Key Verse: “Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 1:26
God calls us to a life of victory. He’s even given us everything we need to experience this victorious life through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Why then, are so many Christians living defeated, mediocre lives? Well, when we make concessions to God’s commands it takes us off the path of victory, onto the path of spiritual mediocrity. Recognizing that obedience isn’t optional is the foundation for uncompromising Christianity.
There’s no better illustration of this than in Deuteronomy 1. Here, Moses recounts why a whole generation of Israelites wouldn’t live in Canaan. Even though the Lord promised victory, Israel became obstinate. They failed to realize that obedience isn’t optional for God’s children. They allowed the challenges ahead of them to overshadow the promises of God. The moment they rebelled against His command they stepped off the path of victory.
Deuteronomy 1 serves as warnings for us today. Many professing believers make compromises in an attempt to keep the peace. Compromise comes in many forms, but it usually looks less time consuming and more comfortable than following God’s path. If we are “not willing” to do as God says, then we’re in rebellion.
It’s important to note that praying for alternative ways to accomplish God’s will isn’t sinful. In Gethsemane, Jesus asked the Father if there was any other way than the Cross. Yet, Jesus wasn’t obstinate. He prayed,“not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42.) Obedience without compromise relinquishes our personal desires to God. That’s why Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Christianity is an invitation to come and die.”
The next generation of Israelites obediently crossed the Jordan River into Canaan and were victorious. And, by dying to His own will, Jesus was victorious over sin and death. We live the victorious Christian life by choosing to die to self-interest in order for Jesus to live through us (Luke 9:23-24; John 12:24; Galatians 2:20.)
How about you? Have you stepped off the path of victory and onto the path of spiritual mediocrity? Ask God to show you where you’re compromising complete obedience to His commands. Then genuinely pray, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” Remember, the victorious life takes the path of the Cross rather than the path of compromise.