Every follower of Jesus faces three powerful enemies. First, Satan prowls around like a lion looking for those he can devour. Second, the world is filled with sin that entangles and destroys. And third, our own sinful desires draw us away from the Lord.
When the people of Israel were ready to go in and take possession of the Promised Land, their leader Moses knew that they would face these spiritual enemies. So he gave them instructions on living in God’s victory and blessing (see Deuteronomy 6).
Moses said, “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all you heart, soul and strength. These commandments that I am giving you today are to be on your hearts.”
The commandments Moses speaks of are primarily the Ten Commandments, but also the many applications of those commandments in their daily lives. These words of God were to be on the hearts of God’s people.
Moses continued speaking about God’s commandments, “Impress them on your children. Speak about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the way, when you lie down and when you get up.”
In addition to having God’s word on their hearts, they were to have God’s word in their homes, obeying it in their daily lives and speaking about it with their children. In this way they would pass God’s word on to the next generation.
Then Moses said about the commandments, “Tie them on your hands as symbols and bind them to your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
The “gate” of an ancient city was the place of official business, much like the courthouses in towns and cities today. Moses is telling the people that private faith is insufficient. They had to take God’s word into their communities, into the public square.
So, in addition to having God’s word on their hearts and in their homes, they were to have God’s word in their communities. Only with the word of God’s truth would God’s people be victorious over their enemies.
The same dynamics are in play now. As God’s people, we face powerful resistance to God’s eternal truth. We need to carry God’s word into the public square, into our communities. This is our only hope for pushing back the darkness that presses in from every side.
Please notice, however, that we will not have God’s word in our communities until we have it in our homes, impressing it on our children. And we will not have God’s word in our homes if we do not have it on our hearts.
Victory in the public square begins in the heart of each and every believer. Every man and woman of faith must diligently read, passionately believe, and faithfully obey the Bible. Without the sure foundation of God’s word, we can build nothing of lasting importance. With it we will overcome!
May God’s empowering Presence inspire and enable us to carry his word into our communities,