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Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Ways of God

Hebrews 3 : 7 - 13, Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.' So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.'" Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. NKJV
Romans 1 and Hebrews 10 teaches us that "the just" shall live by faith. Consequently, the only way our souls can live (eternal life) is when we choose to walk out our faith in Christ. Even so, how do we live by faith? Paul tells us in Romans 10 : 17 that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. However, notice that Paul didn’t say faith comes by hearing the Word of God... as some might believe. He said that faith comes by “hearing,” but “hearing” comes from us getting in God’s Word.
In other words, if you want to hear God’s voice and receive faith by hearing Him speak to you, then you must study His Word and learn God’s language. God will never speak anything to you that would contradict His written Word. Therefore, if we walk by faith by keeping God’s Word and by fulfilling His purpose in our lives, then we are walking with God. By faith, Enoch walked with God.
However, if we decide to harden our hearts to the voice of the Lord, then we are making a dangerous decision to distance ourselves from God. Many times in God’s Word we are told that if we hear, heed, and obey the voice and the commands of the Lord, our souls shall live. Nonetheless, what if we should decide that instead of fully obeying God’s Word, we will keep only the parts that suit our fleshly ways and desires? Then we are choosing to distance ourselves from God, who is life to us. Separating ourselves from the Word allows death to enter our souls. Paul tells us in Galatians, “He (she) who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption.” We can’t disobey God in order to obey our fleshly whelms, and then not expect to reap the wages of our sins. If we practice self-justification, we are deceiving ourselves.
If we truly desire to walk closely with God, then we must keep His Word hidden in our hearts through consistent obedience. Like Enoch, we must walk with God until the Lord takes us. We must not be like the Israelites, who told Moses to speak to God for them, and they would follow God from a distance. We’re told in Psalms 103 that Moses knew the ways of God, but Israel only knew the acts of God. No one can know the ways of God, unless they continually obey His Word, and then take the time to be intimate in prayer with Him.
Since the children of Israel decided to harden their hearts whenever the Holy Spirit spoke to them, they kept themselves from knowing the ways of God. You may be asking, “Why is it is so important for God’s people to know the ways of God?” The answer is in today’s scripture. God said, “They always go astray in their hearts because they have not known My ways.” The writer also warns new covenant believers to beware lest we depart from the living God because of an evil heart of unbelief. If we should decide, as the Israelites did, to disobey God’s voice and harden our hearts through self-justification, then we, too, will stray from the Lord in our hearts. Only by reading and applying God’s Word to our everyday lives will be able to draw closer to God.
Seeking a Closer Walk with God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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