Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Walking TODAY in Him... Tip #2

Tips for Keeping that Heavenly Love Vibrant!
All He asks is that we walk with Him TODAY!
"Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path..." 
Ps 119:105 

I remember when I was a little girl, I always looked forward to what would happen "tomorrow" or "next year:" Tomorrow I can go swimming. Tomorrow I can go to a friend's house. Next week I will be leaving for summer camp. Next week Mom will help me make a dress. Next year I will be a teenager. Next year I will graduate. Maybe next year I'll have a boyfriend...

Yes, I did have many fun "todays"...but it seemed in my younger years especially, I was always living for what would happen "tomorrow."

Unfortunately, I also did a lot of living on the experiences of the past - both bad and good. If something bad had happened, I would often continue to see myself in the light of that "former failure." If I tripped up in the present, I excused myself with the rational that I really couldn't do much about it, because it was something affecting me from the past.

If something good had happened, or if I'd had a certain "high point" in my walk with God, I would often continue to live on that memory. The fact that I was struggling today, or maybe my life wasn't what it should be today, or maybe I wasn't happy today was pushed to the back of my mind...because I had yesterday's high to lean upon, and I had a better future to look forward to.

To look forward to the joys of tomorrow, to being grown-up, to being more mature spiritually (like our parents or godly role models), and to the unexpected love that we hope God has around the corner is not wrong. In fact, much beyond the fleeting moments to come, we are told in scripture to look forward to Christ coming. (John 14:2,3) We are told to reflect on the future He's prepared for us. (I Cor 2:5,9) "For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen is not hope. For what a man seethe, why doth he yet hope for it. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." Rom 8:24,25

But as I've entered my adult years, I've realized that the are also dangers in living too much in the past or too much in the future, as we did in childhood. If we are not careful, it can prohibit a work that God needs to do in our lives TODAY. Hear me out...

Many of us, myself included, may at times find ourselves living on the spiritual milestones, moments, or heights of the past. (Maybe it was something God did for us from last year, maybe it was that "secret get-away" we took with Him last month, maybe it was something He showed us in His Word last week, maybe it was something from yesterday!) While it's good to reflect on how He's worked in our lives, and to remember special milestones in our past, we can't substitute them for today's walk. As one author puts it bluntly, "We make too much of past happenings and too little of today's walk." If I stay in the past, I may not be walking victoriously in the present. I may even excuse sin or issues in the moment as I look back on my past thinking to myself, "After all, what I did today is not really me. Look at the experience I had with Him yesterday, or the experience I had with him last year. I know, His grace covers my sins today. Because we know each other from before...I don't have to stress about today!"

I love to read....and recently I started reading a powerful little booklet called Continuous Revival - The secret to Victorious Living by Norman Grubb. (He's also the author of Reese Howell's Intercessor - one of my favorite books on prayer from this past century!)  This book on revival caught my attention because after all, my goal is to experience continuous revival! We're all looking for that "secret" right? We all want to be victorious every day. We all want to be alive and walking with Him every day! 

Of course, as I read his book, I realized what he is sharing is not new. The secret is none other but living in an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. But this book breaks things down and makes "the abiding life" practical in ways that are so simple. It's beautiful and easy to understand. Let me share about one of the most fundamental secrets:

"Today's WALK!"

The emphasis in scripture is not on some spiritual high, or victory from the past or expected victory in the future. It's on the walk...the walk of the present moment. The walk of today...

...walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit
...walk in the spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh
...walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called
...walk not as other Gentiles walk
...walk and please God
...walk in [his] statutes, keep [his] commandments and do them
...walk before [him] and be thou perfect
...walk in love, walk as children of light
...walk after the Lord your God
...As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.

When you think about this, it's so obvious! Walking is a step-by-step activity. With a destination in view, to get there you must walk...and keep and now. The implications are in the present moment, not looking back, not looking ahead, but here and now on the path before us. If I stop and look back, I wont keep moving forward (I might even turn into a pillar of salt like Lots wife), or if I stop and try to look too far ahead, I might stumble at what is at my feet now. After all, why would He tell us, "Thy Word is a lamp to my FEET, and a light to my PATH." It's all about faithfulness in today's moment. It's about not tripping up with what is at our feet.

There's something else that often trips us up when we look at our past rather than focusing on today's moment. I alluded to this before. It is false condemnation from our failures, or excuses for present shortcomings. Even though we've confessed our sins and given them to God, Satan loves to throw our past sins up at us over and over again. He also loves to tell us, what we've been in our past, we will also be in our future. But the past is past, and as long as we've given it to's over. We have no excuse to stay in "victim mentality" year after year. Our sins have gone to the bottom of the sea (Mic 7:19), and as the dear Corrie Ten Boom use to say, "There's a sign posted - NO FISHING ALLOWED!"

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, He is a new creature. Old things are passed away. Behold all things are become new." II Cor 5:17

So today, we walk in the moment, step by step in obedience to Him, following His guiding, looking to His eyes for discernment and direction. "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go. I will guide thee with mine eye." Ps 32:8 The past is under His blood, the future is in His keeping. We focus on walking today...strong and victorious IN HIM.

"I die daily..." I Cor 15:31

"Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation." Heb 3:15

"But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Heb 3:13

"Never the less, I must walk today, tomorrow and the day following..." 
Luke 13:33

In a powerful little book called, "That I may Know Him" the author writes:

"God will not occupy a divided heart or reign from a divided throne. Every rival that holds the affections and diverts them from the God of love must be dethroned. The Lord demands all that there is of us, and there must be no reserve. Christ has purchased us, we are His heritage, and we are to be honored by being co-laborers with Jesus Christ. Wear the yoke with Christ, and daily walk with God. How shall we do this? By laying hold upon the help which God has provided. The Lord has said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7)

"God has bought us, and He claims a throne in each heart. Our minds and bodies must be subordinated to Him, and the natural habits and appetites must be made subservient to the higher wants of the soul. But we can place no dependence upon ourselves in this work. We cannot with safety follow our own guidance. The Holy Spirit must renew and sanctify us. In God’s service there must be no halfway work."

So dear friends, let's stop living on the revival we experienced last year, the revival we experienced last conference, or the revival we experienced last time we really made "quality time" to spend with Him. Let's have revival today! We may not be able to afford time for a "secret get-away" every day, but let's walk with Him today... He holds our hand. He will not fail us. "For I the Lord God will hold thy right hand saying unto thee, fear not I will help thee." Isa 41:13

"We may have the same help that Christ had. We may have the strength for every emergency; for God will be our front guard and our rearward. He will shut is in on every side." God's Amazing Grace, p. 259

"Choose ye THIS DAY whom ye will serve..." Josh 24:15

"I call heaven and earth to record THIS DAY against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." Duet 30:19

I'm sure that in heaven alone will we realize the significance for ourselves and others, of our having lived a consistent daily harmonious godly life here. So let us seek to live glorify our Lord!

[Author's note: By the way, you should do a Bible study just on the topic of "the Walk" - it's powerful!]


Melanie said...

Dear Melody,

Thank you for sharing this today...the Lord used it to encourage me...and I look forward to your next couple posts based on this book!! Thank you-may God bless your day with more and more of him.
Btw, I loved your last post about a "secret boyfriend". In a beautiful sense, it's almost like we do have one, isn't it? He is the best we could ever ask for-no one is more sacrificial, loving, or tender. Oh! How wonderful is our Savior!

Blessings on your day,

MsMills said...

Thank you, Mel!!