Miriam graduates tonight. In some ways it is hard to believe time has flown by this fast. On the other hand, it has taken years for her to get this far, and she is now ready for the next step, college. It is the natural progression or sequence for many. Typically, the pattern is elementary school, high school, college, and then a job. One doesn’t go to college and then to elementary school-that certainly wouldn’t work out too well, would it?
Today we are shown the sequence for our spiritual growth and development in Scripture. God tells his people that he is going to put His spirit within them, they will then follow His statutes and ordinances, and they will live “in the land.” They will be His people and He will be their God.
Two observations: First, God ends this portion with the statement “I will be your God.” It seems to me I just keep reading this over and over and over in the Old Testament. This is God’s heart. His desire is that He would be our God. And, it is important to note, as you have heard many times I am sure, we will always have a god of some sort. Either it will be the one true living God, or a false god taking that place.
Secondly, spiritual growth occurs in this order: We are given God’s spirit, THEN we can obey Him with our whole heart, THEN we receive blessings . These things will be proof that we are truly His people and He is truly our God. This is the order. Without the Holy Spirit, none of the rest will occur.
Do you sense the Holy Spirit within you? Do you ever sense His leading you to obey God or warning you not to do something? Do you or I find ourselves being more obedient as time goes on? Are we truly “His people” and is He truly “our God?” These are always good questions for all of us to ask. God has shown us the marks of spiritual growth, and what to look for as proof that God really, truly is our God. This is without a doubt His hearts desire…and always has been.