Hankering after the crowd

I was pondering on the love of God in Deuteronomy 7:6-8

“ 6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.   7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”

The crowd tell me that the purpose of the Christian life is to have an impact on the world.  It is to be fruitful by leading as many as possible to God. Everything is measured by numbers and observable effects. God tells me He has chosen me ‘To be His treasured possession.’ Which of these two messages I follow, has a bearing on life as a whole.

If I believe that I am to have an impact, then all else in life must be sacrificed in order to have an effect on as many as possible. If I believe that I am to be His treasured possession then when I read – ‘For you are … holy to the Lord your God.’  I know that first and foremost God’s purpose for me is to be set apart for Him. The inner life of giving my Father time to speak to me, to wash me through the Word is not merely there to give strength and vitality to serve the higher purpose of having an impact. The inner life is there because it is there that I fulfil my highest calling of being set apart for Him. This is a key element of what life is all about.

One of the reasons why we choose to be too busy to spend time with the Lord is that we are too concerned about our impact. Having an impact on people takes all of one’s efforts, it is a relentless drive to craft the message and measure the impact so the message can be perfected.  The drive of having an impact is a relentless slave driver. When I am caught up with impact I am driven from taking time with God. All this is supposedly done ‘for the Lord’ who ‘brought [me] out with a mighty hand and redeemed [me] from the house of slavery.’

God has said, ‘It was not because you were more in number … that the Lord has set His love on you and chosen you.’ We believe the lie of the Christian crowd that our fruitfulness in Christ is about numbers, and give ourselves to having a wide impact, all the time blanking out the Lord’s clear message that He puts no such pressure on us. He loves us for who we are, whether we are one or many.

So how much do I value the God who saved me by giving Him my specific attention, to be with Him for His sake, to live out the life of one who has been set apart for Him.


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