Recently while talking with a friend, I described my journey of faith over the last seven years. I started out wanting to do what is right. Isn’t that a good thing, you may ask? I thought so. I wanted so badly to reciprocate the love I had received from Yeshua on the cross. Now in hindsight, I can see that I started out with the wrong mentality entirely, and when I came to the end of the road and examined where I was and where I thought I should be I saw that there was a tremendous gap between doing what is right and doing what is pleasing to the Lord.
Sometimes a way seems right,
but the end of it leads to death! Proverbs 14:12
That verse might seem a little extreme, but I certainly felt empty inside almost like I was spiritually dead.
Doing what is right, at the core, is a fleshly pursuit. It was about what I was doing to be right before God, but also according to other men’s ideas of what is right. I dressed “modestly” according to other men’s standard of modesty: I covered my head, I wore skirts, I didn’t wear make-up. I celebrated what other men said I should celebrate, and even to some extent how they said I should celebrate. No work on Shabbat, no buying or selling on Shabbat. I even went so far as to not eat meat and milk together because other men said I shouldn’t. And I thought all these things were necessary in order to be right before God.
What I had forgotten was that I was already right before God, not because of anything I had done, but because of what God’s son had done.
not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of his mercy,
he saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the holy Spirit,
whom he richly poured out on us
through Jesus Christ our savior,
so that we might be justified by his grace
and become heirs in hope of eternal life. Titus 3:5-7
There is nothing I can do to make God love me more or less. He is love, so He must love at all times. As for keeping His commandments, the two that Yeshua said were most important have nothing to do with how we dress, how we keep a holy day, or what we do with our time explicitly, but rather, how we treat other people.
The Bible was written for our benefit, but it was written to a totally different people from a different time and culture. The Word of God is living, breathing. It is contained in the pages of the Old and New Testament, but that is not the only place we receive the Word of God. We receive the Word through the Holy Spirit, who moves in and around the world wooing and seeking those who will listen and receive the truth.
I hope I am starting a new chapter, and learning from past mistakes. I hope I am doing more of what is pleasing to the Lord these days. I see that unlike doing what is right–like following rules on a checklist–I am walking in a step by step manner, walking the knife edge of trust with God as my guide. I question where he is taking me, question whether I can trust Him, and I am constantly doubting myself, in a good way, questioning my motives for why I am doing something. I know only time will tell.
For the first time in my life, I believe I am making mature, rational, reasonable decisions in conjunction with my faith, for my own relationship with Yeshua. May the God who sent His Son to reconcile mankind to Himself, be with you and lead you step by step till His Kingdom comes in its fullness.
Love and Light,