Walking with God

What does it take to walk with God?

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

‎5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
‎And lean not on your own understanding;
‎6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
‎And He shall direct your paths.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart” – this could be the most difficult thing to do on a consistent, day-in, day-out basis – and it’s more than it appears on the surface. This requires trusting that the LORD’s will and His glory are the ultimate end-game, motivated by love and his desire for us to become more like Christ. This motiviation, this desire for our Christlikeness, is only part of the equation for His directing – making straight, leading, making smooth – our path – our way of life, way of living.

The equally important half of the equation is that we are to acknowledge Him in all our ways – our path, direction, manners, way of living, and moral character. Acknowleging Him is more than giving lip service. This word means to know by experience, to percieve, to recognize. Our life (“way”) should be such that other people can percieve, experience, and know God by experiencing Him – his characteristics, his attributes – in our lives.

The marriage of these two parts of the equation put us in a place to walk in the paths God has directed – made straight and smooth. Our failure is engaging our own minds and our own understanding when

1) things are going well – thinking we had anything to do with it.. It might be intentional, it might be subconsiously, but we begin to tell God, “thanks, but I’ve got this…” and lean on our own understanding.It also

2) thing aren’t going well. We start trying to understand why. Instead we need to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart…” God has a plan. God loves us enough to allow circumstances that aren’t pleasant. Think of Jonah. God had to get through to Jonah and he was willing put all the other men on the same boat as Jonah in jeopardy as he brought the storms on Jonah.

Walking with God doesn’t mean level paths and flowers. Somtimes it can be a difficult and seemingly dangerous journey – but as we learn to trust him with ALL our heart, we aren’t moved or intimidated by our surrounding circumstances.

God was not taken by surprise…

Numbers 8:1-4 (NKJV)

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “Speak to Aaron, and say to him, ‘When you arrange the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand.’ ” 3 And Aaron did so; he arranged the lamps to face toward the front of the lampstand, as the Lord commanded Moses. 4 Now this workmanship of the lampstand was hammered gold; from its shaft to its flowers it was hammered work. According to the pattern which the Lord had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand.

It hit me today as I was reading this passage that the LORD knew every detail of how he wanted his tabernacle – every detail, from structure to the way the contents were arranged… hammered gold flower details on the lamp stands… where he wanted them to be located … how HE wanted them to be arranged.

The last half of v4 says “According to the pattern which the LORD had shown to Moses…”  So God had this all designed in every detail and then showed it to Moses at the appropriate time.

1 Cor 6:19 says that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. It is comforting to know that this Holy Spirit is the same God of the Old Testament who designed and arranged every detail of of the Mosaic temple. How much more does he want to design and arrange every detail of his new testament, post-crucifixion temple in you and me (Jer 29:11)?  If He was that attentive to every detail of the Tabernacle, he is still that attentive to every detail of my life, because he is the same God yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8) and He is incapable of change (Mal 3:6, James 1:16-18).

It is comforting to know, as a dear friend puts it, “God was not taken by surprise by this…” He already knows how whatever is going on is going to turn out.

It’s my job to be like Moses and spend time in His presence every day – getting my marching orders, receiving from Him how he wants to arrange the contents of my tabernacle, spending much time listening to Him and sharing what He has said with the people God has put in front of me.

Thank you Lord for authoring every detail of my life.  Thank you for not being surprised by the events that unfold each day.  Help me to hear you clearly – face to face – so that I might know how to arrange the articles of my temple and steward the plans you have made.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Running After Papa…

Freedom in Parenting

Lot’s of stuff in 1 Cor 3 today. But before I start, a new aspect of yesterday’s journal caught my attention…

1 Cor 2:11-12 – continuing from yesterday….

No one knows God’s thoughts but His Spirit.
He has given me His Spirit, and thereby He reveals His thoughts to me.

Question: Am I trustworthy with God’s thoughts?

Measures of Spiritual Maturity
1 Cor 3:2-3

Paul says of the Corinthians “You are still not spiritual, because there is jealousy and quarreling among you, and this shows that you are not spiritual. You are acting like people of the world.”

When we are jealous and quarreling (such as my kids are doing) this shows spiritual immaturity and that jealousy and quarreling are controlled by the sinful nature (“… you are still carnal…” NKJV says).

Planting, Watering & Growing
1 Cor 3:5-8

I can plant. I can water. Both of those are my job. God and God alone is responsible for the growing. That is very freeing when I place it in the context of parenting. I am not responsible for the spiritual growth of my kids. All I can do is plant and water, plant and water… sow, sow, sow. Papa is responsible to make it grow. That’s very freeing.

There is lots more in chapter 3, but I’ll post about it later, because I want to do a deeper study on foundations.