Walk Thou Before Me and Be Thou Perfect
Today’s Passage – Genesis 17 – 19 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
(Second Milers also read – Matthew 11 – 12; Proverbs 6; Psalms 26 – 30
Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 25
Read the “0106 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Read previous posts from this passage –“Don’t Look Back,” “Abraham Did a Little Walking With God, Too,” “The Prayer of a Friend,” and “God Knows You.”
“1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Genesis 17:1)
I did not get very far in my reading this morning until a thought jumped out at me, on the first verse. I immediately dismissed it thinking that it was too quick. The more I read, however, the more other verses started popping into my mind regarding what God said to Abraham in verse one – “walk thou before me, and be thou perfect. God gave me three other verses in connection to that statement. I’ll give you the verses as God gave them to me, and then try to make an application from the text:
“48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
“20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
“18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)
The word, “perfect,” is found in the Bible many times in connection to the life of a believer, or the lives (plural) of believers. I did a search on Blue Letter Bible and saw the many of the uses of the word, “perfect” involved the heart of a believer (Click here to see those verses). the Bible indicates many times that various believers were “perfect,” or had a perfect heart, or could have a perfect heart. But, what does that mean? We know that we are not perfect, at least how we understand the meaning of the word today. We use the word “perfect” today to indicate something or somebody that is completely flawless, without any errors or blemishes. None of us qualifies to meet that definition. Ecclesiastes 7:20 (above) clearly teaches that none of us is perfect in that way.
So, what does it mean to be “perfect” the way the Bible means it? In the New Testament, the Greek adjective, τέλειος (teleios) is often translated into the English word, “perfect.” Strongs Concordance and Thayer’s Lexicon both describe the meaning as being “mature,” or “of full age.” So the word, “perfect,” does not mean sinless; it means full grown or mature. the Bible states that after we have been saved for a while we should no longer be “babes” in Christ (1 Corinthians 3; Hebrews 5). Too many believers never grow up spiritually. God wants us to be “perfect,” or mature spiritually. He actually commands it (Matthew 5:48). He wants us to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Growth means that we are moving toward maturity.
The secret to growth is continuing to walk with the Lord. Notice that God told Abraham to “walk before [him].” Walking with God involves being in communion with Him in prayer, through reading the Scriptures, and through obeying and serving Him. At the start of this New Year, try to determine that you are going to walk with the Lord continuously – daily – throughout the year. Start your day with the Scriptures and prayer, and then pray without ceasing throughout the day. You will never be completely perfect (sinless), but we can become more perfect, more mature, more full-grown spiritually.
Late add on – Brother Gary brought up a good point regarding this topic. Positionally, all believers are seen by God as completely righteous because of the blood of Christ (Genesis 7:3; Romans 3:21 – 22). However, the idea here is not justification, but rather sanctification.
“9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.” (2 Corinthians 13:9)
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 6 comments.
Gary brought up a great point in a private text regarding justification. We are seen by God positionally as perfect, sinless, or completely righteous. And this idea is somewhat contained in the idea of perfection. Saved people are seen as “perfect;” that is what they will be when they get to Heaven. But, in the meanwhile, they are being perfected, and they can become perfect, in the sense of being full-grown or mature, spiritually.
Amen Pastor. When I read the blog, a thought came to mind, and that is a diamond. Diamonds are beautiful as we look at them just ask any woman, but yet diamonds have something called flaws, which are blemishes or imperfections. As Christians, when we accepted Christ as our savior, the blood of Christ covers our condemning imperfections and blemishes. We are all just diamonds in the rough. Like the post.
Good thought, Bob!
Help me Lord to mature in You & grow each day
Me too, Deb!