** Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God. ** Leviticus 18:4
The Old Testament is filled with rules and laws and commandments. Too many Old Testament Israelites got caught up in following the rules with hearts of judgment, condemnation, a lack of mercy, grace or compassion. Do New Testament Christians do the same?
Jesus came to show us what the Law really meant. He Godified it.
He was grace and mercy personified. He looked into the eyes of sinners and had mercy. He felt the lash of the merciless and asked the Father to forgive them. He was the Living Word. He taught us how to live out the OT with a pure heart. He taught us how to allow the Spirit to guide us and not our prideful, selfish, and hateful flesh.
He taught us to love people instead of waiting to attack those who didn’t live up to our standards.
That is what ‘love the Lord with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself’ means.
It’s giving others a break. It is giving the Lord space and time to change them and to work in their hearts for good. It is wanting what He wants for them, not what we want for them.
He wants sinners, of any flavor, to be saved. We want to see them judged.
Jesus didn’t just put up with sinners, He lived with them. He ate with them. He slept in the same room with them. He got up close and personal with them. He knew exactly what and who they were, He knew what ‘was in man’ and yet, He spent all day with them.
If we say we walk with God, we are not just saying that we invite Him into every one of our moments, it is saying that we go where He goes. We walk with Him. We follow Him. We do what He does. We respond the way He responds.
It means we are an example of Christ in front of others….others meaning lost people, co-workers, political representatives, classmates, our next door neighbor, and most importantly…our spouse, our children and our grandchildren.
And in front of the brethren. Our goal is not to be like someone at church, our goal is to be like Jesus. Because Jesus never fell short.
**And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. ** Deuteronomy 11:19.
All day long. In everything. Teaching, talking, sitting down at dinner, walking and hearing about their day, when we tuck them in bed, when they wake up and sit at the breakfast table. When they need to do their homework. When they are doing their chores.
What kind of families would we all have if we really truly did that? If we shared the heart of Christ to our children instead of being harsh and demanding and quick to punish like the Pharisees were?
Our lessons to our children will make more impact if we are spending relaxed time with them. Walking along a hiking trail together, or sitting in a fishing boat, talking comfortably, instead of lining them up and reading them the riot act. It would be easier to hear them, easier to listen to their fears and worries, easier to respond with transparency and to help them work it out for themselves instead of controlling their every thought and action. It is pointing them always to God and that He has the answers for them. And encouraging them they will learn how to hear Him themselves with time.
Walking with God is walking with others while we keep in communication with Him. It is asking Him to give us the answer to our children’s tough questions. It is asking Him to guide our response to an angry husband. It is asking Him to guide our conversation and emotions before answering a text or a phone call.
It is letting God be God and learning all that we can from Him.