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Learning How to Walk
As a toddler one learns to physically walk in a short period of time.
But, as an adult, to spiritually walk is indeed more difficult.
Are You Alive and Walking in a Steady and Orderly Fashion?
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, Deut. 30:19.
Here, Yahweh is being very blunt with us. He is giving us a choice between life and death. Yahweh is not only speaking to us in a spiritual sense, as most will interpret this verse, but also in a physical sense, because of what a human body is capable of doing when put into a set of harrowing experiences.
Thanatophobia, or the fear of death, is reported to be a complicated phobia, where some fear being dead, while others fear the actual act of dying. Apparently, this type of experience is very real to many people.
This phobia will cause a person to experience a sense of danger and stress. When humans are faced with danger or stress, a biological trigger, the brain's hypothalamus gland, is activated to help us decide whether to stay and fight or to take a flight. This initiates a series of chemical releases and nerve cell responses that gets us ready for the impending scenario. Adrenaline is released into the blood stream, our heart rate increases, blood is pumped more quickly into our muscles and limbs. Our awareness, sight and impulses all intensify and quicken. Early man faced a lot of dangers, and the fight-or-flight response helped them evade or battle those dangers in order to survive. Today, it's what allows an ordinary Joe to rush into a burning buildingoramotherofthreetoliftacaroffofoneof her children - a phenomenon known as hysterical strength. It also helps us out in non-life threatening situations like a boss screaming in your face or possibly fleeing - or worse, getting involved in - a bar-room brawl. This survival instinct is also apparent in an infant's cry. No one teaches babies to cry. It's an automatic response to let the parents know that they need something. The pitch and volume further indicates the severity of the cry.
It is certainly true that some people may not experience the survival instinct. They may feel overwhelmed by some circumstances and not feel a necessity to react.
As Deut. 30:19 tells us, we should “choose life so that you and your descendants may live.” By choosing life, we shall be alive. But, there is more to being alive than having our blood flow through our veins.
As a toddler, one learns to physically walk in a relatively short period of time. Periodically, a toddler will fall down, scrape their knees and elbows, maybe the chin and nose, shed a few tears, but will eventually get up and learn to take the lumps and bruises of life. Such happenings continue throughout one’s life and for reasons other than physical. Everyone who is reading this article is physically alive and has learned to walk that physical walk. But there is another walk we must concentrate on – a spiritual walk.
Yes, there sure is another, more important walk we must concentrate on – a spiritual walk. As an adult, to spiritually walk is indeed more difficult to perform than a physical walk. As Matt. 7:14 says:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Yes, a few will find it. The word gate is the translation of the Greek pule, pule, (poo'-lay), meaning a gate or a wing of a folding entrance. Yahshua is our gate, our door, our way of entering into life everlasting, as John 10:7-9 reads:
Then said Yahshua unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
In Matt. 7:14, the word strait is the translation of the Greek stene, steneé (sten-a’), meaning, from a base word, narrow because of obstacles. The way of seeking perfection is not easy. There will always be obstacles confronting us.
In Matt. 7:14, the word way is the translation of the Greek >o(do\$, hodós (hod-os’), meaning a mode or means to accomplish something.
In John 14:6-7 we read:
Yahshua answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.“
Hence, the proper way is through Yahshua (the gate or door and the way).
The word narrow,in Matt. 7:14, is the translation of the Greek ethlimmnee, ethlimménee (eth-lee-me’-na), meaning, from the base word, not only narrow but also to afflict or suffer tribulation.
The four parts spoken of in Matt. 7:14 (strait, gate, narrow and way) can be used to refer to both the physical walk and the spiritual walk as follows:
1. Just as a toddler selects a place to walk towards, we do also, in our spiritual walk, a walk towards that gate.
2. Just as a toddler finds out there are many obstacles to get to where he is heading, we also find obstacles or tribulations in our spiritual walk.
3. Just as a toddler uses his walking technique to get to where he wants to go, we also have our own way of accomplishing our task of seeking everlasting life.
4. Just as a toddler will experience bumps and bruises in learning to walk, we also will experience such things as tribulations during our journey of walking a spiritual walk.
|The Big Question
So the big question now is: “Are you alive and walking today in a steady and orderly fashion?”
The word “alive,” and many similar forms as “was alive,” “is alive,” “to be alive,” etc., is basically a translation of, or has as its root
word, the Greek #2198 zao, zao, (dzah'-o); a primary verb; to live (literally or figuratively).
Here, literally alive means to be physically alive, which we all are, while figuratively alive points to be spiritually alive.
When one thinks of this saying it is really speaking of a desire to be spiritually alive. How does one know then if you are spiritually alive? And, how does one walk in a steady and orderly fashion?
A meaningful Scripture which also speaks on this is Matt. 5:48:
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
The first word “perfect” is translated from the Greek te/leioi, teleioi (tele’-i-oi), having Strong’s # 5046, teleios (tel'-i-os), meaning completeness, as its root word. The second word “perfect” is translated from the Greek te/leio$, teleios (tel'-i-os), Strong’s #5046, meaning completeness.
Two different Greek words, with same root word, imply the two words are pointing to different entities. The second reference is pointing to Yahweh, Who is perfect; the first one pointing to mankind, which we know is not perfect. This is why the verse begins with “be ye therefore perfect...” The word “be,” in Matt. 5:48, is the translation of the Greek esomai, Strong’s # 2071, esomai (es'-om-ahee), meaning “will be.”
Thus, it is speaking of a future time when we will be perfected. But now, one is not and must seek perfection.
Hence, knowing that we can never be perfect in our present body, Matthew is telling us since we are in training to become first-fruits and will be made perfect in a spiritual body at the first resurrection, we are to do, now, what is necessary to learn and to do what we must in order to obtain that goal of everlasting life.
In Eccl. 7:20 NIV we read:
There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.
We will not obtain perfection in our physical body.
Paul tells us in Rom. 3:23 NIV:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of Yahweh.
When the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in the very act of committing adultery before Yahshua and asked Him what should be done, He simply told them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” John 8:7. Yes, we are, indeed, not without sin. Eph. 2:1 says that we are “dead in trespasses and sins.” With this being true, we must seek a way out of being “dead."
Who is the father of those who continue in sin? In answering this question, Yahshua’s answer to the Jews was:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin, John 8:34.
Who does one really serve by being a servant of sin? Yahshua gave the Jews His answer to this question, quite succinctly, in John 8:41:
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Yes, indeed, we are sinful and unclean. That is the nature of mankind. As we have read in Deut. 30:19, we are to choose to strive toward perfection by desiring to follow Yahweh.
Have you ever gone to a busy restaurant and placed your name on a seating queue. When your name was called and you identified yourself, the person simply said, “Follow me.” And you dutifully followed. This is the same as Yahshua told the disciples when they were instructed to follow Him, as Matt. 4:18-19 tells us:
And Yahshua, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Yahshua paid the price and because of this, what are we told to do? We find the answer in 1 Pet. 2:21:
For even hereunto were ye called: because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps, 1 Peter 2:21.
We are to follow His steps. What are we promised, if we follow Yahshua?
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand, John 10:27-28.
Here, Yahshua tells us that if we do follow Him, we will receive eternal (everlasting) life. Now, what does it really mean to follow Yahshua? Must we follow Him every minute of every day? This, we all know, is not possible. Yahshua is the only One who is sin-free.
John 12:26 gives us the answer:
If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honour.
Mathematically, the first phrase, “If any man serve Me, let him follow Me,” is equivalent to, “If any one does not follow Me then he does not serve Me.” To follow Yahshua, we must imitate Him; we must serve Him; we must receive Yahshua; we must be a servant of Yahshua and of Yahweh.
We are to be a servant of Yahweh and His Son, Yahshua. We are well aware of the inheritance promised those who are His People and that He will use the same standards in His judgment.
Remember that as your reward, you will receive the inheritance from the Master. You are slaving for the Master, for the Messiah. Don’t worry — whoever is doing wrong will be paid in kind for his wrong, and there is no favoritism shown, Col 3:24-25 CJB.
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Messiah, hath not Yahweh. He that abideth in the doctrine of Messiah, he hath both the Father and the Son, 2 John 9.
Must Receive Messiah
When we are immersed into the name of Yahshua, and had the hands of the elders laid on us, we were given an earnest of the Holy Spirit to help us in the path we are to follow:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38.
Acts 2:38 helps us to understand what it means to “receive Yahshua.”
This being true, we are to allow the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to lead us so that we can be called one of Yahweh’s.
Rom. 8:14 tells us what will happen if we allow Yahweh’s Spirit to lead us:
For as many as are led by the Spirit of Yahweh, they are the sons of Yahweh.
To become a child of Yahweh, John 1:12 says,
But as any as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of Yahweh, even to them that believe on His name.
Here, to receive Him means to believe on Him, as is expressed at the end of the verse: “even to them that believe on His name.”
Generally, the great masses of people, including the scribes and Pharisees, rejected Him. A few in His lifetime received Him, and many more after His death. To receive Him, here, means to believe on Him, as is expressed at the end of the verse: “even to them that believe on His name.”
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of Yahweh, John 1:13.
John 1:12-13 gives us the marvelous promise of Yahweh that anyone who receives the Messiah, “believes on His name,” “accepts Him,” will be begotten again, and enter the family of Elohim!
Once we receive Him, accept Him, what is the next step?
Time to Walk in Yahshua
As ye have therefore received Messiah Yahshua our Master, so walk ye in Him, Col 2:6.
The phrase “ye have received” comes from the Greek parela/bete, parelábete, Strong’s #3880, which indicates having an intimate relationship with a person.
In answering the question posed by a lawyer to which is the greatest commandment in the law, Yahshua answered in Matt. 22:37:
Yahshua said unto him, Thou shalt love Yahweh thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
The word love comes from the Greek agapa/w, agapao (ag-ap-ah’-o), Strong’s #25, meaning unconditional affection.
In this verse, the type of love Yahshua says He loves us (agapao) is the same type of love we are to show towards others. By knowing that we do love (agapao) Yahshua, then we are to show this love by keeping the commandments,
If ye love Me, keep My commandments, John 14:15.
From this verb comes the corresponding noun, a)ga/ph, agape (ag-ah'-pay), Strong’s #26.
In John 13:34-35, Yahshua says,
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also
love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.
What must be our responsibility when we want to walk with Yahshua?
Then spake Yahshua again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life, John 8:12.
So, what does Yahshua mean when He says “to follow Him”? This He said to many people. (See Matt. 4:19, Matt. 8:22, Matt. 9:9, Mark 2:14, John 1:43, etc.)
Then said Yahshua unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his torture stake, and follow Me, Matt. 16:24.
It seems to say the same thing twice: “come after Me,” and “follow Me.” “Follow” is the translation of the Greek a)kolouqeitw, akoloutheo (ak-ol-oo-theh'-o), Strong’s #190, meaning to accompany. “Come” is the translation of the Greek elqei=n, erchomai (er'-khom-ahee), Strong’s #2064, also meaning to accompany. “After” is the translation of the Greek opi/sw, opiso (op-is'-o), Strong’s #3664, meaning enclitic of direction with the preceding word. An enclitic is a grammatical unit which is connected to another word which it usually follows. Together, “come after” can be viewed as meaning the connections that the persons have are going in the same direction. Hence, by following Yahshua, our intentions, our goals, must be in agreement with Him.
To accomplish what Matt. 16:24 says, what does it mean “to deny himself”? “To deny himself” comes
from the Greek aparnhsa/sqw, aparneesásthoo, Strong’s #533, meaning to disown or to abstain. Barnes’ Notes says, “[Let him, deny himself] That is, let him surrender to Yahweh his will, his affections, his body, and his soul. Let him not seek his own happiness as the supreme object, but be willing to renounce all, and lay down his life also, if required. Yahshua was able to do this, but this is truly a tall order for anyone else to accomplish.”
When Yahshua says: “To deny oneself,” He is presenting His disciples with a choice to make concerning two approaches to life. Each approach shows toward whom we align ourselves. Two things should come to mind in each approach when you walk with someone:
1) be in agreement with, and
2) activity towards.
One approach involves:
1) live for yourself,
2) ignore the torture stake,
3) follow the world,
4) save your life for your own sake,
5) gain the world,
6) lose your soul, and
7) lose His reward and glory.
These seven actions point to those who seek physical and earthly treasures.
The other approach involves:
1) deny yourself,
2) take up your torture stake,
3) follow Messiah,
4) lose your life for His sake,
5) forsake the world,
6) keep your soul, and
7) share His reward and glory.
These seven actions point to those who seek spiritual and heavenly treasures.
Let your answer to what Deut. 30:19 suggests (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.) be a resounding YES to each of the following:
1. Do you desire heavenly treasures?
2) Do you desire to follow Yahshua?
3) Do you desire to walk with Yahshua?
Three Action Words
Walk Worthy of Yahweh
Speaking to the people of Thessalonica, Paul advised them:
That ye would walk worthy of Yahweh, who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory, 1 Thess. 2:12.
On the phrase: “That ye would walk worthy of Yahweh,” Barnes’ Notes says, “That you would live in such a manner as would honor [Yahweh] who has chosen you to be His friends; notes, Eph. 4:1. A child ‘walks worthy of a parent’ when he lives in such way as to reflect honor on that parent for the method in which he has trained him; when he so lives as to bring no disgrace on him, so as not to pain his heart by misconduct, or so as to give no occasion to any to speak reproachfully of him. This he does, when:
1. He keeps all his commands;
2. He leads a life of purity and virtue;
3. He carries out the principles of the family into his own life;
4. He honors a father by evincing a profound respect for his opinions; and
5. He endeavors to provide for his comfort and to promote his welfare. In a manner similar to this, a true [Believer] honors [Yahweh]. He lives so as not to bring a reproach upon Him or His cause, and so as to teach the world to honor Him Who has bestowed such grace upon Him.”
Just as a child “walks worthy of a parent,”
1. We should live in such a way to reflect honor on Yahweh,
2. We should live in such a way to bring no disgrace on Yahweh,
3. We should live in such a way so as not to show any misconduct, and
4. We should live in such a way so as to give no occasion to speak reproachfully of Yahweh.
In 1 Thess. 4:12, Paul also says:
That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
“Honestly” is the translation of the Greek eusxhmo/nw$, euscheemónoos (yoo-skhay-mon’ose), Strong’s #2156, meaning decorously (conformed to proper and dignified manners and behavior). Barnes’ Notes adds the following concerning the phrase, “walk honestly”:
“It does not refer here to mere honesty in the transaction of business, but to their general treatment of those who were not professing [believers]. They were to conduct themselves toward them in all respects in a becoming manner-to be honest with them; to be faithful to their engagements; to be kind and courteous in their conversation; to show respect where it was due, and to endeavor in every way to do them good. There are few precepts of religion more important than those which enjoin upon [believers] the duty of a proper treatment of those who are not connected with the [assembly].”
This Scripture reflects on how we should treat all people, including non-believers, by:
1. Conducting ourselves toward them in all respects in a becoming manner – to be honest with them,
2. Being faithful in our engagements with them,
3. Being kind and courteous in our behavior with them,
4. Showing respect where it was due, and
5. Endeavoring in every way to show goodness to them.
As we are a child of Yahweh and are to walk worthy of Yahweh, we should behave towards Yahweh, towards Yahshua, and towards anyone, as a child should behave towards his own physical parents.
Walk in an Orderly Fashion
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of Yahweh dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Messiah, he is none of His. And if Messiah be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Yahshua from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Messiah from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of Yahweh, they are the sons of Yahweh, Rom. 8:9-14.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit, Gal. 5:25.
The word “walk” is the translation of the Greek stoixw=men, stoichoómen, Strong’s #4748, which, along with “walk” appearing in Gal. 6:16 and Phil. 3:16, means to march in (military) rank (keep step) in an orderly fashion.
And, the orderly fashion is that which is set out by Yahweh’s Holy Spirit. Walking involves direction and goal. It is not going in circles. In our walk, one may stub one’s toes or stumble. But, we must get up and journey towards the only real goal which has any true lasting meaning. And that goal is everlasting life.
|YES, THIS IS HOW WE SHOULD WALK.|
-Elder Roger G. Meyer
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