Reading for May 19th - Deuteronomy 28:7-9
This Old Testament passage was written under the Old Covenant and before the resurrection of Christ. God gave the preresurrection commands and demanded obedience with the promise of great blessing and protection if they obeyed and curses when they did not. This was legalistic bondage for Old Covenant believers because they had a set of God given rules that were impossible for men to obey. Knowing that men could not obey his rules, God set up a system of continual sacrifice for their sins against His laws so they could have their sins covered and keep functioning as His people. This whole system of law and sacrifice showed the faithful that they needed a Savior to deliver them once for all from their sins. It set them up to recognize Jesus, the New Covenant.
When reading Old Testament passages like Deuteronomy 28:7-9, keep in mind that we are under a new system, under the system of grace and not law. Law said, if you obey my commands, you will be blessed and protected. The New Covenant, on the other hand, says that Jesus fulfilled the law for you if you put your faith in Him and not in your own ability to fulfill the law. As a New Covenant believer then, you have been given a new heart that wants to obey God and you have God's grace abundantly supplied to you to grow in obeying His commands. However, His commands under the New Covenant are really reflections of the grace of God in your life. As you grow closer to God, the more His ability will flow out of you to live a godly life.
The key to godly living under the New Covenant, then, is not working harder to obey His commands, but surrendering more to God's grace in your life. This is the message of the EGP course... this is the way to see God establish His peace in your life as you grow in Him and in receiving His grace by being in the word, in prayer and in fellowship with other believers.