Sunday, October 25, 2015

Please, Don't Misunderstand Me

I think more and more people are starting to notice some life changes that my family and I have been making.  Many of these changes have caused curiosity for some, and unfortunately, confusion and hurt to others.  

This morning as I was praying about these things, my heart once again became overwhelmed to the point of bursting (or so it seemed)!  I felt the need to try and better explain what is taking place in my heart.  I will let my husband and my children speak for themselves. 

I have often wondered what it meant when Peter said,  

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy".   1 Peter 1:14-16 

That "be holy" part seems rather vague, doesn't it?  What does that even look like?  That was always one of the questions that I tucked into the back of my mind.  1 John 2:6 is another verse that usually made me go, "Hmmm?!", yet I didn't ever really meditate on it or find out what it meant more specifically.  


Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
1 John 2:6 

So...how DID Jesus live? 

Well, to use His own words: 

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.  
John 5:30 

 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.
John 6:38

All of Torah tells us what the Father's will is. All of Torah points to Jesus! 

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Luke 24:27
 
Going back to what Peter said, "for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy".  The passage of Scripture that he was referring to is in Leviticus 11. In this chapter, God is giving instructions on what is to be considered clean (for food) and unclean (not food).  Why would Peter quote this passage of Scripture if it was no longer applicable?  Now, this post is not going to be entirely on what is considered clean and unclean, but it is a pretty important aspect of how we are to live in obedience.  Jesus would NEVER have eaten an unclean animal, and He would NEVER have told anyone else that it was OK to eat anything unclean.  Jesus NEVER sinned.  He came to redeem us from our sins, not tell us it was OK to sin because He lived a sinless life for us and would love us anyway.  So, one of the things that my family and I have started doing is following the dietary instructions found in Torah.  We do this because Jesus did.  Jesus loved the Father.  We love the Father.  Jesus walked in obedience.  We desire, and are trying, to walk in obedience.   (I know I said I would let my husband and children speak for themselves, but I do know where they stand, so it's hard not to include them.) 

Something that I find ironic and somewhat disheartening is that since we've implemented this change (as well as keeping the Sabbath set-apart, observing God's appointed times, and other commandments as we come to understand them), some people have accused us of being "holier than thou".  Aren't we instructed to "be holy"?  What does that look like?  We are told what it looks like in Torah!  So, following Torah out of love for Jesus and the Father, is what it looks like and is to be holy!  What does holy even mean?  It means "consecrated" or "set apart".  From what/whom are we to be set apart?  The world!  How can we be set apart if we are living like the world?  We can't!  



 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:15

 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 
 1 John 5:2-3

What did Paul have to say? 

 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1 
(emphasis mine)



Please, don't misunderstand me! I am not saying that I have it all figured out!  I am not saying that I am holy! What I am saying is that I am searching the Scriptures and as I come to better understand what my Father has instructed, I am striving to be obedient - because I love Him!  That's all my family and I desire to do.  We do not think we are better than anyone else. We do not judge anyone else who is not walking the same way we are.  We do not believe that we are saved by works, but we now better understand that what we believe will be made evident by what we do (or do not do).  

Paul exhorts us to:

 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:15-17 
(emphasis mine)

Again, God gave us His instructions, His Torah so that we can know what His will is!  If God expects us to be holy because He is holy, then this IS something that is achievable.  

I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me. 
Philippians 4:13