“For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him—” (Deuteronomy 11:22 NKJV).
Love the LORD your God
We sometimes overuse words. I believe the word “awesome” is overused in our society.
Once when I was placing an order over the telephone, the young lady was asking me for my address. As I was giving her my address, she responded as only a millennial could intonate, “Awesome!” I said nothing but thought, “The reciting of my address is not even close to awesome.” Awesome is the Grand Canyon, the birth of a child, or getting a good biopsy report. So I think love is an overused word in some sense. Most of us have that acquaintance that tells you too much, “I love you” without it being heart felt or genuine. On the other hand, we need to tell people we love them because everyone needs to know they are loved.
We are commanded to love God. It is strange that it is commanded but it is speaking from a point of relationship. So if we are to have a relationship with God, we must love Him. There is no relationship with God if there is no love for God. I am afraid there are people who want a guarantee from God but they are not interested in a genuine relationship with Him. They want blessings, protection and a paid ticket for eternal life but not so interested in a trans-formative and accountable relationship with Jesus.
The relationship between God and His people is often related as a husband and a wife. The relationship design of the husband and wife is one based on love. If the relationship is physical without the relationship of love then it would not be much different than a one-night stand stretched over years.
God is not interested in one-night stands. When Israel went after other gods, God called idolatry another name–harlotry.
Walk in all His ways
We are to imitate Jesus. Jesus showed us how to live by His actions and His teachings taught us such things as turning the other cheek, going the second mile, and forgiveness. Then He also goes beyond the law, stating “it is written but I say to you…” further instructing us that hating someone is like murder within your own heart. If you want to find the ways of Jesus, study the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and put His saying into habitual action in your life.
Jesus says this in the Sermon on the Mount, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: / and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. / But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: / and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:24-27 NKJV).
Our ways are not His ways and we need to be transformed from a carnal man to a spiritual man by the Holy Spirit.
Hold fast to Him
Don’t let go of Jesus. The world tries to pull us away from the things of God but we need to cling to Him. When the world is scary, run to Him. If you haven’t noticed the world is scary—run to Him.
Cling to the Lord! Holding fast to the Lord means a daily consistent walk with Him.
It is like a parent with a young child in a busy crowd. We tell the child, “Hold my hand.” or “Stay close to me, don’t stray away, keep me in sight. Stay within earshot.” We need to stay close to Jesus. Never venture away from the heart of your Heavenly Father or from the gentle wooing of the Holy Spirit.
Remember the shepherd who lost the one sheep out of a hundred. The shepherd didn’t actually lose the sheep, the sheep wandered from the flock and the shepherd. Hold fast to Him.
How do we hold fast to the Lord? We have a running conversation in prayer. We need to set times of pulling away from the bustle of life and spend time with the Lord in prayer and meditation. We need to read the Bible and meditate on the scriptures, let them soak into our lives.
As we love Him and walk in His Ways, we will want to hold fast to Him.
Harry L. Whitt