July 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
I was on the front porch with my daughter, Emily, reviewing tap steps that she had previously learned. As she listened to my instructions and watched my steps, she noted that my sounds were crisper and clearer than hers, “Mom, your taps are louder than mine.” Smile… sigh… turn of the head, “I have years and years of lessons. My taps should be louder (clearer) than yours, Emily. You will learn sweetie.”
We continued our practice enjoying each other. By the end it was clear that I was enjoying our time just a bit more as evidenced by Emily sitting on the concrete with that look in her eye which signals, “I am about to act out.” She had all together stopped tapping.
This week I have read about keeping in step with the Holy Spirit and wondered, “What does walking in His ways really mean?” Just as Emily needed to follow instructions and copy my every move in order to “tap,” so God’s word tells us that we must obey His commands to walk in His way. We, like Emily, can go about making noise and putting on a show, but we will never complete the performance going our own prideful way. We will be reduced to noisy feet wearing tap shoes. Or, to put it in spiritual terms, we will be “walking” apart from the power of the Holy Spirit while wearing an “I follow Christ” t-shirt.
Is this leading others astray? Even when we are doing good works in our own strength?
I would like to start this four part series on Walking in the Spirit with a look at Deuteronomy. “Deuteronomy, which means ‘second law,’ is a retelling by Moses of the teachings and events of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers.”( English Standard Version Classic Reference Bible, p. 172) Moses is preparing the people for the blessings of the Promised Land. God wants to teach them that they need to prepare their hearts for a blessing, specifically that a life of blessing will require a life of purposeful discipline and obedience of his protective commands.
Often times people, even believers, may look at commands as restrictions rather than safeguards to the life that fears and honors God. However, God knows that when we walk apart from His ways we are walking in antithesis to the Holy Spirit, the fear of the Lord, and all things best. In humility, we obey His commands to walk in His ways knowing His ways are always best.
As we embark on this journey, let us meditate on the following verses to glean an introductory understanding of a life in step with God. As we progress we will look more at walking in step with the Holy Spirit as a New Testament Church, but as demonstrated below, God’s voice is usually preceded or at least protected by a life of obedience to His commands. He is the one who initially calls us to a saving faith in Christ Jesus, but thereafter the volume of His Spirit speaking to us is louder in a life lived in obedience to His commands.
First, I suggest we start by reviewing the Old Testament commands as outlined by the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5:7-21. Next, proceed to read these remaining verses purposefully. It may help to read them aloud.
You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess. ~Deuteronomy 5:33
And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this ~Deuteronomy 6:24-25
So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. ~Deuteronomy 8:6
And now, Israel what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for our good?~Deuteronomy 10:12-13
For if you will be careful to do all that I command you to do, loving the LORD your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him, then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves. ~Deuteronomy 11:22-23
You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. ~Deuteronomy 13:4
Raise the Risk Challenge:
- Do some preliminary work and see what the New Testament has to say about walking in step with the Holy Spirit.
- Read God’s Smuggler found on my Bookshelf. This is a true story of one man who listened for and heard the Holy Spirit’s voice and then walked in His ways.
- Ask some soul-searching questions about your walk. How much of it is characterized as being in step with the Holy Spirit? When was the last time you heard the Spirit speak to you? When was the last time you listened?
- Start each day this week asking the Holy Spirit to speak to you and for the power to walk in obedience to the commands of the Lord.