I think it is time for us to be sober, actually, it is past time. Our times of play are over. The times of “believe whatever you want and it will be okay” have come to a close. We might say that those things were removed when, like our forefathers, “we had to start getting our own straw for our bricks.” Having others do our work for us is long gone. The scriptures about us being responsible for our own salvation are becoming clearer.
I seem to be getting into trouble with this idea with people lately, meaning, the idea of being responsible for our own actions. It surprises me a bit about that, but then again it doesn’t surprise me. The Father has been very faithful to carry me through times of darkness and depression, but with a different result. He is teaching me about “working out my own salvation.” Hmm, not anyone else’s salvation, but my own. No one else. But aren’t I “my brother’s keeper”? I have been asked about that as well.
What I am learning as I am learning to be sober, is a greater in-depth meaning of Micah 6:8:
Yahweh’s requirements of me. It doesn’t say that I have to make others follow His requirements, but the verse instead tells me what He requires of me.
I have been blessed to be intimately learning these 3 requirements. He has been teaching me from me the verse, “O man, what is good, and what does Yahweh require of thee?”
- Here, He is speaking to us as individuals. It’s another Scripture that puts the responsibility of my salvation squarely in my lap. No one else can do this for me.
- It also shows me that He doesn’t require me to make others abide by these same rules.
- I am responsible for my own actions, not theirs. I need to let Yahweh take care of them.
What does He require of me “but to do justly…”
- I am to walk justly. I am to be upright, to uphold His Torah, to be sober, and to clearly understand what my responsibilities to Him are.
- I am called to be a light to the Nations. I am supposed to show them the truth by my ACTIONS, and let them decide if they want to follow His truth or not. I am called to BE a light, not DO a light. The people around me, too, have to decide to work out their own salvation.
- I am not to require others to be the same as me. I need to allow them to be on Yahweh’s particular time schedule for them.
- I need to be to be aware of my every deed, and to take all my thoughts captive.
- I need to choose which kind of fruit I want to produce in my life.
- A. If I am to be a light, I choose to be a good light, and I need to distribute good fruit. The light I reflect should be like the light of Messiah, my fruit should be like His fruit. If I walk around in judgment and condemn others, then it isn’t Messiah’s light or fruit that I am distributing.
- B. When I walk justly. Knowing this, I choose to keep my own actions in line with Messiah. Again, be sober. Tryinng to “be” His example to others has changed my perspective on many of my past actions. I see things differently now.
He tells me to “love mercy.”
- Mercy. There are only two seats one can run to when a wrong has been done: The seat of judgment, or the seat of mercy. I choose mercy over judgment.
- He wants me to see that others, too, have an individual walk with the Father. Most people I am around don’t have a full understanding of His scriptures. They need to know that they too, may one day fall, and have to ask Yahweh for His mercy when He judges them in a given situation.
- When I see others in active sin, whether they are Believers or not, I need to first ask for mercy to cover them. This concept seems challenging at first, but to know what the outcome may be in the time of judgment, I ask for mercy for them.
- Is one person’s sin worse than another’s sin? Yes and no. Sometimes it depends on the sin, but one thing is very clear to me: Every knee will bow, and every tongue confess. We ALL will kneel before Yahweh Elohim. He knows everything, and will rightly judge everything. Mercy. Father, I ask for Your mercy to cover me.
He tells me that I am to “walk humbly” with Him.
- To walk humbly. Hmm… Humility is born in adversity. Humility is controlled strength. Messiah Yeshua was full of it. In different ways we all rebel against Yahweh’s teachings and need to learn to be molded by and accept the path He has chosen for us. We need to learn humility.
- To know that the Father has all power and authority to remove ones life at any moment changes things. I put Him over me. His thoughts. His will. His kingdom. Even though I do not always do this perfectly, I need to try to practice this on a daily basis.
- To accept the assignments He gives me. Most of the time, they are not glorious, or profitable. They often are assignments no one else wants. But when they come,
- A. To accept, agree to, perform, and carry out what He has asked to be done.
- B. To not decline or grumble about an assignment.
- C. To desire His will over mine. I need to allow my own dreams and wants to die, and put His will over my own. Not easy, but the shalom He gives to endure to the end is priceless!
Learning these things does not mean that I don’t care about those around me. I recently reread the story of Cain and Abel. They walked side by side for many years. They knew and loved each other. After all they were brothers. Abel was walking justly, and I believe with mercy, and humility (though Torah wasn’t yet written). But the jealousy of Cain was immense, even enough to lead him to the point of murder. Why such an intensity? I believe Abel was walking out Micah 6:8, even though it wasn’t written yet. Abel was the upright example. His lifestyle of choosing to walk in love is what bothered Cain to such an extreme.
I think Abel was trying to be his brother’s keeper by being an example of light to him. I hope to do the same for those around me. Sometimes when we walk this very narrow road our very actions will irritate others. Perhaps because they know they should be doing the same, but for whatever reason they are not. I have watched people hate someone that walks in Torah and then try to get others to hate that person too! That is where I see the type of fruit they are producing. Too often, I don’t see good fruit. It is here that I pray and ask for mercy, for they really don’t know what they are doing.
Yes, we are to be examples, and to teach and share the scripture with people, and to sound the shofar and admonish one another, in love and humility. But that is all. I am learning to drop the responsibility of making them accept Torah or not. That is between them and the Father, I no longer want to be in between them. Now, I pray and intercede for them. I pray, knowing that Yahweh is a just Elohim, and that His judgments will come to pass, but asking for His mercy and reminding Him that we are ALL but dust.
Mercy, I cry for mercy!
Theresa Bates is an ARI Guest Teacher