5 Things the Lord Requires
Have you ever suffered from a stiff neck?
Sometimes, when I sleep wrong at night, I wake with a stiff neck and turning my head to the left or right is uncomfortable. If you’ve had a stiff neck, you know what I’m talking about. It restricts and affects all of your movements through out the day. It cannot be ignored and the only way to be relieved of the tension is to loosen it up.
As we read through Deuteronomy chapters 6-10, we see the deep love the Lord has for His chosen people. Even in their unrighteousness, He extends blessings and protection.
But we also see Israel called, through out the Old Testament, stiff-necked and stubborn.
“Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.”
~ Deuteronomy 9:6
“The Lord said to me, ‘I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stubborn people.”
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.
The word stubborn in theses verses is interchangeable with the word stiff-necked.
Stubborn means: “having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.”
Are you stubborn?
Some synonyms for the word stubborn are strong-willed, difficult, and inflexible.
We see in Deuteronomy 10:16 that stubbornness is a matter of the heart.
Stubbornness comes from a hard heart.
We all have a level of hardness. None of us are living our lives perfectly.
Hardness of heart comes from a lack of repentance. Hardness starts small. It’s just one rationalization, one justification, or one minimization away…and slowly our heart grows hard.
Only conviction of our sin, softens a heart but when we live in denial of our sin and stay in a place where we are not confessing our sins to God regularly – our sin grows and our hardness grows and our stubbornness grows. We become separated from God by our sin. We cling to our wrong doing and live in denial of the consequences ahead for our sin.
When Adam and Eve ate from the tree in the Garden of Eden – God did not wink at them and say – “it’s okay”. No, He kicked them out of the garden, put an angel with a flaming sword to guard the garden and then gave them consequences.
Sometimes we think we are the exception. That consequences are for others – but we cannot escape them. Consequences are not always immediate – but they do come.
“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves.” Hebrews 12:6
God disciplines us because we were not designed to live with hard hearts – it limits our lives and is not God’s best for us.
Ignoring our sin by denying, rationalizing, minimizing and justifying it – is like taking your car to a mechanic and learning you need something small fixed. If you ignore the mechanic – a few months later – you may end up with a large repair that could have been avoided had you paid the mechanic to fix the minor repair.
What small sin in your life have you ignored?
Fix it now through repentance.
Often times a person with a hard heart doesn’t want to do the work to change a habitual sin – especially if it’s hurt others. It’s a lot of work to deal with sin and it takes humility to go to people we have hurt and repent. Sometimes we are so busy being right or looking good, we deny the hurt we have caused.
We become rigid..and stiff-necked…and stubborn.
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
We cannot follow our hearts. Our hearts deceive us. Our natural pull is toward hardness of heart not softness. So if we do not have intimacy with God – then I can tell you where you’ll end up…with a hard heart.
And so that brings us to Deuteronomy 10:12 & 13
12 “What does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?
This passage tells us:
5 Things the Lord Requires of Us
1.) Fear the Lord your God
2.) Walk in all His ways
3.) Love God
4.) Serve the Lord your God with all your heart and soul
5.) Keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
Which of these 5 things are you struggling with today?
Is there something God is laying on your heart you need to deal with?
Has stubbornness crept into your life?
Commit here in the comment section to soften your heart today through confession and repentance.
Then strive to follow the five things in the list above: fear God, walk in his ways, love God, serve God and keep his commandments.
You will be blessed when you do.
Walk with the King,
For Further Reading
The GMG Leadership Team is Blogging Through the Bible Too! Visit their blogs here:
Becoming a Godly Wife – Bridget
Misty Leask – Misty
Rosilind Jukic – Rosilind
Worshipful Living – Mandy
Available on Amazon now!
Good Morning Girls – The Book of Deuteronomy Journal
(for ages 10-110)
Good Morning Guys – The Book of Deuteronomy Journal
(for your sons)
Walk in all of His ways! That is sometimes such a hard thing to do for my flesh. I want to walk in my ways. My prayer for today is to be more like Jesus and follow Him in all ways!
To walk in all His ways. I REACT to my kids and husband…instead of RESPONDING to them. I justify my frustrations with my husband and minimize my own part in our conflicts. Lord, help me remember the ugliness of my sin and the sacrifice You made to rescue me from it. Help me to turn from my sin and walk in your ways.
5) I feel convicted here I am not clear where I am failing I can’t bring my sin to light I don’t think I want to obey I still want to run from masculine authority that Daniel provides and I lose sight of my blessings when I wish I have been good years ago and had more babies together so I get jealousy at times which is hidden
I can improve in all of these, with his help.
I feel like I’m in a monkey trap with television. I turn to tv to refresh me at the end of a long day. I know there are better things, but I jUst want to be entertained after a long day. I know God is convicting me about it, but I ignore Him where this is concerned because I don’t want to do anything else.
I don’t know how to replace it and I get angry when I think about having to do something-anything-else at the end of a day full of kids and chores. What does He WANT me to do?
If this is God convicting you of this – then you want to listen to that still small voice and pray and ask God what he thinks you should do with this time. Perhaps it would be better used reading or even going to bed earlier. God will answer this prayer and show you.
If it is just guilt that you are putting on yourself – I want you to free yourself to relax and rest. There is nothing wrong with resting. You cannot work non-stop – your body was made to rest and you need to give yourself permission to do that.
My only advice is that you be sure that your television viewing is not stealing your sleep (which will make your next day more difficult) and that whatever you are watching is not hurting your walk with the Lord.
Lots of Love,
That’s a lovely balanced answer 🙂 I love this group.
I need to do better in each of them, especially Walking in all His ways. It’s so easy for me to just react to things and situations because of the hurt and pain from my past, and it’s become a habit. I pray that God will help to soften my heart, so I can be more like Him in all that I do.
What I struggle with is disappointment. Being a mom of 6 extremely busy children 20-7 and a husband who travels 25 days a month, there is always something going wrong. It seems as if the evil one is constantly throwing curve balls at us. And I am the one dealing with every aspect of everything. When I lift my difficulties up in prayer and what I hope to be answered isn’t , my heart grows heavy and my spirit grows tired.
I need to remember and to be thankful for my blessings. I need to thank Him for unanswered prayers. I need to stop being so selfish for my life not going my way and thanking Him for it going His way. And some days that is hard.
Father, I pray for Melissa and her family. You have blessed her an her husband with many children and she is alone most of the time to guide, nurture and show them how to walk this life. You know their circumstances of her struggles, reasons why her husband is working away from home, etc. I pray if possible he finds a job at their hometown where he can be present daily to lead his family, help support Melissa in decisions, with dinner, activities, and enjoy the family more. Bring about loving people to help her until hubby returns home. I pray you encourage Melissa and the Holy Spirit nudges her to stay in the Word daily to receive the strength you’ve already given her for each day. I feel for her, remembering this season of our families lives. In Jesus name, amen.
First, what a great and convicting post. My biggest stuggle is getting over my past sins. Maybe it’s the devil, but I’m constantly second guessing true happiness because I feel like I don’t really deserve it. I’m focused on living closer to Him and I know I’m a good person, it just feels like I’m not good enough and I’m just waiting for the day I sit in front of the judgement seat. Maybe it’s still stubbornness in my heart. Any suggested studies to help would be welcomed!!
When you feel yourself second guessing, and bringing up your past in your head or in reactions, pause and take it to God in prayer. Ask Him if this is true of you, and if you know it is not, then “grab and toss” those thoughts. But as we empty ourselves of negative thoughts and things that are untrue, we need to fill ourselves up with the truth and knowledge of Who We Are in Christ. As you read the bible and seek God, He will show you and remind you that you are a daughter of the One True King!
I would say that I struggle in all areas to some extent. The last year or so I have been more committed to being in God’s word and keeping a prayer journal where I not only focus on praising God for who he is but also confessing my sins. God has used this renewed commitment to deepen my love and fear of him, and to bring to light sins I have not wanted to see or deal with. While it is hard and humbling, I enjoy so much more grace and peace in my relationship with him. Jesus paid it all, I am free, and he lives in me to sanctify my heart and mind so I can already take hold of the promised land.
I love this idea. Spending time praying where we are only praising God for WHO He is not what I have gotten from Him and then focusing on confessing sins. Definitely going to add this to my life.
This hits me right where i am. I am reaping the consequences of past sin and have hardened my heart against doing what my husband wants me to. Praying that the Lord would open my eyes and show me His way not mine.
This post spoke right to my heart/attitude this AM. My family is about to move cross country in 2 short weeks for a new job for my husband, and although during the process God’s hand has been leading the way, as we grow closer the anxiety and fear have ramped up and my attitude and heart has become mean and resistant and disrespectful, especially towards my husband. This this post brought that all to light, and I have repented to God and realized my need for change.
Dear Crystal, I feel for you in the challenge of this move & have just prayed that all will go well and that you will all know the Lord leading you on. We had a big move 3 years ago and I was really helped by a book called “Uprooted” by Rebecca VanDoodewaard (that’s not a typo!) where ch. 3 talks about dealing with bitterness towards spouses for “causing” the move. You’ll be busy right now but if you can beg, borrow or buy a copy, you might find it helpful. Every blessing xx
I need to work on all of these areas. Especially walking in all His ways. My marriage has been broken for a very long time and my husband has finally opened his eyes to it and is turning his life around. I on the other hand am still struggling with getting past the pain and disappointment through the years. I need to work on letting go COMPLETELY and giving it all to God, not just the parts I want to.
Thank you for today’s blog. It was on point with what I needed today. God is great! Everyday is a challenge for me in all 5 areas but still I pick myself up when I fall and press on!
I have trouble in all areas and see myself in many of the comments that have been already made. The one that is speaking the most to me this morning is fear the Lord your God.
I often find myself in all these areas… Praying God soften my heart!
Thank you for sharing this post. I appreciate it. I feel like I really need to organize my time with school, internship, work, sometimes I feel that I am not giving God my very best.
Do you have any ideas for how to organize time and priorities? I just can’t seem to get this right while being a college student and at the same time trying to give the Lord my very best every day. I have been struggling with this for a long time.
God bless you and your family.
yes, sin seperates us from God, this resonated with me Courtney! Here’s my post this week: God’s Great Love! http://www.catherinegabrielsen.com/gods-great-love/
Thank you Courtney for pointing out hardness or heart is a lack of repentance. It’s something I need to work on in some areas of my life.
Walking in His Ways and serving the aloud with all my heart and soul. I’ve just recently started reading the bible for the first time. I have to work on seeking Him first in all I do. I tend to be stubborn and want to so what I want to do. I tend to get frustrated and angry a lot and I take it out on my kids and my husband. He’s the only one working and I get frustrated about finances, bills and such and that I haven’t been able to find anther job. I find myself complaining about things that happen instead of trusting completely in the Lord and let Him have his way with my heart and control over my life.
Through this weeks study I have realized that I am the stiff-necked, stubborn person I always thought I wasn’t. My stubbornness to submit to something in my life is what is causing this heavy spirit in me. I have caused someone I care about so much hurt. The worst part is that I thought I was justified in doing so. My argument has always been, “but I’m right”. NO MORE. Lord, I commit to you today that I will live by Your 5 requirements. I pray that You give me a forgiving heart and break me free from my stubborn way.
This is really good. Our hearts are deceitful and it’s so easy to fall into sin and try to explain it away like it’s no big deal. But then it does harden our hearts and hinder our relationship with God. We should always pray the prayer from Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” And then be sure to confess our sin and repent when we are convicted.
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for sharing this Candice Hohenwald. Only God brings us true peace in our hearts. To God be the glory and honor.
God bless you.
I have had a hard time letting go of my past: hurts, failures, spousal unfaithfulness (just saying those last two words was so hard for me). I just had a hard time giving it to the Lord and trusting Him to help me move on and forgive those who have hurt me and trust again. I mean truly forgive them. It’s one thing to say it and pray it; but to actually move on and not hold grudges can be another big issue for me. And being able to trust again. It’s sometimes a daily struggle and I’m so thankful for God’s Word and His sweet compassionate and forever love for me! He knows my heart, my desires, and He is gradually softening my heart to trust Him with every aspect of my life. My daily prayer is “search me oh God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything within me that offends You and lead me along the path of everlasting life”
Psalm 139: 23-24
Every Sunday our pastor will say, “if you don’t hear anything else today, hear this: “God Loves You”