Walking before God, being perfect

Genesis 17:1 records God as saying in part to Abram, ‘…walk before Me and be thou perfect.’ This divine instruction was followed by God’s everlasting covenant or perpetual promise, to multiply Abram exceedingly. Then, God changed his name to Abraham, as a first sign that he would become a father of many nations. What does ‘walking before God,’ mean for the Christian of today? What does it mean practically, to be perfect?

He, who walks before God, is sure that God has his back. He is keenly aware that God watches his every move or every thought. Isaiah 30:21 captures this thus: ‘Thine ears shall hear a word behind you saying, this is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.’ God, Who sees the heart (I Sam 16:7), knows our thoughts, motives and aims; and knows what we need even before we ask. Walking before an all-seeing God requires having a pure heart, full of faith. It requires trusting God in all things, with all our heart. (Proverbs 3:6)

Most Bible scholars and religious leaders associate the Old Testament patriarch, Abraham, with the spiritual quality of faith. In Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy represents Abraham as the symbol of fidelity. Christians, who, like Abraham, have complete faith in God, grow in their understanding of God’s ability to preserve and multiply His creation. These individuals partake in God’s covenant, which He keeps with the faithful. Christians should rejoice to walk before the Lord in the land of the living. [Psalm 116:9]. God’s instruction also requires that we be perfect. Again, the Bible sheds light on what being perfect means.

Jesus says in Matthew 5:48 that we should be perfect as our Father which is in heaven is perfect. Yet, human perfection is not possible, since we read in Isaiah 64:6 that even our righteousness is as filthy rags; and Paul says in Romans 3:10 that there is ‘none righteous, no not one.’ This shows that Jesus expects something more of us than human goodness. God is perfect and He is Spirit, therefore, the only way to be perfect, as Christ Jesus instructs, is by starting with our spirituality. Material sense attempts to assist God in achieving His work, as we learn from the Biblical account of Abram, who, at the prodding of Sarai, bore Ishmael by Hagar.

Spiritual sense, on the other hand, trusts in God’s ability and willingness to fulfil His promise, regardless of the contrary testimony presented by the material picture. As we walk before God with a pure heart, and realise the present fact of our spirituality, we partake of God’s everlasting covenant of fruitfulness, which He promised from Abraham to all generations.

Mojisola George, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Nigeria West

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