Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Love for God
The love that we are to have for God is a God-like love which prefers what God prefers, which is what is righteous, holy, pure, honest and faithful. Love for God is also obedience to his commands. If we don’t walk in obedience to his commands, we don’t love him, and we don’t know him intimately.
So, to love God is to submit to his Lordship over our lives. It is to leave our sinful lifestyles behind us, and it is to walk in obedience to his will and to his ways (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Tit. 2:11-14).
And, to love him with all our heart, soul, and might is to walk in his truth, in his ways, in obedience to his commands, with our whole being, with everything that is within us. It is to give our hearts, our minds, our strength, our passions, our desires – everything to him, in submission to his will and purposes for our lives, in surrender to following him in all ways, in all things.
On Your Heart
Our Lord’s commands, his teachings, the teachings of his New Testament apostles, and all scripture that is consistent with the New Covenant is to be on our hearts. And, on our hearts doesn’t mean we have some warm fuzzy feeling about them, or that we are merely memorizing scripture or meditating on it. It means we are walking in the truths of the scriptures in obedience to our Lord, in his power at work within our lives.
For, there are many people who are teachers of the word of God who do not put the Word into practice in their own lives. There are many people who can rattle off scriptures at any given moment under particular circumstances, but they are not living the scriptures themselves. They know how to talk the walk, but they aren’t walking the walk.
And, they can put the scriptures on their car bumpers, or plaster them on the internet, and they may even put them in memes on social media, and they may even have them posted various places in their homes, too, but they don’t live them.
It is all for show, for appearance, to make it look like they are following the Lord, but it is all superficial, merely a performance, and usually as a cover-up for evil and for hidden secretive sinful practices.
So, the instructions here are not meant to be applied superficially or hypocritically. My father, who was the epitome of Satan to me, knew the scriptures. He could expound the scriptures. But, he didn’t live them. He lived the opposite of them. He was an abuser of the worst kinds. He taught a legalistic performance based Christianity like the Pharisees did, which was all external, but which did nothing to control the passions of the flesh.
So, if we are going to put the scriptures out there in whatever form we do that, and if we are going to teach them to others, then we need to make sure we are living them. It doesn’t mean we are perfectly sinless, but that we are not walking according to the flesh, but we are walking (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God. And, it means we aren’t teaching others what we are not willing to do, or what we are not doing (in practice) ourselves.
Then, when we do put them out there, and we do teach them to others, it is because they are on our hearts, because we are living them by God’s grace, and in his power and strength at work within us who are His by faith in Him.
Deuteronomy 6:13-15 ESV
“It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.”
To walk in the fear of the Lord is to live our lives for his honor and glory. It is to show him respect and reverence by walking in obedience to his commands. It is to love him with our whole being, too. And, it is to prefer what he prefers, and to live our lives in such a way that is pleasing to him.
So, we are not to go after other gods. But, we aren’t talking here necessarily about some foreign gods or idols of another religion other than Christianity, though that can certainly play into this, as well.
For, here is our present situation in much of today’s church, in particular the institutional market and flesh-driven church. Too many people are giving the appearance of being in relationship with Almighty God, through faith in Jesus Christ, but it is surface-level only. For, it never got to their heart. For, they have made man, and man-made teachings, and their own flesh, and their own strength, and their own worldly wisdom their gods.
They have not yielded control of their lives over to the Lord Jesus Christ, but they are stubbornly holding on to the control of their own lives. Their Christianity is in profession only, and thus their righteousness is a false righteousness that is of the flesh, not of God.
For, their dependency is in their own flesh and in man-made religion, and in a false gospel of grace, which permits them to make a profession of faith and yet continue to walk in the ways of their sinful flesh.
Strength of Man
So, it may appear as though they are now Christians, by faith in Jesus Christ, but the heart never changed. No transformation of heart and mind happened. They were never delivered from their slavery to sin, so they are still dragging that old sin along with them on their journey. So, their progression is of the flesh, and of the strength of man, not of God.
So, they end up “struggling” with the flesh all the time, i.e. regularly giving in to their sinful addictions, because they are trying to live for God in their flesh and in their own strength and wisdom, and not in the strength and wisdom of God, because they are not yielded to God in heart and mind and soul. And, many of today’s preachers are feeding this flesh, for they are promoting these man-made gospels which don’t submit to God.
They are finding their spiritual nourishment, too, in humanistic philosophy and in the teachings of market-driven and flesh-driven minds, which is sometimes a blend of different religions, and of truth and lies, and which appeals to the passions of the flesh, because that is what draws in large crowds of people into their “churches,” i.e. their businesses called “church.”
But, spiritual healing will never come to them unless they surrender their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, and they walk in obedience to his commands. It will not come to them if they are still dragging the weight of sin and the flesh along with them, taking the “easy way” out. Skipping over repentance and obedience to our Lord’s commands, though, is like circumventing the healing process in their hearts and lives. They can’t move forward.
Deuteronomy 6:16-19 ESV
“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you. And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has promised.”
My niece Rachel wrote something on Instagram the other day that fits perfectly well with this. I asked her permission to quote her here, so I am going to conclude this with what she shared on Instagram.
For, she was busy remodeling her house, and in the process of the remodeling, the Lord was teaching her a spiritual lesson about letting go of the old to make room for the new that he had for her. She said:
“So I question God, and I ask Him what He wanted to speak to my heart because I am literally sad letting go of an old pan! Then He, as graciously as He always does, says, ‘I am doing a new thing, but first you must let go of the old things in your life that aren’t useful anymore in order to receive what I am doing in its full glory.’”
So, she prayed, “Yes Lord, help me to let go of the old things so I can receive the new that you have for me…”
Then, after I had responded to her she said, “Sometimes we try to hang on to those old ways when God is saying, ‘No, I can’t do what I need in you until you let that go!’”
And, this goes back to the beginning of this writing and this quote:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.”
Song lyrics taken from Psalm 19 KJV
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul:
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart:
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever:
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold:
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
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