Where Are You At On the Pendulum?
I have been in the education field long enough to see many “fads” come and go about the best way to teach children. For example, when I first started teaching young children to read we were told to teach strictly phonics and only taught our students to sound out words. Unfortunately, those children lost comprehension and understanding of what they were reading because they were solely focused on figuring out the words they were reading. Then, came the point in my career when we were told that all we needed to do was read to our students and then miraculously they would become readers. It was thought that by hearing someone read fluently and with expression that they would just be able to model and grasp that skill on their own. NOT happening! Finally, it was discovered that students needed all of that in order to become efficient readers. Yes, students need phonics, they need to build a sight word vocabulary, they need to be read to, but most importantly they need to be taught strategies in which they can use on their own when they get stuck while reading independently.
My walk in the faith has been no different than my journey in the field of teaching. I grew up in the church. I learned about “Jesus” and knew he died and was resurrected in order to wash away my sins. I knew I had to live a life free of sin and walk, or try to walk, like He did when he was on this earth. I was taught, and taught children in Sunday School, that if you sin and do not follow the commandments you need to pray to our Heavenly Father and ask for forgiveness. Then, I was introduced to Hebrew Roots and thought that following the laws of the Old Testament was what I needed to do, so I left that original understanding. I began thinking that the most important part of my walk was to follow His commands.
So, there is that swinging pendulum in my life again. First, only believing in grace (New Testament) and listening to my pastors and not digging in the Word/Bible for myself and then moving into the Old Testament and following strictly the Law. Now, I know a person needs BOTH… the love of Yahusha and His Law (the Covenant).
John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
1John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
1John 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Pro 3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
Pro 3:2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Pro 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
Pro 3:4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
In other words, I need both the Word and the Spirit, not just one or the other to become a well-rounded and faithful disciple. Just like my students need phonics, sight words, and strategies in order to become a competent and successful reader.
Therefore, we cannot be all grace (or the far right swing of the pendulum) or all law (the far left swing of the pendulum). We must find ourselves balanced and in the middle of the pendulum with a firm foundation of the Word and having a testimony of loving and believing in Yahusha.