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I have been amazed at how the winter has lingered so long.  Being from the south, I am not used to long winters.  Our yard no longer has dirt stained snow covering everything, the last of it melted a few weeks ago.  The piles of snow plowed up in the Walmart parking lot are still there though!  I don’t have a picture to share, but the piles don’t even look like snow any more, they are so covered with dirt, they look like giant sand piles.  We have been getting dustings of snow even though it is now March.  I would call this weather stubborn.  I don’t mind it too much, in fact, I would be happy for one more big snow so that my kids can play in it again.

I have been reading through Deuteronomy, and was struck by Moses’ confrontation of the children of Israel.  They are preparing to enter the promised land.  Moses has been reminding the people of where they came and of the laws that God has given to them.  Moses says in Deuteronomy 9:4,6:

Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, “It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,” whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out before you. . . . Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.

Have you ever thought to yourself that God is giving you good things in life because you are living a good life?  I have.  In fact, many times I’ve been taught that if I am good (righteous), then God will bless me with good things.  The reality is Isaiah 64:6:

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.  We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

I think I’m every bit as stubborn as Israel when I get my eyes off of who God is and what He has done for me.  I may think I am living a righteous life, but if I am holding on to my idea of how life should be instead of surrendering myself to God, I am not really living for Him.  Instead of thinking I have it all together, I need to remember 2Corinthians 5:21

For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Anything good in my life comes from God – so why am I so stubbornly attached to having my own way?  I think it has to do with lack of faith.  If I really believed that God had my best interests at heart, I wouldn’t resist what He is trying to accomplish in and through my life.  Our rebellion to the ways of God just accents how good He is to us.  Nehemiah 9:17-18:

They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that You performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt.  But You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.

Praise the Lord!  He does not give up on us.  Lets strive to keep our focus on God.  He is wonderful!  Nothing else can compare with Him.  Lord, Please help us to believe You so that we will live in a way that honors You, without the stubborn rebellion that has characterized so much of our lives.  Thank You for Your grace, mercy, love and faithfulness!

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