I ironed a long-sleeved shirt for my husband, Mike, to preach in. It would be worn with his cool preacher jeans. Ten minutes into the sermon, I noticed him fiddling with his left sleeve. A gesture that continued.
After the service, Mike explained that when he moved his arms something slid down his sleeve. It peeked out his cuff a few times. So, he tucked it back in.
The worship band made their way on stage for the last song. Mike went to the back of the room to identify the stow away. A dryer sheet with fabric softener. “Cling free” was noted on the box for static electricity.
The experience reminded me of clingy things and people. How we call kids clingy in a physical sense and adults clingy in an emotional way.
But there’s something I’d also read in the Bible about being clingy.
“You shall walk after the Lord your God and [reverently] fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and cling to Him” (Deuteronomy 13:4, AMPC).
Moses encouraged the Israelites to cling to the Lord. But it’s preceded by other actions. First, we have to do some walking. Could our answer to this blog title be found here? Maybe talking the talk and walking the walk have to do with being clingy.
“Walk after the Lord” is followed by the word “and” five times. It’s like asking your spouse to pick up an item at the store when you add one more thing, and another and another.
Honey, please stop for milk at the grocery. And we need bread. And cereal for in the morning. And bananas to go in the cereal. And granola bars for the kid’s lunches. And I could could use laundry detergent.
In the passage, we find three action phrases connected by “and” with each subsequent phrase introduced by “and.”
Walk after the Lord and fear Him
What does it look like to walk after someone? The mental image conveys following the person and their ways. When we walk after the Lord, we are walking the walk we’ve been talking about. Not only do we say we love the Lord and worship Him, we walk it out in daily life. It’s seen in our choices, in our actions and reactions, and in our behavior. We have reverent fear—an awe—for His utter holiness and majesty. We walk in the ways of God. Our walking matches our talking.
Keep His commandments and obey His voice
Moses had presented the Ten Commandments to God’s people. They knew the details. Yet, he admonishes them to also obey the Lord’s voice. Why? Isn’t it enough to keep the commandments? There’s more? You see, it’s a heart issue. Keeping His commandments is a choice to obey. A willing heart that desires obedience. Obeying God’s voice in the commandments He spoke years ago. Obeying what He spoke to our heart yesterday. Obeying when God speaks today. As we obey His voice, we’re not only talking about God, we’re walking in His statutes. Our walking matches our talking.
Serve Him and cling to Him
In the context of Deuteronomy 13, Moses warns the Israelites of serving idols. He addresses walking after the Lord and fearing Him, obeying God’s commandments and voice, before this final part of the message. If we’ve committed ourselves to those initial acts, serving the Lord and clinging to Him will follow suit. It’s the natural outcome to the first two actions. Idols won’t be an issue in our lives. We will want to serve the master who’s voice we’ve been obeying. We’ll be clingy in every way to the One we adore with amazement and wonder. Talking about the God we serve gives motion to our walking strides. Our walking matches our talking.
For the Christ-follower, cling-free is not an option. The choice lies in what or who we are clinging to. Choose Jesus. Talk about Him. And. Walk in Him.
© 2016 by Karen Friday, All rights reserved
March 3, 2016 at 10:41 am | Uncategorized