Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Walking Worthy of the Lord

Scripture: Colossians 1 v 10-11:  "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness."
Micah 6 v 8: "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God."

When we first meet Jesus and open our hearts to acknowledge Him as our Lord and Saviour we become born again and are now citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven with our names written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

This is a glorious new beginning, feeling so clean as every sin is cancelled and knowing we are a new creation in Christ Jesus.  We are a different being whose spirit is now seated in Heavenly places in Christ, dead to sin and to the world but alive to the new experience of salvation.

The joy, peace and love that floods our soul is so different to the pressure of the world we came out of, that for a while that is all we need.  We praise and worship the Almighty in newness of life.  However, there comes a day when we realise that our Father requires things from us and we need to start walking worthy of Him.

The goal of walking worthy of the Lord is fruitfulness, knowing God more intimately, gaining strength from His power and having much patience with ourselves and others.  We need to do justly - meaning that we need to see people, situations, problem areas through His eyes.  We need to correctly discern the spiritual implications before judging the physical evidence.

So mental gymnastics like jumping to conclusions, and making instant final judgments needs to change into prayerful determination linked with what God says in His Word about it.  This eliminates criticism, harsh words, condemnation and sarcasm.

God is love and He loves His family with great tenderness and mercy.  His legacy to us is that we can also love one another as He loves us.  We need to show mercy and be humble about it.  Not like Caesar in the movie Gladiator when sparing Maximus' life, "Am I not merciful?" he screamed to the crowd!  He wanted adulation for showing mercy.

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, is being vilified in the media in her country for calling a snap election and failing to increase the Conservative majority.  She went before her party yesterday and humbly said sorry to them and promised to make it right.  They forgave her and renewed their confidence in her leadership.

Here in South Africa despite loads of hard evidence, the ruling party is full of pride and arrogance, while the president and many of his top ministers are engaged in looting the nation's coffers for personal gain.  No amount of court cases nor challenges in parliament has made any difference.  The fall from grace will come and what they have done to others will be done to them.  
Proverbs 16 v 18 - 19: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.  Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."

When we learn to walk worthy of the Lord we engage in good works.  Fruitfulness means that His kingdom is enlarged by the number of souls saved by our testimony and witness. We have to sow seeds into hungry hearts and water them with prayer and then God gives the increase.

We should desire to get closer to Jesus, to know Him in the fullness of His resurrection and to possess the mind of Christ. This will give us His knowledge and understanding of the world and how to pray and fast for the lost.  

We also need to put on His strength is for the battles that lie ahead. When we fight the enemy he schemes against us, but when we learn to outwit him he is defeated. When he gains nothing from his attacks on us he leaves us alone and turns his devious eyes on weaker, more carnal believers, with whom he can taunt the Father.

Instead of us tearing down those who are weak, we should be covering them with prayer and love to build them up and strengthen them.  We need to teach them how to withstand the enemy and his onslaught.  He will target these ones who have challenges and we must stand in the gap to secure their faith and help them grow.

In many gardens weaker plants are tied to a stake and given nutrients and shade coverings to strengthen them.  In like manner we need to tie some weaker members to ourselves until they are able to stand on their own.  We need to feed them the true Word of God and build character and fruitfulness into them.  In so doing we walk worthy of the Lord, who raised the dead, healed the lame and cast out demons from the oppressed.

Those who want to be great in the Kingdom of God achieve this by being servants to the Body of Christ.  Jesus came here not to be served but to be servant to all.  We need to lay aside our lofty ideals and religious ambitions to follow His plan of lifting the fallen and seeking the lost.

Learning this kind of patience involves going through trials and growing in faith as we see Jesus handling the various issues of our lives. When we endure discomfort with joy we are achieving a walk worthy of the Lord.

Prayer:  Father God, our delight is in You Lord as we learn to live according to Your ways. Teach us to love, obey, pray, give, and be fruitful every day of our lives.  Let us not seek rewards but rather become humble servants to the flock of God, reaching out to those who are shunned by society and being a blessing to those in need. In Jesus' name. Amen.