What Do You Observe?
Sometimes when we’re driving, my husband and I will allow the kids to use their tablet. Sometimes, we don’t. And on the times that we don’t, and they begin to cry out for something to watch, we tell them “look out the window! Watch your surroundings. Pay attention to what you see”.
Empress is at the age where she has identified pillars and markers on our routes back home. The minute she sees a familiar store, billboard or light, she gathers her bearings and starts navigating us to our home all from her carseat in the back row. (A real passenger seat driver this girl is)! She has paid attention and so she knows, without having to ask, when we are heading back home.
On the other hand, I don’t always tell Empress where we are going everytime we leave the house. So despite the fact that she may see the same store, billboard or light that she relies upon to guide us home, those same markers are of no assistance in navigating her to our final destination. She may have a general idea based upon her view and the things she saw as she looked out of the window but because I am the driver, the final destination is in my control, not hers. Inevitably, she’ll ask, “so, where are we going”? Sometimes, I’ll tell her. Sometimes, I’ll tell her to pay attention and she’ll see when we get there. Once she begins to look out of her car window and observe, it is only a matter of time until she starts saying, “look at that Mummy”, “wow, did you see that Mummy”? Why do I do that? Because sometimes, observation is more important than destination.
Father has had me in the book of Deuteronomy for the past few weeks and it’s a reconciling of the journey that a nation, Israel, and a man, Moses, undertook to get to the Promised Land. Israel followed Moses as Moses followed God. Before they even stepped foot into their final destination, Moses begins to recount their journey of how they got to the place they were standing at that very moment. He reminds them of the places they camped at, the wonders they witnessed, the battles they won and the battles they lost. He reminds them of the statutes, laws and commands from God to them which they observed along the way. Moses is recapping this journey to an observing people; standing in front of him were the remnant of the children of Israel which came out of Egypt and lived in that they observed to do all that was commanded them to do. These people had the testimony of being alive because they cleaved to God (Deuteronomy 4:6) and because they observed His ways. In Deuteronomy 4:9, Moses instructs the people, “only take heed to thyself; and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ son”.
They were kept alive because they observed on their journey and clung to God in everything they observed. Let me put the word on that! “Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day. Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgements, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them (the NIV Translation of this verse 6a says, “observe them carefully)” - Deuteronomy 4:3-6.
In our world today, we’ve become very well versed in “strategize the spiritual”. What I mean by this is that we attempt to be spiritual before we’ve understood and mastered our physical state. However, let’s remember that the nation of Israel actually set out on a real physical journey to a real physical location. They followed Moses as Moses followed God and it was expected that each miracle, sign and wonder they witnessed via observation (or lack thereo) of His laws, statutes and commands along the way would teach them holiness and worship. Thus, it was expected that upon their arrival to their final destination, that they would be able to worship God in holiness, in spirit and in truth. Today, we follow the very Jesus Christ (who physically manifested in this earth and His words that He now writes in our hearts) and our children living in our homes inevitably follow us as we follow Him. Do we make the final destination (eternal life) of greater importance than the observation of His holiness, His spirit and His truth? Are we teaching our children the beauty of holiness that comes from our observance of the landmarks, monuments and sights (aka His word, His statutes, His commands) that He gives us along our way?
For most of us, we know our way back Home. We have learned how to get ourselves to our Father’s House no matter where we are. When we are lost, we just need to gather our bearings by surveying our surroundings, and then navigate our way home in our vehicle of worship, praise and thanksgiving. But what about when we are journeying to a new destination? A place that we’ve never been before? That’s when we must be extremely vigilant in our observation.
Ok, this is a transparent moment which maybe you can relate too as well:
I am on a journey right now with my health in a way that I’ve never been before. It’s not life or death or anything dramatic like that but nevertheless, I am still undergoing a journey of healing in an arena that I have never been in before. My physical body is in need of healing, rest and recovery. I understand that and I have accepted that. I believe Jesus is Lord over my health and body and so, because I have called upon the name of Jesus (aka worshipped Jesus and given Him the preeminence in my heart), this physical healing journey now has a spiritual component and destination. Notice, I didn’t strategize the spiritual; my physical state needs a physical healing. Now, I must do what I tell Empress to do; I must pay attention to the words Jesus speaks in my heart to heal my body. If He tells me to fast, then I must observe His word and fast. If He tells me to eat, I must observe His word and eat only that which He tells me to eat. If He tells me to run, I must observe HIs word and run. Everything that He tells me to do, I must observe to do. I trust Him for the healing of my body, but I can’t dictate the route He’s going to take especially when I take into consideration that I have never been to this place before.
We all are on a journey with God. Despite the fact that our journeys may not be the same, we do share the same confidence and the same hope that He will bring us to our promised destination. Therefore, let’s be mindful to look out the window and diligently observe all that we see.
In His Love,