How You Walk

Saturday, July 20, 2013, 4:38 a.m. – the Lord Jesus woke me with this song:

Fully Ready! / An Original Work / June 19, 2013

Based off Acts 20-22, 26; Mt. 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8

Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I’m fully ready to suffer for Christ.
If I must die for the sake of His name,
I am convinced it will not be in vain.
Glory to God and to His Son Jesus,
Who has redeemed us; bought with His blood.

May I speak to you? Jesus came to me;
Asked of me, “Why do you persecute me?”
He said, “Now get up and stand on your feet.
Go, and you’ll be told all I have for you.
I have appointed you as a servant,
And as a witness; you have been sent.”

“Go into the world and preach the gospel.
Open the blind eyes. They will receive sight.
Turn them from darkness to the light of Christ;
From power of the evil one to God,
So they may receive forgiveness of sins,
And a place among those who’re in heav’n.”

Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Ephesians 5:1-21 (ESV):

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Imitators of God

When we think of the word “imitate,” I think we often get the picture of someone who mimics or copies someone in the sense of poking fun, mocking, acting, or pretending. Yet, in this context, this exhortation to be imitators of God means that we should emulate, follow, follow the example of, and model ourselves (our lives) after God. How do we do this? We should walk in love, following Christ’s example to us.

Now, there are many different interpretations of what it means to walk in love or to love others, so we must model our lives after the life of Christ (God), and we should love others as he loved, and as he loves us. The primo way in which Christ Jesus loved us is that he gave his life for us so that we can go free from enslavement to sin and self-pleasure, free from eternal damnation, and free to walk in his righteousness and holiness. And, we, too, should give our lives to others in ways which will lead them to freedom in Christ - from slavery to sin (away from darkness) to walks of faith (to the light of Christ and his gospel).

Empty Words

“Empty” words are words that contain nothing of value, are insincere, lacking truthfulness, meaningless, purposeless, hollow, shallow, pointless and worthless. The warning and instruction here is that we not let anyone deceive us with empty words. In context, it appears that the empty words may have been coming from false teachers of the gospel who taught “gospel lite,” i.e. they did not teach death to sin and walking in the light of Christ. So, Paul (in the Spirit) made it quite clear to them that if we live immoral, greedy, impure and idolatrous lifestyles, even though we may call ourselves Christians, we have no part in God’s eternal kingdom. This is not to say that Christians will never sin. We will. But, what it does say is that if we continue in willfully sinful lifestyles we have no inheritance in heaven. So, if anyone is telling you that Christ Jesus does not require repentance and obedience, then know the word of God and what it teaches (See Lu 9:23-25; Ep 4:17-24; Ro. 6; 1 Jn).

Yet, “empty” words can be anything that is taught in the name of Jesus Christ which has no eternal value, which leads people to a false hope in Christ, which teaches what is false as though it is truth, and/or which misleads people to believe as true what has no foundation in truth whatsoever or what is founded in half-truths (lies). Not everyone who calls himself or herself a servant (or prophet or minister) of Christ is truly of Christ. This is why we must test everything we hear against the word of God, and we should pray for discernment.

If someone is preaching a message, and he or she is telling you that what he or she is teaching is founded in the word of God, but he or she does not support this Biblically, then check it out to make sure that what you are hearing is truly what the Bible teaches. And, if someone says he or she is hearing from God and shares a message with you supposedly from God, then check it out with God and his word to see if it really is from God or not. As well, if a person says he or she is a prophet of God, and he or she speaks a personal word of prophecy to you supposedly from God, and the words he or she speaks are generic enough that they could apply to a lot of people, then test what that person says, because God knows us, and if this is truly him speaking, he would speak something to us that would be very specific to us and would reveal the relationship we have with him. We know this by how he spoke to his children all throughout Biblical history.

No Partnerships

We are not to be deceived by empty words, for because of these sinful practices mentioned in this passage of scripture, which could include the deceptive and empty words of false teachers, God’s wrath comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, we are not to become partners with them – with the disobedient. A partner can be a spouse, a business partner, associate, and/or colleague, etc., but to partner with someone can also mean to join with, associate, unite, consort and team up with that individual or individuals. So, this is saying, I believe, that we should not hang out with, be partakers with or join with those who are living sinful lifestyles, especially not with those who call themselves Christians and who are living sinful lifestyles. The reason we should not hang out and partake with them is that we were once darkness, but now we are the light in the Lord, so we should walk (live) as children of light (all that is good, right and true), not as those still in darkness, and we should try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

Not only should we not partake in the unfruitful works of darkness (all that is called sin or which glorifies or is entertained by sin), but we are to expose (uncover; reveal) these unfruitful deeds of darkness for what they are. We should expose what is false and that which stands opposed to God. We should reveal what kinds of things Biblically speaking would be considered “fruitless deeds of darkness,” so that we are aware of what we partake in and how God views these things, and we should do so in the light of the truth of God’s holy word. This is loving! This is kind! Jesus gave his life up for us so we could go free from slavery to sin and so we could be free to walk in his righteousness, so if we follow his example, and we walk in his love in this way, it should involve lovingly pointing out what is false (Biblically speaking), exposing these fruitless deeds of darkness for what they are, and it should call people to turn from their sins and to turn to walk in Christ’s righteousness.

Look Carefully

Yet, we should look carefully (examine carefully) how we walk in the Spirit of God ourselves. Do we live what we say we believe? Or, are we riding the fence spiritually with one foot in the world and one in God’s kingdom? Do we buy into every wind of teaching just because it sounds good and it stirs us emotionally? Or do we exercise spiritual wisdom and discernment so that we do not fall prey to clever lies disguised as truth? Do we check out what we hear against the word of God (of truth) to make sure it adds up? And, are we following after and teaching the truth ourselves?

We need to make the best use of our time, because the days are evil. This means that we need to be aware of the culture and times in which we live, and that we need to live our lives with eternity in view and with a reality check of our own lives, hearts and minds as to what evil we willfully take into our hearts and minds each and every day, so that we may turn from all known sin, so that we can walk in the light of the truth of God’s holy word. Also, making the best use of our time, because the days are evil, carries with it the real awareness that people are dying and are going to hell without Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, that we have been given the keys to eternal life, and that we have a God-given responsibility to share with others how they can come to know Christ, too, and can be set free from the control of Satan and sin over their lives, and how they can walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness one day at a time, turning away from sin, and following Jesus Christ in obedience to his will and to his purposes for our lives (See Lu 9:23-25).

God’s Will

We need to understand what God’s will is for our lives. We do this through careful and prayerful study of the scriptures, through time spent at Jesus’ feet each day, and through walking in the light of his love and of his word one day at a time in obedience to his commands and in surrender to his will for our lives. The more we obey him, the more of himself he will reveal to us, and the more we will come to know and to understand his will and his purposes for our lives.

Lastly, we are to continually be “being” filled with the Spirit of God. This is not a one-time experience. And, the whole of Ephesians 4 & 5 teach us how this works. We are to put off our old man, be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and put on our new lives in Christ Jesus, created to be like Christ in true righteousness and holiness. We are to put off the fruitless deeds of darkness, and we are to walk in the light of Christ, i.e. in his truth and holiness. We do this, not in our own human strength and reasoning, but in the power and working of the Holy Spirit of God within us as Christ Jesus lives out his life through us, as we continually yield to his Lordship and yield control of our lives over to him.

Then, filled to overflowing with the Spirit of God within us, we encourage and strengthen and edify the body of Christ. One of the ways in which we do this is through the sharing of songs one with another. Now, this is not speaking of sharing professional recordings or songs that are sung in a professional sounding manner in the eyes of man, but these are spiritual songs which stem from our personal relationships with Jesus Christ and which are founded in the truths of God’s holy word. We don’t even have to be able to carry a tune to share a song in the Spirit for the purpose of encouraging and uplifting each other. The main components necessary are that we are filled with the Holy Spirit, that we are obedient to God’s voice in sharing what he gives us to share, that we are acting in love one to another, and that we give thanks and praise to God. And, then we trust God to use it for his purposes and for his glory in other people’s lives.

My Heart’s Desire / An Original Work / June 29, 2013

Based off Rm. 10; Lu. 9:23-26; Ep. 4:20-24

Loved Ones, Oh, my heart’s desire
Is that you might come to Jesus.
Many appear zealous for God,
But they do not trust in Him.
They have not submitted to the One
Who saved them from their sins;
Not forsaken their sins,
Nor have they obeyed their King.

The word of the Lord is near you:
The word of faith we’re proclaiming:
That you must confess your faith
In Jesus as your Lord and King:
Believe in Him as your Lord,
And follow Him where’er He leads.
Share the gospel; be a witness,
And meet others’ needs.

Beautiful are the feet of those
Who bring the good news of Jesus:
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself today;
Die to sin and self, and
Let the Spirit transform you in heart;
Put on your new self in Jesus,
Yielding to the cross.