Am I Really Trusting God?

Lysa TerKeurst

Day: 14 | Plan: Deuteronomy

Today's Reading: Deuteronomy 14

Deuteronomy 14:22-23 (NIV) “Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.”

What is holy is never hurried.

God isn’t into the rat race. He’s into the slower rhythms of life like dwelling, abiding, learning, remembering and being in His presence.

If we truly want to honor God, we must trust Him with our pace, our place and our provision.

Today’s key verses hit on all three of those areas of trust.

Our pace - Did you pick up on the slow nature of God’s instruction in Deuteronomy 14:22, to “set aside a tenth” of all that their fields produce? In other words, intentionally look upon and reflect on the fact that this is God’s gift to you. In the case of the Israelites this was an instruction for them to not rush their produce to the market without first getting in the habit of acknowledging God and setting aside a portion of what He had given them.

For us, it’s more likely to be applied as not rushing to buy things we want before setting aside our tithe. But I think this can be applied to other areas of rushing as well.

I know I’m so guilty sometimes of letting my pace of life crowd out times of pausing to look for and honor God’s hand of activity in my life. Do I pause and set aside a bit of my fast pace to slowly pray and thank God every morning when I wake up for His gift of this new day? Do I look into the faces of friends and family and set aside my fast pace to slowly thank God for the gift of human relationships?

Oh, that I might reconsider how important it is to set aside my fast pace if I truly want to honor God. May I replace my natural tendencies to hurry, multitask and rush through my day with more lingering in His presence. I must learn to set aside what honors God if I’m ever going to be set apart in serving God.

Our place - They were to take this set-aside food and bring it into the presence of the Lord at the place He chose to dwell. The place where we get truly refreshed and refilled is never found in an earthly destination, possession or relationship. What our souls long for is the presence of God, and there is no substitution for this. But the world tries to offer substitutions all the time. These are called idols.

An idol can be anything we run to for comfort when our souls are crying out to be in the presence of God. It’s misplaced worship. It’s misplaced affection. It’s misplaced comfort.

God had the people work into the rhythm of their lives a return to His presence so they wouldn’t turn to idols. Matthew Henry’s Commentary says, “By acquainting them with the sanctuary, the holy things, and the solemn services that were there performed … it would make a deeper impression upon them, which would keep them out of the snares of the idolatrous customs.”

Our provision - We honor God by returning to Him a portion of every bit of provision He entrusts to us.

Pay close attention to God’s purpose of setting aside a tenth of the Israelite’s food, “so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always” (Deuteronomy 14:23). God didn’t need their food. He wasn’t asking them for a meal. And this food offering was separate from the offering they gave to provide for the Levites.

This was an offering given for the sole purpose of communion and connection to the Lord himself. He wanted His presence to fill their earthly hearts.

And while God no longer requires us to tithe a portion of grain or oil or flocks, we can still choose to honor Him by returning a portion of every paycheck we receive. Not because God needs the money to fill His heavenly purses. But because it shows Him He has our heart.

God wanted to be with His people.

And He longs for that same connection with us today.

The good news is we can have this at any moment. We don’t have to travel to the tabernacle to be in His presence at designated times of the year. His presence no longer resides in a tent tabernacle. His presence is in the shrine of a heart surrendered to Him.

I love one other statement I found in Matthew Henry’s Commentary on these verses. He said, “Contentment, holy joy, and thankfulness, make every meal a religious feast.” How might we more fully trust God with our pace, our place and our provision this week?

Indeed, what is holy is never hurried. Let’s set some new rhythms in the routines of our lives … slow down, dwell well in His presence and linger a little longer in His love today.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for all of the many gifts You have poured out into my life. Especially the gift of Your presence. I am choosing today to slow my pace and to seek Your face. I long to see You, to hear You and to know You. Teach me what it means to abide. Help me discover what it means to dwell. Stir in me a longing to linger. And fill my heart so full with Your presence that I can’t help but spill You everywhere I go. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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