These scriptures beg the question…”What are You asking of me Lord?” Foremost, Jesus is asking for commitment. Not just lip service, or Sunday only acknowledgement… No, He’s asking for sold-out, unwavering determination to follow Him no matter the cost. Jesus is also asking for conviction. That’s a gut belief that He died on the Cross and rose again for me so that I may have eternal life. Then too, Jesus is asking for conformity. He wants me to become more like Him. Finally, Jesus is asking that I give up control. Now this is probably the most frightening but the most freeing request of His…For to go deeper with Jesus means releasing command of myself and trusting Him more.
For many of us, we are riding on the shoulders of those who have come before us. Maybe it was a Grandmother, Great Aunt, or Great Uncle that were so influential in your early years. This someone, whose strong Christian walk stirred your own soul and formed early on your ideas of just who God was, became a shining example of His light and truth to you. And as they walked the walk and talked the talk…that assurance of who God was and His matchless power and authority became more real every day.
We all need spiritual sustenance, because we all have a God-shaped hole inside that needs to be filled. This inner hunger and thirst for God propels us forward in His Way and supports us in times of trials. Life is sustained by food…but our spiritual life is nourished and maintained by the word of God.
The Words of the Lord are powerful. They convict and lay bare the sin in our life and cause Godly sorrow. This Godly sorrow leads to brokenness and repentance. For every time we listen to the Word being spoken, it’s an opportunity for the Lord to change us.
Let’s look at this verse from the perspective of different generations. Read this verse to a young child and they’ll readily agree that they need to obey Mommy and Daddy…but the dance starts in the application of this into everyday living. As children grow, so does their autonomy. We draw a line in the sand and they push their big toe across it…just to see what happens! Let a teenager read this verse and you’ll probably get eye-rolling and an argument of every point…like, what exactly is the definition of obedience? And does everything mean “everything”? Finally, we read this as a parent or Grandparent, having gained a wealth of experience, wisdom, and insight… and we say, “Yes, Amen!” to this verse. For all those past experiences and circumstances have drilled into us the importance of obedience… not only to our parents, but to God.
These tassels were to be a visual reminder to obey the Lord’s commands, but in Matthew 23:5, Jesus accused some of the Jewish Leaders of making their tassels so extremely long as to make a show of their religious look. He went on to say, “Everything they do is done for men to see…” In many ways we can do the same, attempting to “look” super spiritual when we’re in certain crowds. God doesn’t look at our outward appearance…He looks at the heart. The Lord is saying to us – trim your tassels …get rid of your religious spirit and focus back on Me.
We just think God is far off or even worse – hiding from us when times are tough. But it’s only our own apprehension and doubt that causes us to question. In Psalm 46:1 it states, ” God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” The Hebrew meaning for the word ever-present is – to be exceedingly present or found, emphasizing the speed, completeness and might of the Lord’s help. The truth is…God has never left, nor will He ever leave you. Just because we think He’s not “doing anything” does not mean He’s not working in ways we aren’t aware of… for He’s still in control of the entire situation and will work things out for the good of those who love Him.