Blessing or Curse: It’s Up to You

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.”

– Deuteronomy 29:29

2016 has already been an immensely challenging year for me. I entered the year looking for a job, hit 30 a few months in, and generally struggled to feel contentment in my life.

Fast forward to April: I started my new job, found a new place to live, and really felt like the struggles of my 20s were quickly becoming a thing of the past. And yet…the insecurities still linger. To this day even. What if I’m supposed to be doing something else in my career? What if I had made different decisions during the last decade of my life?

And with these questions swirling in my mind this morning, God spoke such an incredible truth to me that I wanted to share with you today.

For the past year and a half, I have been waking up around 20 minutes earlier to make sure I spend time in the Word before I go about my day. During this year, I’ve been using this plan to read through the Bible during this time. This morning, the assigned reading (Deuteronomy 29 and 30) was like God was speaking directly to my heart and to my present struggles.

So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.”

– Deuteronomy 30:1-3

A major theme in Deuteronomy is the idea of “the blessing and the curse which [God has] set before you” (30:1). Usually I read that and think of terrible things being pitted against very good things. And frankly, it’s tough to imagine why we would ever choose the curse with that mindset.

But it was today that it really hit me: God is speaking to our heart regarding how we choose to react to Him working in our lives. God is going to do what He has planned for us, and the idea of it being a “blessing or a curse” really boils down to how we choose to view His work. Are we going to focus on the negative? Or are we going to move forward in full confidence that “the secret things belong to the Lord our God” (29:29) and maybe we just don’t have the same perspective that He does?

“For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may observe it.”

– Deuteronomy 30:11-14

What an amazing passage to remind us of how God truly meets us where we are! But today, it really hit me that God is also saying that the commands He speaks of here in our life are not situational. They are not only applicable when we have reached the mountaintops of life. They are not only applicable when we have reached the other side of life’s greatest struggles. They are applicable today. And that means that it is our attitude and mindset that becomes paramount as we venture into a sometimes uncertain future.

“Moreover, the Lord your God will curcumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.

– Deuteronomy 30:6

As I pray to God for a “circumcised heart” this week, I will also be praying for the strength to cast aside my doubts, fears, and inner thoughts to react to situations in a way that pleases God. Whether it’s something at work or in my personal life, God is placing before us blessings and curses, and gives us the ability to choose which path we want to take. And even when it’s not a simple matter of “bad thing vs good thing”, my prayer will be that I will choose the path of life.

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days…”

– Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Have a great week everyone!

-Paul

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