Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20020911.htm
DEUTERONOMY: GETTING OTHERS TO BE VICTORS, NOT CASUALTIES
Part VIII: Discipling Those With Improper Self-Images To Heed God For His Greatness And Objectivity
Lesson: God is very GREAT and very OBJECTIVE: He is GREAT enough to BLESS us in spite of our weaknesses if we but trust and obey Him, and he is OBJECTIVE enough not only to HELP us even if we think we are unlovable, but to PUNISH us if we think so highly of ourselves that we assume we can get away with evil! Therefore, GOD'S GREATNESS AND OBJECTIVITY SHOULD MOTIVATE US TO RESPECT GOD ENOUGH TO OBEY HIM, AND TO TRUST HIM THAT WE CAN BE BLESSED AND ACHIEVE HIS WILL AS HE WILL EQUIP US TO DO THAT WILL!
- Though a believer may know what God wants him to be or to do, he may lack the motivation to be and do what God wants over concern that he lacks the ability, background, intelligence or training to do that will.
- On the other hand, a believer may be proud and not feel all that accountable to obey the Lord, another kind of obstacle that keeps him from doing God's will.
- If we know of a believer with such imbalance in his self-image that keeps him from doing God's will, Deuteronomy 7:7-26 provides us a lesson on how to disciple him toward obeying the Lord as follows:
- Discipling Those With Improper Self-Images To Heed God For His Greatness And Objectivity.
- When Moses addressed Israel as she prepared to enter the Promised Land, he was aware imbalances in how the people viewed themselves would work to keep them from heeding the Lord: those with poor self-images could be tempted not to heed the Lord as they might feel inadequate to do all He wanted, or the proud might feel they did not need to obey God since they lacked a sense of accountability to Him.
- Accordingly, Moses addressed both imbalance tendencies to show God's greatness and objectivity should balance man's view of himself and his God, and that for blessing from God:
- Moses revealed God's love for the people of Israel functioned independent of what they could do or be to impress or not to impress Him, Deuteronomy 7:7. God loved Israel solely due to His grace and His intention to fulfill His unconditional promises to the forefathers regarding her, Deuteronomy 7:8.
- Consequently, Moses enumerated the comprehensive and wonderful consequences of obeying such an objective, great God in Deuteronomy 7:9-24:
- Moses relayed that if the people of Israel obeyed God in accord with the Mosaic Covenant, they would see their family and personal lives enriched as they would multiply for generations (7:9, 13b, 14), their material possessions would increase (7:13c, 14) and they would enjoy good health, 7:15.
- Moses claimed such obedience would lead to national blessings: (a) enemy nations that were too powerful for Israel would be controlled by God's power (7:16-19); (b) governmental changes would not be too difficult for Israel as God would control the stages of change so the people could readily adjust to them (7:20-23) and (c) God would deliver the enemy leaders of enemy nations into their hands when Israel needed deliverance from enemy nations, ending their threat to peace, Deut. 7:24.
- Conversely, Moses implied the calamity God would bring on the nation if Israel disobeyed Him, and that regardless of who she was or could do (implied in the same Deuteronomy 7 text above):
- Instead of enjoying blessing, if Israel disobeyed God, she would face multiple problems at the personal and family levels with people dying untimely deaths, losing their possessions and health.
- Instead of national blessings, were Israel disobedient to God, she would see enemy nations rise against her unchecked, she would experience governmental changes coming too rapidly and too uncontrollably for the adjustment and peace of the populace and face relentless oppression under foreign nations and their onerous leaders.
Application: If we are seeking to disciple a party who has an IMBALANCE in how he views HIMSELF, that he is either too PROUD or too LOW in self-esteem, we can MOTIVATE him to heed the Lord by revealing how GREAT God is to be ABLE to help those of low-esteem, and how OBJECTIVE God is to love the "unlovable" and to PUNISH the PROUD who feels God OWES him blessing! With this BALANCE in place, people will obey God and be blessed by Him!