Evaluate: Am I Following Him Closely & Consistently?

March 18, 2013

Friends,
Job said, “My feet have closely followed His [the Lord’s] steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside.” (Job 23:11) Can we say this as well –and be speaking the truth? We must. For if we cannot, then we are not, in reality, following the Lord. Because to follow the Lord is to follow consistently and obediently. (John 8:31) It is to watch where He steps and put our foot right into the footprint He has just made. It is to be focused on Him, not turning even our gaze to the right or to the left. This is what it means to be righteous.

Righteousness is about doing that which is right. (1 John 3:7) To not do right is to prove oneself to belong to Satan. (v. 8,10) To do what is right (consistently –v. 6) comes from being born of God. (v. 9 & 2:29) Anyone born of God has the Spirit within him (Rom. 8:9) and does submit to His rule, not to the rule of the sinful nature. (same verse)

The acts and attitudes of the sinful nature are obvious, and those who participate in them will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19-21) They include:

sexual immorality

impurity

debauchery

idolatry

witchcraft

hatred

discord

jealousy

fits of rage

selfish ambition

drunkenness

In Matt. 15:19 Jesus lists several of the above, plus:

evil thoughts

murder

adultery

theft

lying

slander

Jesus says that these wicked things come up from the heart and come out through the mouth, and that they are what make a person unclean. (Matt. 15:18-20) To be unclean is the opposite of being righteous. Using the above lists then, let us, as 2 Cor. 13:5 commands, examine ourselves, test ourselves, to see if we actually are in the faith. (same verse)

Fools rationalize the outcome of the evaluation, saying, “Well, I only do those things sometimes.” But the honest evaluator realizes that if he participates in any of those things, even to the slightest degree (Eph. 5:3), then he has not been faithful to the way of the Lord, to His leading, nor to Him. By turning off into disobedience, he has forfeited God’s grace that could have been his. (v. 5,6 // Jonah 2:8)

The honest evaluator will fall on his face in deep repentance, ask God for a second chance, and be careful to forever-after follow the Lord’s steps closely, without even so much as glancing aside.

This is the person who is truly, from the heart, righteous. This is the person God declares righteous and considers “worthy of the Kingdom of God.” (2 Thes. 1:5)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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