“But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
These words were spoken to the two and a half tribes of Israel who elected to inherit on the Eastern side of the Jordan. They were spoken at what is arguably the zenith of their history. The young nation had witnessed the powerful hand of God in their miraculous deliverance from Egyptian bondage. They had learned the seriousness of faith in Jehovah, having been turned back from the promised land for their unbelief even as they stood on the brink of the Jordan. By the point of these words from Joshua, they had conquered the heathen tribes of Canaan and were ready to return to their families to enjoy the fruits of the vineyards they did not plant (Deut. 6:11).
This careful heed is exactly what they had exhibited as they helped conquer Canaan. It is what we have to exhibit if we are conquerors in Christ (Romans 8:35-39). We will not do better than we know. I am amazed by a recent Barna study revealing that less than one in five church members in America today have any measurable goals related to spiritual growth or development. The most widely known Bible verse among church members in America is “God helps those who help themselves.” (That, by the way, is NOT a Bible verse.) Only a minority of church-goers believe that absolute truth even exists and less than one in ten say they let a Biblical world view affect their daily decisions. Something is very wrong with this picture.
While I pray that in the Lord’s church today, the results of such a survey would be more encouraging, it is obvious in my own sphere that we have failed to carefully heed to do the commandment and the law. I have talked with more than one tearful Christian mother whose child has grown up to be an atheist. I am currently studying with a college girl on one of our Christian university campuses who simply wrote to me and said, “I want to believe in God, but my faith is gone. Is there any way you can help me?” As I teach teen girls, I’m often amazed that many do not understand the difference between the concept of New Testament Christianity and denominationalism. Many are confused about whether or not baptism is essential to salvation or why we do not worship with instruments of music. Some have asked me if some people are homosexuals because of genetics and many believe those who never hear the gospel will be saved. Teens who ask these questions are not from “un-churched” families. Many are active in youth groups and programs of churches of Christ.
We will not be putting the commandments and the law into the hearts of our children if we are not internalizing them personally. May I encourage every Christian woman who reads this to make an iron-willed determination to get into the Word? Studying at a prescribed and pre-planned time and place will help you do this regularly. Studying topically will help you do this effectively. Studying to teach another will help you study with passion. Praying about your study will help open doors of opportunity to pass along your knowledge to those in need. Study begets more study. Study ultimately begets faith (Romans 10:17). No one has an accidental faith when it’s time to endure the trials. Faith, at the crucial time, is always preceded by years of careful heed during all the uneventful ordinary times.
Barna, George; Growing True Disciples Waterbrook Press Colorado Springs Colorado 2001
Much of the above article taken from Building Your Own Altars, by Cindy Colley
Bear Valley Bible Institute Lectures, Denver Colorado 2009