Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Way We Walk

P1010168(1).jpgChristians are called to walk and to run. Apart from the obvious, what are the spiritual differences? To walk relates to our daily expression of Christian living and relationships. To run has the sense of ministry. It may be a short run or a marathon, even a relay. The difference is runners usually have coaches and back-up support, for them to run is something they must do alone. This will be looked at in another blog.

 Some are commissioned to run with a message. All, however, are called to walk as witnesses to the things of Christ. This is especially true in regard to what Jesus has done and is doing in their lives. One of the great things about walking is it can be done singularly, couples or in group. It can be for health and exercise. As you walk you can engage in conversation. There may or may not be a destination at the walks conclusion. Walking with others has its limitation. Youth must regulate its pace to walk beside the aged or infirm. Visually impaired need the visually clear to understand their limitations and match it with compassion.

Ephesians has a number references to our Christian walk and relationships. The Greek word paints the picture of a person walking around and around within a certain arena or atmosphere. Our original walk was one involving spiritual deadness, slaves to good and bad desires, and ignorant of or disobedient to Christ Jesus. We lived in the Devil’s playground, often unknowingly (Ephesians 2:2).

When we were saved by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8) God relocated us into a new atmosphere, where Jesus Christ rules. Part of our walk here is to do good deeds.  (Ephesians 2:10). While this is new territory for us, it has been part of God’s plan before creation. He wants us to learn our life’s new atmosphere by walking around and around in it. The Holy Spirit has been given to us as our ‘coach and companion.’ His manual is the one He put together with His prophets and apostles, we know it as ‘the Bible.’  In this new arena of faith, whose atmosphere is from Heaven, our Lord gives us supporters. Older believers are called upon to help the new Christians to ‘get their on the right track.’ Understanding that brings to mind the old saying, ‘practice what you preach.’ We may also add, ‘walk the way I’m walking and in the direction I’m taking.’

Ephesians 4:1-2 offers the undergirding principle old and young believers need as their mindset. Humility, Meekness, Longsuffering, and Forbearing one another in love. If you imagine these are easy to produce and portray read the story of Moses. He first appears as an adult in Exodus as a passionate and quick tempered man. These habits, mixed with self-righteousness and sense of mission led to him killing an Egyptian. It required years in the wilderness, marriage as retraining ground for God’s purposes to be activated in his life.  Numbers 12:3 bears testimony to him learning and applying the ‘atmosphere of Heaven’ for he is called the meekest of all. Just because that word rhymes with ‘weakness,’ don’t be fooled. Meekness requires more than physical or emotional strength. It needs the grace of Christ to sustain it over and over again.

Ephesians 5:2 Wants us to walk around and around in love, not sentimentality. True love is a sacrificial love. It is costly. For it’s a love based upon and flows out of Christ’s love for us. Such love can wear us down unless we set our affections on Christ Jesus. When this love is expressed – notice what rises up to the Lord, a sweet smelling fragrance. (2 Cor. 2:14-16)

Ephesians 5:15 tells us how we are to walk in a hostile world. Do it carefully. Be wise, not unwise. Being ‘fools for Christ’ in the eyes of the World and not ‘stupid hypocrites’ demands of us the Wisdom which comes from fearing and honouring God through obeying His word. There are many other references to how we should live our Christian calling with and in front of others. When we walk along the Lord’s walking trail it will prepare us if and when He puts us into the Christian life’s running events. Walking success, with God or in other relationships is summed up in Amos 3:3, ‘Can two walk together, except they be agreed?’ (KJV)

Ray Hawkins 12 Oct. 2015.

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