Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. Deuteronomy 30:11
“Reach.” This is an action word—as in “reach for a cookie,” which is one choice we can certainly make; or a better choice, “reach for the ceiling,” which we do while exercising.
God first spoke to Moses, who then delivered His commands to the Israelites. The will to obey precedes carrying out His greatest commandments, which come down to two actions: to love and obey God. Not difficult—right?
If only it were that easy!
Personally, I battle weight control daily. But before First Place I considered it a losing battle. I now realize the battle is not mine but God’s. And His greatest battle with me is not controlling my weight but commanding my obedience. Oswald Chambers said, “The battle is fought in the domain of the will.”1
So the questions is always, What am I willing to be, to give or to do for Him?
Many times God speaks to me about a First Place commitment I’ve neglected. He’s quite specific in His command. To obey I must make adjustments. First, I determine what it will cost me to obey—passing on a cookie, eating healthy vegetables and drinking water, measuring food, making a call, exercising, filling out a Commitment Record. Of course, the cost to me is nothing compared to the price Jesus paid for my salvation. Still, obeying God is always a battle fought within the will.
I once read that the difference between perseverance and obstinacy is this: Perseverance is strong “will”; obstinacy is strong “won’t.”
Reaching involves exercising the will. Do I reach for perseverance or obstinacy? Whenever we grasp for cheesecake or chocolate, we must remember to extend our reach beyond our grasp.
Prayer: Lord, I’m ashamed that I often count the cost to follow You before I obey. Nothing in my life has to be a battle when I align my will with Yours. Guide me when I reach for inappropriate things. May I worship You today as I reach out to You in prayer and strive to obey Your commands.
Journal: What adjustments can you make today to obey, thus allowing God more control in your life?