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What a Story About Tassels Reminded Me About Being a Christian in Modern Day Society



The other day I was studying Numbers 15, and there it is, five verses dedicated to tassels.


The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.’ ” - Numbers 15:37-41


God was commanding the Israelites to wear tassels as a reminder of who He is and His commands. The idea was that these tassels would help prevent the Israelites from sinning because they were constantly nudging them to remember God's commands. These tassels were meant to challenge the Israelites to resist their evil desires so that they would be a constant reflection of God's character and be a light for Him. It's not a completely out-there concept either; the tassels they wore in biblical times are equivalent to current day purity rings, prayer bracelets, and other things of that nature.


As I was reading over these verses, I realized that God was using these tassels to remind the Israelites that being a follower of the Lord is a 24/7 thing that takes work and commitment and sacrifice. They weren't called to be obedient sometimes or with the big things, but all the time. There were no exceptions: the Israelites were called to be obedient to God all the time.


(Does this mean they were perfect? Absolutely not. Does this mean that we are supposed to seek God and strive to be more like Him and more obedient to His word every single day? Yes! Is this the same thing as striving for perfection? No, no no.)


In our world, this is not the message our culture is sending us. Our culture likes to tell us, "you do you", "live out your truth", "throw away anything that doesn't serve you" and "put yourself first, you should be your #1 priority".


NONE of these things are biblical. And these tassels reject that idea entirely by saying, "No guys! We need to be obeying and serving God with 100% of our time and 100% of our hearts. It won't always be easy, but we serve a good God and He has it all in control."


Being a Christian is absolutely not about us. Being a Christian is about following God with all of our hearts, all of our minds, and all of our strength. These Israelites weren't perfect by any means, but I think that they recognized the fact that being "God's chosen people" was more than a part time gig. Living as God's chosen people is more than claiming a title, but a way of life that requires sacrifice and purposeful action.


Our world doesn't like this kind of sacrifice, commitment, and all in mentality, especially when it doesn't always benefit us. It's true - sometimes being a Christian is hard, and sometimes really hard. Sometimes we have to make decisions we don't necessarily want to make, but we know we have to. Oftentimes God tells us to make difficult changes to our life that can be painful in the moment. But, it's all for our benefit. The Israelites got to experience that as they walked closely with the Lord and found a whole new kind of obedience - wholehearted obedience.


So what? I'm not suggesting we all walk around wearing tassels like the Israelites did, or even get bracelets or purity rings to remind us of Scripture (although those things aren't bad!). I am suggesting, though, that we spend some time reflecting on our commitment to Christ and if our lives actually reflect that.


The Israelites had constant reminders of their relationship with God and what that takes, and more than just the tassels. They had daily sacrifices and different rituals that refocused them on God and His laws. Because of that, they were able to walk consistently with the Lord (imperfectly, yes, but walk with the Lord). Are you walking with the Lord consistently? Is every area of your life showing that? Be honest with yourself about that.


If the answer is yes, then yay! That's amazing. Keep seeking God and walking with Him. If the answer is no, though, don't get discouraged. Find the areas of your life that you are struggling remembering to walk with Christ and consider how you can remind yourself of Jesus and His Word. Maybe this is a piece of jewelry that reminds you of a specific truth that you need to keep in the forefront of your mind. Maybe this looks like setting reminders on your phone or creating a wallpaper that has Scripture on it. Maybe this looks like finding accountability partners to help refocus you on what it looks like to walk with the Lord.


The Israelites had tassels to remind them of Scripture and their relationship with God. Because of that, they were able to walk with the Lord and stay focused on Him in everything that they do, whether it be farming or cooking or going to the temple. But in our life today, nothing in our culture encourages this kind of commitment or surrender in everything we do. As Christians, and as we continue to grow closer to the Lord, let's go deeper and be more than part-time Christians. Let's be 24/7, all the time, whatever it takes Christians.

 

As strange as it sounds, this story about tassels in the middle of Numbers as really gotten me thinking about the depth of my relationship with the Lord and if I'm actually living like a 24/7 Christian. It is my prayer that this has challenged you as well, and that maybe God was able to speak into your life about something you need to reflect on or change.


If you have any prayer requests, please, please, please let me know in the comments down below and I'd love to pray with you! Or, if you have any wisdom you'd like to contribute, feel free to drop that in the comments as well so that we can uplift each other!

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