Morning Light – Deuteronomy 30

[Deuteronomy 30] Returning to the Lord. What does it mean to return to the Lord? Is it merely a sentiment of regret for wrong choices? What are the pitfalls that keep us from returning to God in some particular area of our lives? What does repentance look like? Is it merely going to church or measuring up to cultural conditioning or imposed religious expectation? What is God’s response to a return to Him? Is it an immediate breakthrough or something more involved? All these questions are addressed in today’s chapter.

[Deu 30:1-20 KJV] 1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call [them] to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, 2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. 4 If [any] of thine be driven out unto the outmost [parts] of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: 5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. 6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. 7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. 8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. 9 And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: 10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, [and] if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. 11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it [is] not hidden from thee, neither [is] it far off. 12 It [is] not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither [is] it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word [is] very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, [and that] ye shall not prolong [your] days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, [and] that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he [is] thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

It has been said that God is the God of the second chance. People can be very unforgiving and will seldom forget your failures, but God will always give you the opportunity to turn from the path of destruction and find recovery and restoration. How do you return to God? You return to God by returning to His voice. There are many opinions about what repentance looks like, but verse 2 makes it plain that restoration and recovery from failure and a backslidden condition is returning to the voice of God in His word and in your heart. Notice the verse says to return to what God commands “this day”. When you have lost your way, ask yourself what is the last thing that you KNOW God told you to do? Go back and establish what accountability to that looks like and wait for further instructions.

What do we know about the voice of God? The voice of God is heard in the scriptures and in the still small voice.

[Pro 1:8 KJV] 8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

The voice of God is more than the words of the bible. Isaiah said this:

[Isa 30:21 KJV] 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

God’s voice is always available. God’s voice speaks in the silence between your own thoughts. God’s voice speaks from the inventory of scriptural meditation – it is very important to absorb large passages of scripture. Your study of the scripture becomes the resource that God will draw on to constitute His voice within you.

How do we “return” to God? The word means not just to turn but to “turn about” or “turn around”. In what direction? Luke 17:20,21 says that the kingdom of God is within – therefore, returning to God involves turning from outward distraction to inward focus where you will find the voice and spirit of God on the inside. Col. 1:26,27 says that Christ in you is the mystery of the Gospel. Christ in you is the hope of Glory that Phil. 4:19 says out of which God will meet all your need.

As a result of returning to God, He will turn our captivity. The word turn here is the same word used calling upon us to return to Him. The word captivity here means “to lead”. Every choice we make is a leading. Many times, we hear the statement “just be led.” There is really no other path in life. You are being led by one thing or the other. When we return to the Lord, He will break into the false leading of emotional decisions, mental distractions, and demonic captivity and restore us to the leading of the Lord. Our lives are always tracking in a direction. This implies a process. Often we expect the end result without the necessary process. When the children of Israel were promised freedom from Egypt’s bondage, they no doubt did not anticipate the process of going through the wilderness. Restoration to God is restoration to His leading, which implies yieldeness and obedience. Many get offended right here because of wrong teaching. There are two types of wrong teaching that are often used by leaders: 1.) Promising outcome without process; 2.) Teaching process without outcome. Both of these are equally harmful and will destroy hope. The necessity of process LEADING to outcome is what Jesus implied when He said, “I am the WAY (process); TRUTH (leading); and the LIFE (outcome).

Verses 12-14 of this passage are quoted in Romans 10 and constitute the foundation for the sinner’s prayer and accepting Jesus as your savior. Being born again is the experience of God circumcising your heart. We often rush people through this experience, and as a result, their conversion is not clear. Did you know that in the early church, it took up to three years before you were considered even ready to be baptized in water? Jesus said to go out and make DISCIPLES, not decisions for Christ. This implies much more. A person decides to accept Jesus as savior but receiving Him as Lord involves more than mental assent or decision. Many Christians flounder about through their Christian life because they have not been taught to be disciples, to be followers. Leaders unfortunately seldom stray beyond the shallowest of interactions with their constituents and are accused of being heavy-handed or cultic if they suggest that the discipline process is involved in becoming accountable to Jesus not only as savior but as Lord as well.

God promises to curse your enemies. Unfortunately, Christians often make enemies of one another. As a result, whole communities of Christians are confused, outside of God’s blessing, and broken-hearted because of unforgiveness, competition, strife, and warfare between brother and brother that leaves all parties involved estranged from God’s blessing. We must identify this in ourselves and move away from all strife. We must do like Abraham did with Lot – give them their choice and move away to a place of isolation at times in order to see God’s blessing restored in our lives. I’veee experienced just this same thing at a time when dear brothers in Christ came to us with blistering and completely erroneous rebuke and warfare. Without answering one charge, we said, “just remember the last time you saw us; we were moving toward you in love…” We then relinquished it all and spent months in almost total isolation. During that time was when Father’s Heart Ministry began to flourish. Equally, during that time, our enemy’s lives fell apart in heartbreaking ways. You must learn that humility is your only defense when your enemy is your brother or sister in Christ. Break off the warfare on your part and go low and worship God till relief comes.

In return, God will make you plenteous and rejoice over you for good. If that doesn’t describe where you are at right now, then ask yourself, is there an area of returning to God needed? Are there things that you know God told you that you have neglected and ignored? What was the last thing you know God told you? What leading has God given you that has been ignored because you didn’t know how to bring it about yourself? What strife-filled relationship needs to be broken off no matter what the cost? What act of obedience constitutes what “seek the kingdom” looks like in your life? What process of God have you rejected because you offended at not getting instant results? Return there and determine not merely mental agreement but actual and concrete steps you can take to establish obedience to God, and you will see relief come and the blessing restored in your life.

15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, [and that] ye shall not prolong [your] days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, [and] that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he [is] thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

There are no guard rails in the narrow path that Jesus taught on. The precipice of “death and evil” are always a few steps away. So is the path that leads to life and to good. God will not leave you where you are at. Many people love the Lord, but they refuse to walk in His ways. It isn’t enough just to love Him. You must DO something. When you begin to walk in His ways, then process is initiated. While you are in process, this is the time to KEEP His commandments. This is a threefold cord of proceeding in God that cannot be broken if you expect to see good success in your life.

1.)Love the Lord
2.)Walk-in His ways
3.)Keep His commandments

Many try to keep His commandments, but their love is cold, and they refuse to walk in His ways. They don’t understand why they are not blessed because they haven’t been taught the ways of the Spirit and walking in God and maintaining fidelity in process. This is what the full bandwidth of obedience looks like. Most of your friends and those close to you will reject you if you move in this direction. Your sacrificial obedience will offend them. Your refusal to include them or consult them will offend them. Your rejection of their illegitimate influence in your life will turn them against you. Most people quit right here because the isolation is too much to bear. Make it your determination to fulfill the mandate of discipleship in your life. The result is life and good and health not only for you but those that come after you.

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