Walk in Hope

“If you walk in My statutes, keep My commandments and carry them out … I will walk among you and will be your God, and you will be My people.” (Lev. 26:3, 12). (From: Behar/Bechukotai, Lev. 25:1 – 27:34.)

As this portion of Scripture opens, the Lord gives a series of conditional blessings, “If you walk…then I will…” (Lev. 26:3-13); further, he reveals the antithesis of the blessing, “If you do not listen…then I will do…” (Lev. 26:14-39). It is not the Lord’s desire to rebuke His people, but rather to bring them back in step on His way (Heb. 12:6). In the Torah, the Lord uses the word “walk” (תלכו in Lev. 26) as a metaphor for forward movement, and internal meditation, in life according to His Word.

Walking with the Living God is movement, its change, its new situations, its a renewal of soul and spirit. At times it’s trials in life. Yet, above all its personal. Walking with the Lord, according to His Word, provides the ethical norms for every situation in life: the way of escape or right action.

The use of “walk” itself is telling. He is revealing that what we are about to do is risky, and requires patience, faith and practice. It has been said that walking is controlled falling down. At times we must focus more carefully on our steps as we traverse difficult or unfamiliar terrain. To walk with the Lord is to trust that He has prepared the way before us (Ps. 37:23); and that His statutes, instructions and laws will illuminate the way (Ps. 119:105).

In the fullness of time, the Lord sent his Word to become flesh in the person of Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. Yeshua said, “Come follow me…” Follow, like walk, is a call to closeness in life. In this case, drawing close to Yeshua. This drawing close is “learning from Him” (Matt. 11:29) as a disciple following his teacher.

Yet, there is a sharp distinction between what we read in Leviticus and what we learn from Messiah Yeshua. The revelation of Leviticus exposes the weakness of the human heart – its sin condition – and our inability to be made righteous by our own effort. The Torah is a document of discipleship, not salvation; and through it, the Lord reveals our utter dependence on His sovereign grace, mercy, love and forgiveness. The coming of Messiah, as the Word made flesh (Jn. 1:14) was an action founded in the grace of God and the love for His people (Jn. 3:16). Messiah came in order to “save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

The heart of man is so weakened by sin, and depraved, that he is unable to continue in faithfulness, thus he is in need of a savior. This Savior would receive “the chastisement for our peace” so that by “His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5); and as the apostle Peter writes, looking at the past action of Yeshua, “By His wounds you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24). Therefore, the curse of disobedience no longer falls upon those who are in Messiah (Ro. 8:1), as Yeshua has delivered those trusting on him – healing the spiritual wound of sin that influences the walk of man.

Still, even with our closeness to Him, we must “hear Him” (Matt. 17:5; cf. Deut. 18:15), and in hearing Him we must walk and follow obediently, as Messiah said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15); which we keep now, not out of a motivation to be accepted, but because we have been accepted (Eph. 2:8-10). Messiah not only changes the condition of our heart, by the salvation of our soul, He changes the motivation of our heart to indulge in actions that are self-indulgence to actions of self-sacrifice (Jn. 15:13). This we learn from walking in the uncharted territory that is life with the confidence that He is walking with us because He is our Emmanuel (Matt. 1:23) Who sent the Holy Spirit to us in order that we are not left as orphans (Jn. 14:15-18).

“The Bible reveals the Father’s overall plan for the world and provides general guidelines for life. But how can we know His specific plans for us? Listening to God is essential to walking with God.” Dr. Charles Stanley

Listening to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as we walk, causes us to lift up our eyes, look attentively at Him, and walk in the sureness that He is ever with us.

Be well. Shalom.

What Does Faith Look Like?

There are days when I feel that I don’t quite have this faith thing figured out; and yes, the wording is deliberate. As we are often prone to do, we look to the right, and to the left; to what he, she, or they are doing better that we, etc.

Perhaps you don’t have this type of experience, but I often feel like others have figured out something that I have yet to stumbled upon, as they seem to have the look of faithfulness.

It begs the question, what does faith look like?

In Hebrews we read:

“But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls” (Heb. 10:33-39).


“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible … And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb. 11:1-3, 6).

We often evaluate the effectiveness of faith by outward appearances of good things, ignoring or not recognizing the negative. We assume that the absence of apparent struggle means better life, and therefore better faith, read Hebrews 10:33-34 above closely again.

I do not, however, find that appearances make an accurate barometer of what faith looks like.

The author of Hebrews reminded his audience of the trials they experienced after they came to faith in Messiah. They endured reproaches and tribulations, and often joined with others in their challenges.

He reminds them of the first things of faith, which often run contrary to public opinion and accepted intellectual ideas. He reminds them of others who have come before (Heb. 11); and finally, he explains that faith, the hoped for evidence of the things not yet seen, is the only way to please the Lord God.

He reminded them of where, and from whom they had come.

Yet, what if my experience of faith looks different than that of others? What if my life is altogether fine? Or, I seem to face trouble at every turn? What if I fall somewhere between?

I would say there is no perfect picture of what the life of faith looks like: save for Yeshua/Jesus himself. See, faith is lived within the framework of life, and life is a place of both challenges and joys, victory and setback.

In life we need endurance. The author of Hebrews reminds us that in faith we need endurance (Heb. 10:36). Endurance in faith grows as faith is exercised in every circumstance life offers, until that day, when He graduates us to glory.

Read Paul’s testimony:

“Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches” (II Corinthians 11:23-28).

If we were to measure the fruit of Paul’s faith from his own testimony, according to the expectations often applied today, he would be found wanting; but Paul was able to testify that he had run and finished the race, he had kept the faith (II Tim. 4:6-8).

See friends, faith endures because it is coupled with the hope that keeps us going when giving up would be easier: hope takes hold, and faith holds on.

Faith is not about how we feel in it, but Who we have trusted in: Messiah. He is, and must remain the object of our faithing.

So do not measure your life, or faith according to the standards of this world, or those well meaning saints who make you feel less than. Look to the examples provided in Scripture, with their ups and downs (I Cor. 11:1), remembering that your faith is in Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, and in Him, our every need is met (Phil. 4:19). As He said: “follow Me.”

If you haven’t figured this “faith thing” out, don’t worry, as we follow Him, we learn it from Him (Matt. 11:28-30).

What does faith look like? Jesus.

Be well. Shalom.