Prophet Micah declared God’s will for us to walk in obedience to Him and be blessed. Then we can definitely reach the place of victory that He has planned and prepared for us beforehand. It is then that we experience God’s ‘agape’ love, the love that blesses beyond measure, and our obedience becomes an act of will and not of compulsion. Walking with the LORD God is then in conjunction with His Word and will. Filled with His love we receive grace upon grace and rejoice always in our walk with Him in this life and beyond.
Meaning of being sent by God – Apostles Peter and John were placed in custody/Temple prison for preaching the Gospel of love of God in the Temple. On the next day when they were brought before the High Priests, their family members, Jewish rulers, elders and scribes, they boldly proclaimed that salvation is only in Lord Jesus and none else. The Jewish leaders were surprised at the boldness of the two Apostles for they ‘perceived that they (the Apostles) were uneducated and untrained (by a Rabbi) men’ (Acts 4:13). But then they realized the reason for this, ‘that they had been with Jesus’. Lord Jesus in His prayer to God the Father clarified our calling, ‘As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world’ (John 17:17-18). Before this He prayed for the sanctification of all believers ‘by Your truth, Your word is truth’. This sanctification of the believers is possible by the Word of God and no other way and the more we study, meditate on and live the Word the more are we made suitable for the task assigned.
How was the Son of God sent into the world? His coming was in fulfillment of various prophecies concerning Him. He was to be from the Family of Jesse, King David’s father and come filled with the Holy Spirit for the ‘Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD’ (Isaiah 11:1-2). Lord Jesus was born of the Spirit as declared by angel Gabriel to Mary, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God’ (Luke 1:35). The timing of His birth, the place and the family were decided by God, for His mission was already known.
Lord Jesus is the Creator of everything for ‘All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made’ (John 1:3-4). Without Him nothing can exist for, ‘In Him was life; and the life was the light of men’. To transform the dark and void state of the earth, His glory was revealed so that life could come and survive. The prophecy about redemption of the fallen mankind and defeat of the devil was also by Lord Jesus Himself and approved by God the Father and He had charted His role as Man, the Messiah. On return from Egypt after the threat of Herod was over, the move to Nazareth was also as per God’s plan.
He came into a normal family so that the high and mighty could not boast, was raised up in a place not known for anything good (John 1:46). As Son of God He was filled with all knowledge, wisdom, understanding and revelation, yet He was raised up by His parents in an atmosphere of religious piety and study of Scripture. At age twelve, after the annual festival, while the whole family moved back from Jerusalem, Lord Jesus stayed back in Jerusalem, engrossed in the company of ‘the teachers, both listening to them and asking questions. And all who heard Him were astounded at His understanding and answers’ (Luke 2:44-52 ). In reply to His parents, He told them, ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’ But then He went with them and ‘was subject to them’ (His parents) and He ‘increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men’. Though initially this incident appears to be about ignoring His parents, Lord Jesus fulfilled the commandments fully to ‘honor your father and your mother’ (Numbers 20:12). He was glorifying His Father in heaven by discussing the Scripture in the Temple and was totally committed to His mother, even in pain on the cross (John 19:26-27).
It is believed that Joseph died quite early and being the elder Son, the care and responsibility of the family fell on Lord Jesus, which He fulfilled till age 30, the age for priestly ministry (Numbers 4:47) and by which time His brothers had become adults. In Cana when the wine in the marriage feast was finished, He replied to His mother, ‘Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?’ (John 2:4-5). The new relationship was not about mother-Son but of Redeemer and the one needing redemption. Mary also accepted that and told the servants, ‘Whatever He says to you, do it’. He was sent by God the Father with fullness of the Holy Spirit and the power descended on Him at His baptism.
While sending the disciples, Lord Jesus told them, ‘Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves’ (Matthew 10:16). But, in this state as sent by God, are we weak and need to fear the opposing forces of darkness in this world? The caution to be wise confirms God given ability in us, for we cannot do this on our own. On the other hand He has also endowed us with great power and authority, ‘to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you’ (Luke 10:19). This is to be fearless, courageous with absolute faith in the One who sends us. The first 15 minutes after our prayers reveal the state of our faith, do we start thinking about and asking someone else to pray or find other means to fill the need? He Himself tread over the head of the serpent, the devil, and has also authorized and equipped us to do the same. Though He was bruised on the heel afflicting Him in His walk to and on the cross, He ensured that ‘nothing shall by any means hurt you’, without His permission for He has all authority over everything in heaven, on earth and below the earth.
God promised Joshua, ‘No one shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life’ and he believed it fully (Joshua 1:5). The Israelites faced defeat at the hands of the people of a small village Ai, and Joshua cried out to the Lord in surprise. God then told about the sin of Achan who took for himself a Babylonian garment, hundred shekels of silver and a gold piece weighing fifty shekels, in violation of God’s command. Do we get surprised at no answer to our prayers and try to find out the reason by humbling ourselves before the Lord in prayer? Our walk with a holy God cannot be sinful and in partnership with the devil. We cannot keep switching sides off and on as we consider right for then we are putting God to the test.
Our walk with the Lord – Lord Jesus was raised to life after His crucifiction and death, never to die again and intercedes for us before God the Father as our advocate to counter the lies and false accusations of the devil (Hebrews 7:25). After feeding the five thousand men and their family members, He went alone on the mountain to pray but sent the disciples in the boat to Bethsaida, on the other side (Mark 6:47-48). Lord Jesus on the mountain, ‘saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them’ and in ‘the fourth watch’, between three to six in the morning, He came walking to them on water. At no time does He take His eyes off any of His people and the one lost sheep that goes astray, He comes looking for it (Luke 15:3-7). On finding it He does not rebuke but ‘lays it on His shoulders, rejoicing’.
After creating, ‘God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it’ (Genesis 1:28). To hear God and be blessed, one has to be in close communion with Him and this is the first essential of life. Second, to be fruitful and multiply, one must start a family and give adequate care and attention to that. Third, to fill the earth one must be part of a community, helping and strengthening each other to finally subdue it and exercise control and be victorious over it. All steps of the sequence are equally important and Lord Jesus, though being fully God and fully Man, formed a group of twelve to be part of His ‘close friends and family’ and equipped them to fulfill the task.
Lord Jesus, filled with compassion for the multitudes, fed them by multiplying ‘five barley loaves and two small fish’ (John 6:14-15). The people recognized Him as ‘the prophet who is to come into the world’ as told by Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15). They wanted Him to fulfill all their material needs and free them from Roman control. But ‘when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone’. He is compassionate but equips us to meet our needs rather than being a permanent supplier and make us lazy. God lifts us up to great heights to ‘soar on wings like an eagle’ and the eagle while training its young carries it on her wings and then withdraws from underneath to let the young fly. The mother eagle keeps repeating this process till the young one is adept in maintaining those heights. God does the same with us and that is what we in the ministry are supposed to do, train, equip and let them soar to great heights.
The Jewish elders, the scribes and the Chief Priests mocked Lord Jesus on the cross to save Himself and come down from the cross, not realizing that He came for that very purpose (Matthew 27:42). But Lord Jesus despite all the pain and the unfair treatment meted out to Him, prayed, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing’ (Luke 23:34). He does not merely leave us in the world but definitely sends us ‘to accomplish the Father’s will and purpose as His agents’. While defining His mission, the Messiah declared , ‘even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many’ (Mark 10:45). When we are sent into the world, He promises to be with us, and as we walk in His ways we must strive to do what He desires as per His Word.
Lord Jesus came to live with us, be one with us and be our Kinsman Redeemer, to reveal God to us and to lead us to Him, to teach Us His ways and to suffer for truth and righteousness. Once we accept the call and start our walk with Him, then this is what He expects us also to do. Walking with God is to move on the same path, same direction and with the same purpose to reach the right destination to be eternally in His presence. A walk with Him is also continuous talking with Him- listening, obeying, sharing in His joy and placing our worldly cares before Him for it is a walk not of mourners but of the victorious.
King David was bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and ‘Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the Ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and the sound of trumpets’ (2 Samuel 6:14-15). David did not let his status as king come in the way of rejoicing in his walk with the LORD and danced. Our Lord is love and fills us with his love. What better way to reflect His Divine love in our lives than to rejoice in Him and be glad. Be bold in declaring your surrender to Him and be always prepared to be overwhelmed by His glorious light.
How should we walk with God in this sinful world? In His Word the LORD God has already revealed what He desires of us and He is the great ‘I AM’, before whom the past, present and the future are all open. His Word is true for all situations, good and bad. Prophet Micah tells us that God has told you, ‘O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God’ (Micah 6:8). The Son of God seeks those who desire to be like Him, humble and compassionate to join Him in His work of demolishing the works and strongholds of the devil. The seventy disciples sent by the Lord came back rejoicing that the demons obeyed them in His name but were told, ‘do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven’ (Luke 10:20).
God desires all who follow Him to gaze into His heart filled with love, mercy and grace, despite His holiness and justice, and then do accordingly. Then we get to know Him, His Word, His will and His ways and we will want to obey joyfully and not due to fear and forced compliance. Then, like the sons of Korah, we can also declare, ‘For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless’ (Psalm 84:10-11).
But many would rather be like Doeg, the Edomite, who reported to Saul, the king, on David being given bread by the priests of Nob. When Abner and Amasa, the two lieutenants of King Saul refused, he mercilessly slaughtered the ‘eighty five men who wore the linen ephod’ or served the LORD God (1 Samuel 22:18-19). He also killed, ‘both men and women, children and nursing infants, oxen and donkeys and sheep’ in Nob, the city of the priests. Many tend to seek the favor of the worldly authorities and willingly perform such evil deeds. But only such are called to walk with the Lord who are blessed and then such a one is defined in the Scripture as ‘Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night’ (Psalm 1:1-2).
We can either walk in obedience to the Word of God or ‘counsel of the wicked’; wait for the Lord to walk in His ways or stand and wait in the way of sinners; we can live in the courts of the Lord and meditate on His Word and live our lives accordingly or enjoy the company of scoffers. God never forces anyone to do His will and patiently waits for us to repent and turn to Him. His patience is evident in the way He has let the devil run riot over the world and yet not destroy him and his partners. We must choose and our decision will affect us till eternity, to live in the presence of God or in the dark, bottomless pit.
The ways of those who walk with the Lord in a righteous manner, get straightened automatically and closed doors get opened providing new opportunities. The presence of God moves mountains for then His power works with us. Like the psalmist expressed the extreme thirst of his soul for God, in like manner God also thirsts for us, not for any want but due to His great love for us. God created us to walk with Him in His ways and get transformed into His righteous image day by day. This is the only way that we can fulfill our role on the earth!