The new Year is rapidly approaching. Many in the world talk of their intended new resoloutions, hoping to make changes for the better in life. Some may succeed, but very often, by the end of January, all hopes of intended changes have failed.
As Christians, what about you and I? What challenges for change does the Holy Spirit present us with as the new year unfolds? Have we waited on the Lord and asked Him to search our hearts with this in mind? Psalm 26:2 requests of the Lord: “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me, try my reins and my heart”. The all-seeing eye of God will search our hearts.
What exactly does it mean to walk WITH God? Consider this: Genesis 5:24 “And Enoch walked WITH God, and he was not, for God took him”.
Genesis 6:9 records of Noah, “……Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked WITH God”. God observed that Noah’s heart was toward Him in the midst of a wicked, degenerate generation and thus, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”.
Jacob had a different makeup. Genesis 32: 24-32 gives account of himself wrestling with God, declaring his desire for God to bless him. He wanted God to walk with him. Enoch and Noah walked WITH God. The perspective is different. How often, in adversity, have we prayed for God to change our circumstances, instead of seeing that God has permitted, (not necessarily sent), them to change us, to find God in them and grow through the experience to a deeper walk with Him. The school of life is where we prove God and have opportunity to mature in spirit and walk WITH God, honouring Him with our every day choices and lifestyle.
Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to guard our heart: “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life”. How do I guard my heart? The book of James says much about the untamed tongue. Jesus declared, “……..for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”, Luke 6:45. In other words, whatever is in my heart will manifest on my lips. David prayed: “Unite my heart to fear Thy name”, Psalm 86:11. When my heart is in unity with God’s, the tongue is tamed. When my heart is out of order, I lose the consciousness of His presence, forfeit His peace and stress and irritation manifest. Quick repentance is necessary to restore God’s peace and forgiveness. What caused me to stop walking WITH Him in that moment? The Holy Spirit will show a seeking heart the cause, and the incident can become a learning curve in God. Teach me YOUR ways , O Lord!
A habit in the natural man is difficult to break. Our adamic nature seeks to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil just as Adam and Eve did, and it can become habitual. God requires of each of us not to eat from that tree, (Genesis 3). In the natural, everything we like, we call good, everything we don’t like, we call bad, or evil. How good is the knowledge of good, if it takes me out of God’s will? How bad is the knowledge of bad, if it pushes me into proving God in a deeper way, in accessing resurrection life and strength to take me through adversity? Sometimes what we term as good can be the enemy of the best. Selah! Our heavenly Father ever seeks to bring us to the place where we see Him in all things, in every circumstance we encounter to see God, not judge it as either good or evil. This is true heart purity, walking WITH God.
As we approach the new year, may the Lord help us to break the habit of eating from the cursed tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As we refuse sense knowledge, we open ourselves up to hear what God is saying to us through His Word, the true Bread of Life. Only as I am linked to the highest, Christ dwelling in me, will resurrection life manifest in word, deed and heart purity……seeing God in ALL things and believing “all things work together for good to those that love the Lord …….(Romans 8:28)
May God’s divine purposes be fulfilled in each of our lives this coming year. Help us to make right choices, Lord, then we shall experience the increase of Your peace and presence.