The victory that overcomes
...you stand here with me so I can give you all my commands, decrees, and regulations. You must teach them to the people so they can obey them in the land I am giving them as their possession.’” So Moses told the people, “You must be careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God, following his instructions in every detail. Stay on the path that the Lord your God has commanded you to follow. Deuteronomy 5:31-33 NLT
The love of God is one of the most striking features of the teaching of Deuteronomy. It is His love to us that motivates us to love Him back. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 ESV). When we claim we love God, it follows that we obey His commands. From the text, Moses instructed by God to tell the Israelites to obey His commands if they want to flourish as they enter the Promise Land. God’s commands are His ways to communicate His love. So Israel must reciprocate God’s love for her by loving Him in return. She should show her love for God by being totally loyal to Him. From the text, love for God is joined with walking in His ways, holding fast to Him, and keeping His instructions. Our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated His love to His disciples. It was through His sacrifice on the cross where He showed His love to us. “Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end” (John 13:1). Just like the Israelites, the disciples are called upon to love God. “If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15). There is an uncompromising connection between the love for Christ and obedience to His Word. Expressing our affection to God must be connected to our actions. Declaring God to be our Lord and Master should compel us to obey His commands. “Loving God means keeping his commandments and his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). We are pressed upon on all sides by overwhelming forces designed to weaken us as Christians. The only way that we can ward off such attacks is by being obedient to God’s commands. God’s commands may seem to be rigorous, yet it comes from His heart for He wants us to come out victorious. Because we are devoted to the Lordship of Christ, we are assured that we will overcome. Our faith in God guarantees the victory He wants us to experience. “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith” (1 John 5:4).