At significant milestones in history men's words stand out, hold greater meaning. Words spoken around these momentous occasions deserve a second look and offer great teaching and inspiration.
Tom Paine said after the Declaration of Independence signing: "These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their county; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny like hell is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value."
Early in our nation's history, 1779, Samuel Adams said, "A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader."
Generals before battles, coaches before championships, political leaders during challenging days, and parents during weddings and graduations all offer significant words of insight, motivation, and encouragement that often carry implications outside of the immediate context.
The words in Deuteronomy carry this added weight. As the people of Israel sat poised on the edge of the promised land, after 40 years of wandering through the desert experiencing God's sifting and refining, they now prepared to step into this land and take it as their own. Throughout the chapter Moses shares the history of Israel in song including the promises of God that they can stand on in the future.
Then, he concludes with these words in chapter 32 verses 46 and beginning of 47, "And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life. . ."
As I look to claim the week ahead for Jesus Christ I take these words to heart. Thet hold the pep talk I need to walk tall, to fight strong, to love sincerely, to serve humbly, to stand firm.
God has done great things in my life that I can look back on and gain strength from. His Word overflows with promises that can lift me up in times of discouragement. I have a lifetime of wisdom to continually pass on to my children, intentionally, consistently.
This is not a waste of time, not a "vain thing," this is my life. Implications both in this world and the one to come hang in the balance.
God isn't something to be passed over lightly, kept in a box, even just enjoyed every morning. My day should be walked in His footsteps and built on His convictions. My life should find its anchor so deep in Him that when anything pushes against me all that comes flying out of me is Him. Any contact that people have with me should reflect Him. The strength in my life should be His.
This brings me great encouragement because I know I don't fight my battle or carry out my agenda. I set about to accomplish His. And all He calls me to do, He strengthens me to do as well (and gives me enough time to accomplish it).
As I set about to successfully claim this week for Him, I hold His banner high, knowing I walk in His strength alone.
And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life . . .