1 John 2:6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
That’s a tall order! Live as the only perfect human being did? What does this mean and how far do I actually have to take this command? Undoubtedly, this is a biblical order that scares even the goodiest of the goodie-two-shoes in the world. (Yes, I am a reformed “goodie”.)
Why? Because most of the time, we love this world and all that it has in it. Don’t we like the nicest house and coolest car? Don’t we want the latest Coach purse or the newest phone. Verses 15-17 say “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If you love the world, love for the Father is not in you. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful people, the lust of their eyes and their boasting about what they have and do—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
Where are these opportunities to live like Jesus? We encounter them all day, every day! Each decision–each action offers us a choice and in his awesome and creative design, God gave us the gift of free will! As Robert Frost wrote in “The Road Not Taken”, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both,” we often want to choose what’s good and right, but we also want what our human flesh desires. Is it a late night at a bar on Saturday to the demise of the family worship time at church on Sunday morning? Is it allowing the busy-ness of business to squeeze out some quiet time with your bible? It is difficult to make the right choice every time, but we cannot travel two roads at the same time. One must be chosen. The bible tells us which road to choose—our flesh, sometimes, tells us the opposite.
Yes, it takes great courage to fill this tall order! Standing at each fork in the road of life, and there are many, and choosing goodness and righteousness is not easy at first. Living simply. Loving people. Taming our tongues. Hard! Hard! Hard!
So here’s one the decision we are left with—do we choose not to follow the command because we prefer to cling to the things of this world for their temporary delight? Or do we put down our guard, open our arms and embrace the command with courage, strength and faith because it is from our Father?
On the day and hour that I know is coming, I pray that Jesus will stand beside me and together we will look backward at each fork in the road and He will see a distinct place in my history where I chose the path of obedience almost every time and when I didn’t, I was repentant and didn’t make the same mistake at the next juncture. I will thank Jesus for clearing my way with His sacrifice and I will know, “Two paths diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.”
That is the tall order of the Christian life. I pray that you are up for the challenge because the rewards are infinite!