Thursday, October 11, 2007

Are You Walking?

Kyle doesn't walk much. He climbs, runs, trots, and meanders, but just plain ol' walking is just too ordinary for my active three-year-old boy. Sometimes the running gets him from point A to point B more quickly, but more often than not he either stumbles and falls in his hurry or gets distracted and sidetracked with the climbing or meandering and ends up at point D instead.

I can't help but compare his methods of movement to those in my spiritual life. I don't maintain a steady gait there either. Sometimes I run as fast as I can, getting ahead of myself (and getting ahead of God's plans for me perhaps) which might cause me to stumble and fall. Other times I meander, stagnant in my spiritual growth and relationship. I always thought that the term "Christian walk" was one of those modern terms that falls into Christianese (a word that doesn't really mean much to someone unfamiliar with the culture). However I recently heard a sermon (on my trusty ipod--I think it was Breakaway) that pointed out that the term is used in the Bible as well, so I looked into it.

This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God (Genesis 6:9).

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty ; walk before me and be blameless (Genesis 17:1).

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways (Psalm 128:1).

You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips (Colossians 3:7-8).

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love (2 John 1:6).

I've been thinking of what it truly means to walk with God, and I've come up with a few things:

We have to learn to walk. Kyle didn't take his first steps until he was fifteen months old. Part of that is because he was a superfast crawler. He saw no advantage in pulling up, standing and cruising. I have to admit that my current mode of operation is not the best way, as I seek to learn how to more clearly align my life with God's plan.

We don't walk alone. We have three walking partners, in the form of God the Father, the author and perfecter of our faith; Jesus, our Savior and ultimate example; and the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth. We can't do the Christian thing on our own.

Most importantly, walking implies movement. There are no treadmills in Christianity! If you aren't moving forward, you are actually falling behind. I should be able to look back over my recent past and see progress, and fortunately I can. There are areas of sin with which I still struggle, but seeing improvement is a reminder that I am not who I was. I also see movement in the change in my desires--seeking after things of God, and leaving behind some more useless pursuits.

Think about where your walk has been taking you. That's the final thought I came up with: We choose where we walk. I can choose to wake up early and read God's word, which will hopefully help me in my choices throughout the day. I can choose to attend church and Bible study with other believers. All of those things help me live up to God's command: "Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess (Deuteronomy 5:3)."

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Today I'm also exploring the The Reward of Work at Faithlifts.


mutating missionary said...

great post - walking...walking...falling...walking...running...dancing...falling...walking...stopping...running right into HIS ARMS

Mark Goodyear said...

This made me think of the stumbling block passages as well. Like Romans 14:13. If we aren't walking with God, chances are we could accidentally trip up our brothers and sisters.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Great thoughts. I enjoyed the Scripture references--"walk" really is a Biblical term, not just Christianese, isn't it?


Dianne said...

great thoughts Jennifer, thanks for sharing!

Appliejuice said...

What a thoughtful post. I will now be thinking about it all day. :) It reminded me, of when my son was three. He did the same as your sone, never actually walked. Our pastor said, "He celebrates walking." We should celebrate walking with the Lord.

Katrina said...

Really great insights, Jennifer. You've given me much to think about.