Walk Before Me

“About face! Forward, march!”

Watch a group of service members in formation. Do you see a ragtag group of men and women trudging along a path? No. You see a disciplined team marching together, careful that every step is in sync. As the group marches, they are careful to listen to the superior call out commands from the front of the formation.

God Almighty visited ninety-nine year old Abraham and issued this command: “Walk before me, and be blameless.” Did God mean “toe the line and do not make a mistake”? From now on would God walk behind Abraham to make sure he did not fall out of formation? Did he expect Abraham to be perfect? Was he going to hover and make sure there were no missteps? Please hear me when I say that God is not an overbearing commander waiting to yell in your ear when you blunder.

God’s deepest desire for Abraham was that he would live his life so that every step he took was in sync with God’s will. His desire was for the natural direction of Abraham’s inner compass to point toward God’s presence, promises, and demands.

God ordered Abraham to live a blameless life. Are you kidding? Who does that? “Blameless” sounds lofty and unattainable. But perfection is not what God asked or required of Abraham. When God commanded Abraham to live a blameless life he asked him to enjoy a wholeness of relationship with him. In other words, if Abraham fully surrendered his life to following God he would be whole and complete. Abraham’s life was not to be lived in fragmented pieces—one part God, one part culture, one part what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it. His life was to be wholly committed to God and God’s purposes—and promises.

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