I want to use my young gundog for deer hunting. This requires, however, that he not be led astray by the distractions of pheasants or other game birds which also inhabit the woods and forests we hunt in. So I keep training him on deer scents and tell him “no” firmly if he starts to pursue anything else. This takes a lot of time, patience, and diligence, for he’s having to learn to do the type of hunting that I want him to do, not the wide variety of interesting pursuits that he would like to engage in.

God provided His people with a special land filled with plentiful food (Deuteronomy 6:3,11). But after so many years of wandering in the wilderness, they now also faced the obstacle of hostile enemies intent on destroying Israel, and the temptation to worship other gods and pursue sensual satisfaction from earthly desires (Deuteronomy 6:14). Therefore He wanted to prepare them by making sure that their focus was on Him all the time (Deuteronomy 6:3). Moses said, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). God alone deserved the people’s worship and devotion.

Moses declared that the worship of God wasn’t confined to one day a week, nor was it the role of only a select group of people (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). It was the duty of everyone to focus on and worship God every day as a way of life. This was the only way His people would stay pure and not be led astray by an easy life or the lure of other cultures.

As we grow in our dependence on God, the One who is worthy of our true devotion, we’ll learn to steer clear of distractions and follow Him. He lovingly provides what we need to love and worship Him in return.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 Corinthians 15:1-20