Living Deuteronomy 4:9

My heart and my pen landed on this verse this morning, while scribing the words of Deuteronomy into my Journible:

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” –Deuteronomy 4:9

And I thought about my dad and our time of circled prayer in my garage last Saturday morning which included my mom, my husband, and my two younger children. I am my father’s child and these are his grandchildren; he continues to make faith deposits into all of us.

A word here. A prayer there. A genuine love wrapped up in arms and with enough hearty laughter to crack even the driest of souls wide open to receive God’s showers of grace.

My daddy has not forgotten the things his eyes have seen, nor has he let them slip from his heart. Instead, he remembers the faithfulness of his Father and lives it forward. What he has sown into me, what he has sown into my children, cannot be measured on this side of eternity. His scattering of kingdom seed roots deeply in our hearts – a generational dispensation of faith. Who we are, in part, is directly linked to who he is.

I am grateful for all the ways I see my father’s faith at work in my life and in the lives of my children. I am grateful for all the ways I’ve yet to see my father’s witness walk on eternally. He has been careful and intentional with his legacy of faith. I am challenged to live accordingly … to remember the things my eyes have seen and to not let them slip from my heart as long as I live.

What about you? How goes it with your remembering, your slipping? Your generational dispensation of faith? When was the last time you circled your family members for prayer or spoke bold truth into their hearts?

This is not the time to shrink back in your faith, friends. To assume that no one is listening or no longer needs the witness of your history with Jesus. There’s too much in that place (your history with Jesus) not to speak it forward. What God has done for you—in you and with you—is a mighty work of grace. He means for it to walk on eternally in the hearts, minds, and souls of those who sit beneath your influence.

This is how we get home safely to Jesus—the thread that tethers us back to our beginnings when Father God hovered over the dark and deep and determined that we would be part of the goodness that flows out of him. Adam and Eve, all the way down the family tree until you and me. Generation after generation of obedient and willing saints who chose not to forget the things their eyes saw or let them slip from their hearts for as long as they lived.

That’s a lot of circled prayer time, a lot of faith lived forward. It reaches down through history, through the words of Deuteronomy, in all of God’s Word, and, most importantly, in the words of my daddy whose extraordinary faith has warmed the hearts of all who’ve drawn close to its flame.

What I have seen I will remember. I will not let it slip from my heart for as long as I live. I promise.

I love you, daddy.

10 Responses to Living Deuteronomy 4:9

  1. I am picturing those moments in your garage – and what a blessing that must have been. I was blessed with two wonderful grandfathers, and their faith had a great impact on me. Sometimes I wish my sons had been able to know them. The boys’ paternal grandfather died before their dad and I were even married. And my dad, though a good grandfather in many ways, didn’t really speak about faith. I am so grateful for the influence of my mother, who was instrumental in their decisions to accept Jesus when they were young boys. She has continued to shine a beacon of faith into their lives, and mine.

    I am very conscious of *passing on* what I believe. And I do my best (of course, with the power and courage of the Holy Spirit) to tell my family about the gracious wonders of the Lord Jesus. I truly feel like time is short in this fallen world, and the battles my sons must fight are so much harder in some ways than mine were at their age. So, I tell them, from the perspective of a longer-lived life, that God holds faithful through the years.


  2. what a blessing to have a father who makes intentional deposits into the life of his generations… Craig Hill calls its generational evangelism – and one such life does impact even the unborn generations to come. Like you, I want to live such a life – that even my unborn generations receive a spiritual seed from me. And it is never too late to plant another seed for our generations to reap. And like you, I never want to forget what my eyes have seen, what my ears have heard, what my past generations have also sown into me. Blessings abound in your life today, dear friend.

  3. First… ditto in thanksgiving for our dad’s! They are one of the greatest gifts God has given to you and I both. This is so sweet Elaine, and on and on it goes. I had a circle of prayer with my 18 month old grandaughter last weekend, she already carefully folds her hands in prayer and bows her little head as she joins in. Seeds from long ago that were planted in my life, now carefully being taught by her mommy & daddy and growing in her heart.

    Big hugs!

  4. What I have witnessed of God’s goodness and faithfulness, even through trials, I will never forget. My opportunities for sharing those stories are limited however, when the opportunity arises, I pray I am able to do God justice by sharing His great and eternal love!

  5. Elaine, my extended family enjoyed a great time of family worship during our reunion this summer. It was one of the highlights of our time together. Also, my dad called me and prayed for me before I left to go to a writers conference last week. What a blessing. I pray that my girls feel as blessed by the heritage of faith I’ve tried to give them as I do by the heritage of faith that I’ve been blessed with. May it go on for all the generations to come!

  6. Oh my, you know I am all over this post. With my focus on LEGACY, I am sitting here thinking, “YES!” We must not shrink back. The Lord has been so clear with me in these last few months….’teach the WORD’. I must not shrink back from that which HE has called me to do. Thank you Elaine, for speaking into my heart this morning. Love you.

  7. How wonderful to have a father who prays for your family like that. I love the circle prayer and recently read that book about it. You remind me to do that for my family too. I was so fortunate to have a godly grandfather who prayed about everything. I remember as a child spending the night at my grandparent’s house. What I remember most was his old worn leather Bible open on his lap with his head bowed praying. It was always the last thing he did at night before going to bed and the first thing in the morning.

    Blessings and love,

  8. wifeforthejourney:

    It is a blessing how your father has modeled a life of prayer for our family. Our garage-prayer-meeting is just one of many examples. In a generation where even a prayer of thanks before a meal is increasingly rare, your dad demonstrates his own vital and active faith in a way that is NOT for show. Not only are our children seeing the example of their “Paps” I am seeing another reminder of how it ought to be with Christian men living the life of husband, father, and pastor.

    For those that have missed out on life with a praying father in their home, may we all feel that much more motivated to stand in the gap.

    Love you,

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