Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Walk This Way

“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. You will also defile the covering of your images of silver, And the ornament of your molded images of gold. You will throw them away as an unclean thing; You will say to them, ‘Get away!’” – Isaiah 30:21-22

The world is depending upon the Body of Christ to be a light – a witness – to the Glory of God. Each of us has the opportunity to give testimony by the way we walk, the way live and the way we love. We have the Spirit in us to guide us, teach us, even admonish us – bring conviction when our hearts wander. You know these things to be true. We all live under the constant pressure to conform to this world when God’s intent is that we be transformed. I once knew a man – a Christian Brother – with whom I served in the Army. He and his wife had a significant influence on Martie and me when we were first born again. We were assigned to the same Division – 4th Infantry in an armor (tank) unit. My friend and I were talking about the pressures we experienced to conform to the “image and behavior” of an Army officer. The issue of drinking alcohol came up. Drinking in excess had been such a big part of my “old” life and a desire to drink was gone. My friend told me that although he did not want to drink, he felt it was necessary to drink in order to be accepted and even be successful as an officer. So – contrary to his belief – he did. I get it. His dad had been a successful Army officer – he wanted to be the same – or thought he did. Actually he eventually left the military to pursue a secular career. 

My experience in the Army was different. I did not drink – even though I would attend what was known as “purple alerts” on Friday afternoons when the officers would gather at the Officers’ Club to drink. I went but did not drink alcohol. When I attended formal functions there would be toasts made and wine glasses filled.  I turned my wine glass upside down and used my water glass to make the toast.  When I did, I noticed that some of the other young officers did the same, but only after I did. Success in the military life did not depend upon the consumption of alcohol – or the vulgarity of your vocabulary – but on your competency as a soldier.

So what was really going on with my friend. Well, to the point, he had taken his eyes off of God – was no longer listening to the Spirit when it came to his walk – but looked to the world – or the Army – as the determiner of his success.  The temptation to trust in the wrong thing is always right in front of all of us.  The point of my sharing this story is not that I am good and my friend is not. It is that what my friend believed to be true was not true – he was deceived by his old nature. Perhaps lack of faith that God was sovereign – even in the Army. It happens to all of us. Compromise with the promise of something good resulting. We had a saying that God made the assignments, Washington merely cut (wrote) the orders.

Look to the Garden and the lesson learned there.  Trusting our own wit, our feelings, the ways of the world and no longer listening to the Spirit of God is part of our sinful nature – birthed in the Garden. 

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you[a] shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:8-9

What do you struggle with? Please don’t read this as a proclamation of my purity – like I don’t have my own struggles – of course I do. I would hope that these words brings pause to your thinking and perhaps encourages you to draw closer to God and stop embracing those things that are contrary to your new nature.  To consider those things that you have accepted as “good” or “good enough” that are not.

Believe it – walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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