Deuteronomy 13:4, says, “Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” As I’m closing out my thoughts on the action words of Deuteronomy 13:4, I want to focus on the command to cling.
As a mom to three under two and a half, I’m well acquainted with the word “cling.” My middle child lights up a room and has a gift of making other people feel acknowledged and cherished. She is also a cuddler. She simply has to be close to someone, usually me, nearly every waking moment. Although I sometimes wish I could have a bit of space, I cherish having her near, witnessing her grow, and guiding her towards Christ. I imagine our Heavenly Father feels the same way about us. He longs for us to cling to Him because He wants to be with us, guide us, protect us, correct us and comfort us. As a mother longs to be with her babies, our heavenly Father longs to be with us. He asks us to cling to Him.
Psalm 63:6-8 says, “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches, For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.”
The Psalmist is so in love and so dependent on the Lord that he finds his greatest joy in clinging to the Lord. I have to ask myself…does this describe me? Am I in love with the Lord? Am I dependent on the Lord? Is my greatest joy found in Him alone?
When a zebra separates himself from the heard he makes himself vulnerable to attack. In the same way when I separate myself from the Lord and His people I open myself up to attack. Our Heavenly Father always knows what is best for us. He wants us to stay in the “shadow of His wings” were there is fullness of joy and shelter from the enemy. When we don’t obey His Deuteronomy 13:4 directive to cling to Him we miss out on abundant blessings.
We miss out on fullness of joy in the presence of God. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life: In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Who doesn’t want to experience the kind of joy Moses felt that literally made him glow after being in the presence of God? That’s what I give up every time I choose to do my own thing rather than cling to the one who loves me most.
We miss out on protection from the enemy. 2 Samuel 22:4 says, “I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies…In my distress I called upon the LORD, Yes, I cried to my God; And from His temple He heard my voice, And my cry for help came to His ears.” God extends His mighty hand of protection to all of His children. It is our choice whether we will find our protection as we cling to Him or whether we will try in vain to fight our own battles. God’s way is always far better.
We miss out on the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. I’m incapable of doing life in my own strength. Unfortunately, that knowledge doesn’t keep me from trying. However, I’m beginning to learn there is a far more effective and freeing way to live life. Simply depend on God. He is “able to do above and beyond all we can ask or think”. I began reading Acts this morning and was reminded of where all strength comes from. Acts 1:8 says, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest parts of the earth.” As I live across the world from the place I’ve always called home, I’m so thankful that the Holy Spirit is my source of power. Without Him I am nothing. With Him I have the strength I need to be a sweet aroma (witness) to my family, my neighbors, and the world. I need only to cling to Him.
My prayer is that God will make me like my daughter; fully dependent and fully in love with my Heavenly Father. As she clings to me, I pray I cling to Him. In His presence is fullness of joy, protection from the enemy, power of the Holy Spirit, and blessing forevermore. Lord, teach me to cling.