I was at a large mall in a bigger city with a friend. Vague, maybe. But you get the scene.
I arrived about 30 minutes earlier than my friend, so I decided to peruse around Dillard’s. I love to peruse. I also love the word peruse. So lovely! Anyways, this grand mall has a lot of wings and subdivisions, and Dillard’s is tucked away far from the main entrance of the mall. It’s quite a walk.
When my friend finally arrived, she gave me a call and I tried explaining to her where I was.
“Okay, so when you walk in the main entrance of the mall, head straight back past the stairs. Hang a left. You will pass Banana Republic on your right and a Rue 21 on your left. Once you get past Tommy Bahama, you will see two couches…”
At this point I knew I had completely lost her. Honestly, it could be that my instructions and capacity to direct people suck big time, but there was no way she was going to find me with my verbal directions.
I changed my approach. I was like,
“You know what? I will just come get you!!” She said “You sure?? I can try to find the mall directory and find you that way.” Me: “No way girl! I will just come to the front of the mall and take you back with me to Dillard’s so we can go together. We can even stop at a few stores on the way!”
In that moment, something clicked in me. It was much easier for my friend’s sake, for me to come get her and show her the way and enjoy the walk to Dillard’s together. It would have been much easier for me to let her come find me based off my instructions over the phone.
The Law vs. Walking
You see, when God first gave The Torah (1) (Jewish written law given to the Jews to set them apart as His Holy People. Aka the Pentateuch: The first five books of the Old Testament) … He did this in order to keep them protected and holy to lead them into the promise land and more importantly eternal life with Him. Without dissecting the entire Bible and creating controversy over Leviticus, I find it most incredible that He didn’t just leave His people with the law and a ton of instructions to fend for themselves. He decided to leave His throne, come to the front of the “mall” and show us the way to Himself and eternal life with Him.
I want to take a moment and talk to Christians. If you don’t believe in Jesus, you have my unwarranted permission to scroll to the end 😉
We must live in freedom knowing that when Jesus decided to leave the throne room to fulfill the law on our behalf, that He knows how to lead us back home. This isn’t some sort of game He is playing with us. This is a journey. A life He overcame. A perfect law He fulfilled, so that we can walk alongside a Holy God. NOT because we go to church, listen to Christian music, or monitor our cussing. These things may occur due to a heart change and pure convictions, but we got this thing backwards… We try to modify our behavior and create mini laws tricking ourselves into the fullness of Christ. When in reality, we are bedridden with anxiety, comparing ourselves to the world’s success, contemplating faithfulness to our spouse, and weak in our prayer life. I need to be slapped upside the head with Galatians 2-5 on the real… specifically Galatians 2:16 “and yet because we know that a person is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we ourselves have believed in Christ Jesus. This was so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified.”
In this passage, Paul is specifically talking to Peter (a fellow Jew) calling him out for being a hypocrite by not sitting with Gentiles when other Jews would come around. But I need to be reminded of this truth as well.
Enjoy the Walk
Going back to my friend at the mall, there was no way she would have been able to find me in a timely manner. Not only was I in Dillard’s, but Dillard’s is 4 stories high. I was on the third floor in one of the 10 fitting rooms. Also forgot to mention that English is her second language. Even if she would have made it past Tommy Bahama into the candy cane forest, there was still work that needed to be done for her to get to me. I wanted her to enjoy her shopping trip without worry or feeling lost. A foreign country, a foreign city, a huge mall, a language barrier, and an intricate set of instructions. You see, when Jesus came and found us, He asked for our hand. He asked for our trust. He knows how to lead us into the inner throne room to the feet of our Heavenly Father. My friend did not get to Dillard’s by my instructions, she got to Dillard’s by us walking together. However, we naturally fulfilled the directions from the front of the Mall to the third floor of Dillard’s just by walking together. That’s it. That’s the simplicity of the Good News of Jesus. The law has been fulfilled. We walk hand in hand with the Spirit of God into eternity. Jesus dwindled the law down to two commands.
Love God. Love others.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
Also, wanted to mention that my second episode of Write it Down will be released on November 1, 2019 on Apple and on xvxiii.com. Follow for more content on Instagram @widpod and @xvxiiinetwork
Thank you @kyanamassihniaphotography for the picture!