“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’” (Genesis 17:1-2)
By Emily Armstrong
God is renewing his covenant with Abraham that the promise of a great nation would come from Abraham and Sarah. Verse 1 says that Abraham is 99 years old when God has this conversation with him. I can only imagine that he was thinking, “OK, God, I’ll be a first time dad, but only with your help.” As long as we are talking about doing the impossible, did we miss the small but significant phrase in verse 1 that says, “Walk before me and be blameless”? Again, Abraham has to be thinking, “OK, God, but only with your help.”
Does God really expect Abraham to be a dad at age 99? Yep. Does God really expect Abraham to walk before him and be blameless? You bet. And God expects the same from us. Is it a fair expectation? Yes, but only because we have the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit helps us to make the right choices, and helps us continually walk before God and be blameless. It’s not to say that the Holy Spirit makes our decisions for us, but he’s continually guiding us in the correct paths, if we allow him to.
I remember when I was in college that I really started struggling with the concept of being blameless. I had been a Christian since I was a little girl, but the Holy Spirit started speaking to me about the kind of music that I listened to. It wasn’t BAD music, but it certainly wasn’t the best. I had to really wrestle with the Lord and see if what I was listening to was helping my relationship grow stronger with Him. I’m sure you aren’t surprised to learn that I realized that the Holy Spirit was right, and I made some changes in my music. It was hard, and it was a process, but I know that it’s helped me even to this day to walk blamelessly before God.
So, are you up to it? Have you been feeling like the Holy Spirit’s been talking to you about some of the habits that you have that are keeping you from walking blamelessly before God? If so, then start evaluating the changes that you need to make, and start making them. You’ll soon learn like I did, that walking blamelessly is possible, with God’s help.
*This reflection is part of a series of devotionals written for youth by Scott and Emily Armstrong.