ODJ: staying in step with God

November 9, 2015 

READ: Leviticus 26:3-46 

If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you the seasonal rains (vv.3-4).

The other day our 8 year old son asked why we no longer put him in the time-out corner. I said it was because that form of discipline no longer worked well. As the twins have got older, we’ve had to find new ways to reward and discipline them. Whatever worked when they were 4 years old is no longer effective.

God continued to work with the people of Israel by giving Moses specific instructions for every aspect of life as proof of their relationship with Him, and Moses faithfully passed them on to the Israelites (Exodus 20:1-17; Leviticus 26:46). The Israelites had been elated when God delivered them out of slavery in Egypt (Exodus 15:20-21; Leviticus 26:13). And now His covenant people, the nation who He had shown great kindness to, were expected to live as such (Exodus 6:7).

God revealed Himself to the people in awesome ways so they would revere Him and steer clear of a life of sin (Exodus 20:20). He also gave Moses a list of the many rewards of a life of obedience, as well as the consequences of disobedience (Leviticus 26:1-39). Most of us would choose reward over punishment any day. Yet, as is so often the case with us, the Israelites soon turned away from God and did their own thing (Exodus 32:1-8). They forgot God’s promises, including, “If you . . . obey my commands, I will send you the seasonal rains” (Leviticus 26:3-4).

Moses was able to follow God’s commands by the power of the Spirit (Numbers 11:17). In the same way, the Holy Spirit enables us to grow in holiness and honour God (Romans 8:26). When we try to obey God in our own strength, we fail miserably. The Holy Spirit provides what we need to stay in step with Him (Galatians 5:25).

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day-plan: Acts 21:1-17

Read Zechariah 4:6 and see why it’s vital for you to yield to the work of the Spirit of God. 
In what ways have you been trying to follow God, only to keep failing? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you stay firm in your faith in every area of life.