A Walk in Conformity to God’s Ways
God’s will is not an intangible, indefinite thing. Indeed so practical is it that it stretches itself over our entire manner of living claiming the authority to fashion our daily walk.
Deut. 5:33, “Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.”
1 Kings 3:14, “And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy Father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.”
Over the family life of His children the heavenly Father presides and He fully expects to counsel with them regarding the kind of clothes they wear; the books they read; the studies they pursue; the companions they seek; the business they enter; the money they spend; the possessions they have; the life plans they form; their habits of recreation and play as well as of work; and their food and drink. Radiating from the will of God as the center there are ways of thinking, talking, resting, working, playing, eating, dressing, living which are consistent with our home life in the heavenlies and are worthy of the training which we have received of our Father.
Phil. 1:27, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
Phil. 2:15, “That ye may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world.”
Yet there are prodigals in the Father’s family who despising the restraints in the Father’s home go their own way into the far country. There are others who remain at home but reserve the right in certain matters to conform their ways to those of the world. There are Christian men who contend that in business one must use the methods of the world to succeed even if they are somewhat shady and dishonoring. There are earnest Christian women who in matters of dress follow the extreme fashions of the world. There are both men and women who in most of their ways of life have sought and followed the Lord’s guidance, yet in one supreme choice – that of a partner for life – have disobeyed God’s direct command to marry “in the Lord,” and a life of suffering and sorrow has often been the result. There are leaders o the Church even who have departed so far from God’s ways of financing His work that they have filled the house of prayer with the tables of money changers. Many a Christian has ceased to walk in the will of God because at some definite point he has departed from the ways of God. To be filled again with God’s Spirit will mean to return to the place of disobedience in confession of sin and then start right in God’s way.
1 Peter 1:14, “As children of obedience, not fashioning yourselves according to your former lusts in the time of your ignorance.”
Romans 12:2, “And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
But it is not only in what we do but in what we do not do that we fail to follow the ways of the Lord. In so many homes God seems to figure so little in the ordinary life of week days. The family attend church together on Sunday and perhaps the children are sent to Sunday School but there is no family altar, no blessing at the table, no mention of God in conversation.
A Walk in Obedience to the Word of God
Some may plead ignorance of the will of God as an excuse for disobedience. But God does not ask us to walk in the dark. God has spoken to us and His will is clearly revealed in His Word. Over and over again in the Old Testament God commanded the children of Israel to hearken unto His voice and then to do what they heard. And He commanded parents to teach their children that the children also might walk in the will and way of God. “The word ‘obey’ comes from a Latin compound, it means that you do in consequence of what you hear.” In the New Testament God makes the same appeal to His children.
Deut. 28:1, “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth.”
James 1:22-24, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”
To walk in the whole will of God requires that we walk in the whole truth of God. Some err and depart from walking in God’s ways because they reserve to themselves the right to become critics of God’s Word and to accept or reject it according to the dictates of reason. But how can one do the will of God when he has rejected some portion of the Word of God which possibly he most needs? Will one who has rejected the personality of the Holy Spirit pay much attention to the command “Be filled with the Spirit”? Another may have refused to accept the truth of a life of victory over the power of sin even thinking it an unscriptural doctrine. Then he is not likely to obey the command to reckon himself dead to sin and to let it not reign over him. Walking in the will of God demands a walking in the truth of God.
2 John 4, “I rejoice greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.”
3 John 4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
(continued with # 5)