“Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk.” (1 Corinthians 7:17)

In tomorrow’s devotional, Pastor John Riley is going to share with us what it means to walk with God. But for today I want to think together about the circumstantial limits we sometimes put on ourselves, limits that lead us to believe we are not in a position to “walk well”. 

A rather famous saying around Emmanuel Faith is, “Do the next right thing.” I wonder, are there ever any external limitations that prevent this from happening? It seems the Corinthians would have said, “Yes.” In fact, I think we can discern from the text that there are some in the church who believe they cannot walk well unless and until they are no longer slaves. And while it’s not in this week’s passage specifically, I don’t think it a far stretch to say there are others who think they can’t “walk well” until they are married, or maybe even until they are divorced.

A challenge for all of us, when we experience the Lord assigning situations we find uncomfortable or undesirable, is to avoid going to a place where we feel comfortable making excuses for our lack of obedience. It’s as if we say, “Well if He really wanted me to obey, He wouldn’t have ordained this. He knows obedience is literally impossible right now.” The biggest problem with this line of thinking is simply that Paul refutes it!

The reality is this — if God knew there to be some particular set of circumstances He could send our way which would make obedience impossible, He would then be guilty of deceiving us as well as setting us up for failure. Fortunately, that is not who He is. And because that is not who He is, we are presented with this challenge from verse 17 — rather than looking at our lives in order to identify all of the (perceived) barriers to obedience, we are to look for all of the opportunities for obedience. And there is a gazillion! Emmanuel Faith, we are called to “walk well” as we travel the road the “Lord has assigned” to us. Sometimes that is easier said than done.

I don’t know what limits have been placed on you right now, but I do know the opportunities for obedience, the opportunities to do the “next right thing,” are limitless. It might take a perspective shift to see them, but they are there.

My prayer for you and for me today is that God will open our eyes to the boundless opportunities for obedience and for “walking well,” regardless of what obstacles we might face. And why would I pray this? Because I know, as do you, that it is in obedience to Him that we come to know Him better. And I know we all want that!

Scott Smith
Connection and Growth Pastor

Subscribe to the Daily Fill