"For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life". (Ephesians 2:10) NRSV. That phrase "our way of life" has struck me lately reading through the Ephesian letter. How often do we separate our "religion" from other parts of life? Paul writes our good works we are in Christ to do is our very way we live, our life itself. Then it dawned on me it has always been this way. Our life in God is always about a walk or a path an ever increasing journey we are on in life, one that consumes our whole life. In Genesis 5:24 we read a very short bio of a man named Enoch, "Enoch walked with God". We know very little else about this man, but doesn't saying he walked with God say it all? This man lived life in God's presence, he interacted with and obeyed God, he surely bore the image of God as he lived among others.
In Isaiah 2:3, a prophetic verse foretelling the Kingdom the Messiah would establish, a Kingdom here now that reigns in our life. "Many peoples shall come and say "Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths". The ways of God are for us to learn so we can walk his path, life is a pathway which we walk with God.
Jesus in the "sermon on the mount", talks of two pathways in life, two gates that can be entered, each with different destinations (Matthew 7:13-14). So often people equate "religion" merely with a belief system when it should be seen as a "life system", what we simply "believe" will have no power to save unless we live out that belief in life, it becomes our pathway.
In Micah 6:6-8, some of my favorite Bible verses, Micah presents the question what can I bring to God that will be pleasing? Then he speaks of this extravagant amount of worship thinking God would be pleased with it, but what does God desire first? "He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with you God". The worship is important, it is the outpouring of our heart, but of foremost importance is our walk with God, how we live among God's creation and listen to and obey him.
It is all about a way of life, a way we never "arrive" at, so to speak, but a way we live each day. A path we follow that is in Jesus footsteps, he is the one leading us. It is an ever increasing way of knowing God in his Scriptures, we should be constantly seeking, changing if need be, and living out our knowledge to make a difference in life. Easy for me to say, a constant challenge to really live. Thanks for reading.