doing this out of fear or out of love? Am I begrudging this or am I willingly—while not even understanding it—doing this?

Understanding the heart of Abba

“Keep and live out the entire commandment that I’m commanding you today so that you will live and prosper and enter and own the land that God promised to your ancestors.”

The Lord has patiently waited over 400 years for this day to arrive. There are multitudes of reason why; but understand that he is finally able to fulfill the promise he made to Abraham all those years ago. Notice what he doesn’t say. He doesn’t say, okay, here it is, you’ve earned it, enjoy it.

No, he wants to make certain that they not only enjoy it, but also keep it. The heart of our Father says, I want you to live, I want you to prosper, I want you to enter and I want you to own this promise. It is his delight to do this. Anytime you are in doubt of your situation, your place or your purpose, remember the Father’s heart to the Children of Israel.

 

The lesson from my Mentor

  • keep my commandment

We live according to the words of God. If the Father spoke it, it is for a reason and the reason—even though not understood—will bless your life.

  • remember your past—the manifold trials that I brought you through

It is important to rehearse what you came out of. In the story of David, you will find that in one of the darkest moments of his life, he encouraged himself in the Lord his God. He did this by rehearsing the struggles that his God delivered him out of.

  • remember my discipline was and is in love

This is foundation of our human existence, God so loved that he gave. It is the cornerstone of our obedience out of reverence rather than fear or obligation.

  • remember how you overcame each trail—by obeying my word

To obey means to trust; no matter what it looks like. To trust means to close your eyes and move forward at the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

  • remember to obey and reverence me

This speaks so deeply of relationship. It is paramount that an intimate relationship is built with the godhead. It is the only way you will be able to obey him. When you love someone, you become willing to do things that would otherwise be difficult to do.