It took me a long time to learn that walking with God means every human adopted into His family has a different course.
It took me a long time to understand that to love Him was to obey Him, because He first loved me. John 14:23
I once thought to obey Him was to win his favor, to please Him. This often left me with anxiety and a burden of condemnation when I messed up. I’d agonize for days over something I did.
As is typical for human-kind, my thinking was upside down.
I understand now that my obedience comes only from surrender of my whole self to God so that He can live through me. It is, in the moment of my flesh wanting to sin [gossip, complain, cuss, kick] in THAT moment, I have another choice. The choice to take up my cross. I die to my right to myself, and let Him have His way with me. Luke 9:23
The power to obey comes in dying.
To take up our cross.
To deny ourself.
To offer our bodies as a living sacrifice. Romans 12:1
There are those who understand grace and think obedience is unnecessary.
They profess to know God, but deny His power.
Titus 1:16 talks about that. So does 2 Timothy 3:5
This morning I was reading 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
As God has said:
“I will live with them
and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”
“Come out from them
and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
The separating God calls us to is from the world when we are adopted into His family. He is not calling us to leave the world, but to live distinctly from the world. To be set apart for Him. We are adopted into His family and join the Family mission. It’s that simple. It’s God saying, “You are mine.” It’s endearing that He has a special mission for each of His children. Knowing that is what enables our will to surrender at that moment of decision.
Oh that we’d trust Him!
I thought about the different things God required of men and women throughout scripture. The Levites were not to own property, Samson was not to drink wine or eat grapes. Jeremiah and Ezekiel were called to do some strange things as examples to God’s people. David ate the forbidden bread – because he walked with God and God was the boss of him, the maker of the rule, God could override it.
Have you ever had someone’s convictions make you feel guilty because yours were much less restrictive? In those cases, I’ve had to bring my anxiety to the Lord and ask Him if I feel that way because He wants me to tighten up my convictions or if He has just called me to a different walk.
Or maybe you’ve looked down on someone for not having the same convictions as you do. That is where grace comes to play. And pray. First for yourself to remain humble and then for the other person to be in the will of God.
It’s freeing to know that our journey with God through Jesus is . . . free.
As long as we are walking with God, we can rest in knowing He who loves us is leading us on, is speaking to us, and will help us when we get the least bit off track.