This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free, compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from the heart of Constantin Caraman (from Romania, Mr. Caraman was in prison three times for his faith), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:
Enoch walked with God. (Genesis 5:24)
'Walking with God' ... Can it be done today?
Was it not much easier for Enoch to walk with God? Did he not live in the 'good old days'? No, those old days were not that good. They were times of change and apostasy.
In fact, people lived according to their own standards so much that it was not difficult to notice a man who had different standards, God's standards: he walked with God.
He did so in spite of the slander and temptation of the world around him.
No, it is not at all easy to walk with God. It is much easier to only believe in God in your hearts and live like the rest of the world. But that is not walking with God. That is a compromise which makes any walk with God impossible.
How then do we walk with God? By acknowledging Him in all things, in seeking Him and living for Him.
'In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight' (Proverbs 3:6).
How delightful it is to walk with God in those paths.
A moment of introspection: In 1997, Andraé Crouch recorded a CD entitled "Pray". This album has been an inspiration to me since I discovered it, and I especially think of the track within it, called "Early In The Morning". Two parts of the song which apply here, are as follows:
It's so easy to make mistakes
When I try to do things my own way.
You said if I'd only ask,
You would direct my path.
Teach me, Lord, today.
Should I go or should I stay?
Guide me in all Your ways;
Please talk to me now.
Let's consider God's Word further. In Psalm 25:4-5, with the Psalmist, we may ask God to "Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day long." God replies, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you." (Psalm 32:8) We ask, and God responds. Proverbs confirms that those who wait all day for God's expected reply to our entreaty, will throughout that day "acknowledge Him in all our ways." Living by God's standards will not result in mistakes due to our trying to do things our own way. If we ask Him to do so, He has said that He will direct our paths. Hearken to His leading, listen for the guidance of that still, small voice (Isaiah 30:21) "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" Let God's spirit guide you, and listen to His direction.
Standards. The world's standards versus God's standards. Judges 17:6 tells that there is a difference; "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." (emphasis mine) It was apparent in that story, that Micah's aims deviated from God's standards, and resulted in evil. Even the apostle, Paul, acknowledges the nature of life with no divine standards of right and wrong; check out Paul's letter to the Romans (i.e., Romans 1:1-32).
If left to our own devices (i.e., leaving God out of the picture), it's so easy to make mistakes when we try to do things our way. But the world would teach us another lesson about doing things our way. Popularized by Frank Sinatra, in his song "My way", the song writer leaves God out of the picture. Here’s a segment of this song:
Regrets, I've had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.
I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.
Consider the following counterpoint to Sinatra's famous lyrics in Luke 16:19-30. Though unknown, the rich man's success may well have resulted from a life lived "his own way"--giving no thought to the life beyond this earthly sphere. In Philippians 1:21, the apostle, Paul, averred that "to live is Christ." Did this statement place God or Christ at the periphery or at the center of Paul's life? For society, today, living by God's standard is always optional and often shunned; yet as Christians, we are called to place God first (and for us, that is not an equivocal stance). How do we develop and apply a Christian worldview? A couple suggestions... Do we have a biblical worldview? Check it out with a free quiz at: http://www.worldviewweekend.com/test/register.php. You might be surprised at the results of the quiz. Then, consider purchasing and studying John MacArthur's book, Think Biblically! Recovering a Christian Worldview (2003, Good News Publishing, Crossway Books, ISBN-10: 1-4335-0398-0, ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-0398-6). Both are very helpful in learning to put God first, developing a life based on God's standard. Mr. Caraman grants us his insight into putting God first: "How then do we walk with God? By acknowledging Him in all things, in seeking Him and living for Him." In the time we have left, let's Take a Walk...with God!
In this walk, be aware, though, that the world may well revile us with slander and worse means, and seek to divert us through temptation. Living a life according to God’s standards in the Bible has rarely been easy and often comes with worldly animosity toward that life. Yet letting God direct our paths has been a delightful experience for many, who find a renewed purpose and goal in life. Each morning, ask God to direct our paths; each day, ask that he make us to know His ways and that he lead us in His Truth. And may our souls truly wait for God all the day long. In whatever time remains for us, let us walk with Him; He has the standard. He knows the way and, if we listen closely, we may hear the voice telling us “This is the way; walk in it.”