15. Deuteronomy: Embedding A Sustainable Change Plan.

Deuteronomy 4: 39 “Know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.”

The Israelite reached the end of their change cycle, and they were about to start a new life completely. We see Moses in the book of Deuteronomy standing farther to the river Jordan reflecting on their 40 years journey of goals they attained, mistakes they made, and embedding in them a change plan (Commandments arranged into procedures) to carry on implementing the change. It was important that the vision and change plan was profoundly communicated for the Israelites to forecast opportunities.

Transformation is a fully progressive cycle of a journey with stages to reflect on our performance, achievements, and losses. When the cycle begins or rather when we start over again, we handle things better to never make the same mistakes again. Blessings are no longer taken for granted, time and resources are used wisely. You will even hear your peers commenting that you have changed because you have. You evolve every time you think less of who you were but more of who you can be.

It was time for the nation of Israel to look deeply within before crossing over the river Jordan and celebrating. They spent 40 years developing themselves, learning self-love, putting themselves first, studying and practicing various Laws (in Spirituality, Religion, Judicial, Social Welfares, Agriculture, Economy, etc.). They received adequate training and mentoring to ensure the smooth management of their Promised Land. They were proceeding to be “The Representatives of God, The Chosen One”. It was time to lead by example and represent God.

Who Are the Representatives of God?

In the book of Haggai 2:3, God is reflecting on how dilapidated and neglected the temple was and how in the latter days after it was rebuilt became the greatest glorious building. A temple symbolizes a house of God, a meeting place of devotion for us to be in fellowship with God. We receive an abundance of guidance, blessings, love, forgiveness, peace, and comfort when we are devoted to rebuilding ourselves and honoring God (Haggai 1:8, Malachi 3:10-12, and Deuteronomy 14:22-29). We are later taught in the New Testament how Jesus Christ came to fulfill the Law (Matthew 5:17-20) by representing Himself as the temple of God (John 3:19-22) and gave up His life for us all to be granted access to the kingdom of God (John 4:6). Which we receive when we seek Him first and follow Him. On that account Paul in 1 Corinthians 6: 9-20 broadly teaches us how we can carry on sustaining the fellowship with God, through honoring Jesus Christ by submitting ourselves to Him. In doing so we transform to be the temples of God, giving Him a place to dwell within us, worshipping Him in Spirit (John 4:24). And becoming the One in Christ representing God in us and in each other.

The fundamentals of how we can understand what it entails to be representatives of God is to first recognize what it means to be created in the image and according to the likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Apart from us being different in color, shape, and size we are still representing Him in human form. Blessed to be breath with His soul for us to have life and baptized with the Holy Spirit. When He dwells within us, we transform to display His traits that shape us to lead by example.

Trait 1: Choose Your Circle Wisely

Temptation usually comes in through a door that has been deliberately left open. –Arnold H. Glasow

Moses continued to read the Laws to the Israelites to strengthen their spirituality and be good managers of their New World. A representative of God is someone who does not allow anyone with different beliefs to contaminate their minds to misguide them. So, the Israelites in Deuteronomy 7:2-4 were encouraged to drive all nations in the land of Canaan to utter destruction and make no form of partnership with them. And God was preventing them from being led astray, deceived, and ending up forsaking the change plan and worshiping different gods. The Israelites were bringing in new ways of doing things to the land that has been managed differently by other nations. They have now identified their uniqueness. The true test of faith would be to implement all the lessons in the real world in your day-to-day life, in the view of the entire world. God knew a time will come for them to engage with other nations/travelers, hence He instructed them to treat with respect and love those who may take temporary residence with them. He further introduced Laws on how the Israelites and travelers should conduct themselves. A strategic move for God to re-establish Himself to other nations through the Israelites. Imagine you transformed to be this intriguing distinctive person, full of wisdom. We all run to you for advice, we get so interested and start to learn your new ways. You are now paying it forward for us to implement new ways in our home. But prior to that, the Israelites needed to look away from what was not representing their God. Just as Paul in the book of Romans 12:1-2 appeals to us to present our bodies by transforming our minds and renewing ourselves to make good judgments about our lives for us to live by the will of God. And further warns us in 1 Corinthians 15:13 “to not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” It is important that we surround ourselves with individuals who positively impact how we think and act. For us to reach our dreams we need to be with those who can influence our change that can gravitate us towards our goals.

Trait 2: Pay Attention to Detail

When you pay attention to detail, the big picture will take care of itself. – George St- Pierre

God is detail orientated, attentive, and strong-minded; it took Him seven days to create a whole universe (Genesis 1). And the Bible reflects a glaring detailed canvas of God’s vision board and how it will all come to completion. The Bible guides us to daily try and try again to be better. The immense detail of how the Israelites were to conduct Passover, offerings, feast, business activities, judicial procedures, social services, the places where they should have these events, time in a season and the duration, type of resources, quantities, and who shall conduct them was plainly expressed repeatedly in the Laws. Moses encouraged them to be focused and to align their thoughts, words, and actions with God. To lead by example, the Israelites needed to ensure that they do not prolong their events/ceremonies. Just as Jesus Christ completed His race on earth, kept the image of God, and never damaged His credibility. We are also strengthened to do all things without grumbling (Philippians 2:14) and be motivated to hold on and work until the end (Matthew 24:13), as we are representing God. A change plan can be sustainable when one applies discipline and continues with the routines until it becomes a norm. Let us continue to practice doing good until good becomes a habit.

Trait 3: Improve Your Financial Management

“When the purse becomes empty, the mind is full of issues.”- Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

God is not a bankrupt God; we serve an abundant God. Revelations 21 reveals a new heaven new earth and new Jerusalem as Jesus’s return on investment on fulfilling His purpose. Our universe is rich with resources to continue sustaining us and generations to come if used wisely. If we can go back to Egypt for a moment, the Egyptian slave strategy, was to deprive Israel of positions of authority, where the country’s economy was discussed. The Egyptians occupied governing positions. The Israelites contributed with blood and sweat slaving to build the cities of Egypt. God trained them all economic strategies and various business management Laws. He was getting them ready to be a well-organized, faithful, and righteous Government of the Promised Land. After all, they were relocating to a rich land flowing with milk and honey. It was important that the country’s resources were professionally managed for the well-being of humanity and animals. Transformation clears our eyes; to see how clumsy and foolish we were with our blessings. Trying to fit into societal standards that have left many with damaged credit status or criminal records. And leading by example is to reflect the image of Jesus who did not squander His blessings, nor procrastinate His mission, teaching us to invest in our blessings wisely Luke 19: 16.

Trait 4: Be a good neighbor

We make our friends; we make our enemies, but God makes our next-door neighbor. – Gilbert K. Chesterton

Love starts with you, in your home, and spreads to others. The Great Commandment in Matthew 22: 37-39 says it all: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. How we emotionally and mentally treat ourselves is reflected in how we connect with others. The relationships we have with others, be it romantically, business, family, or friends, will mirror our internal energies, whether positive or negative. Moses carried on echoing to the nation of Israel to love God and their neighbor as they love themselves (Deuteronomy 6:4). It was crucial for the Israelites to come up on top when it comes to love., and to understand that it was God’s love that freed them from slavery. It is therefore important that we treat and serve others with love and humility as we would want it done to us. When we help, we must do so wholeheartedly, silently, and respect those we offer our services. The deprived and the well-off, are all created by God and the purpose is to serve one another representing God, not us. Let us remember Jesus who was welcoming, humble, compassionate, and judged not who He was serving Luke 5:29-32.

Trait 5: Take Good Care of Your Mind, It’s Your Heaven Not a Wasteland  

You are what you feed your mind. – REV. IKE LEGACY

Moses continued in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 to stress the importance of remaining faithful, obeying God, and living by God’s Commandments. By following the Laws, they will be abundantly blessed, protected, and loved. It was important that the Israelites understood that the Laws were not the backup plan but the only way they could be closer to God for them to continue to grow in faith Joshua 1:7-8. Just as Jesus Christ in Matthews 6:22 explains, if we invest in ourselves first and focus on our goals, continue to upskill ourselves, grow and expand to new territories, we then become the beaming light that vibrates positive energies. And Paul further supports us in Philippians 4:8-10 to practice mindfulness by selecting what we feed our minds and hearts and how we can sustain our faith. Therefore, learn to dig out what you have buried regardless of your age, and nurture it against all odds. Who knows, you could become a supply that the world may need.

Be mindful, the time to harvest is close by.

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