We walk

walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work[1]

Walking. It’s a human thing. On the day we start walking we stop being defined as babies. As a species we are unique in the way we walk. We stand tall, looking forward, looking far and near, and noticing things. We can keep walking for ages, over long distances, all day if we want to. Then we can get up next morning and do it again. We can walk on firm ground, we can clamber over rocks, we can trudge through mud, we can climb hills and mountains. Walking has taken humans to the highest point on our planet. It’s part of who we are.

Footsteps

It’s no accident that walking features so much in the Bible. It speaks of walking in the truth, of walking in obedience to God, of walking in the fear of the Lord, of walking in newness of life, of walking in the Spirit, of walking worthy, of walking in love, of walking in wisdom, and of walking in the truth. Walking is a metaphor for a steady, consistent journey of faith, following in the footsteps of Jesus.

Trials

The Christian life has occasional highlights – times when we enjoy ecstasy, being caught up in the moment, lifted up in joyful worship. That’s great, and I cherish those mountain-top experiences when God grants them, but that’s not where we live all the time. It’s as well that we don’t, because most of our real progress is won in the trials and hardships of life. Our prayer times don’t always feel powerful and victorious. We don’t receive earth shattering revelation every time we read the Bible. Our witness doesn’t always change people’s lives. But we go on – and so we should, because faithfulness is the mark of commitment.

Fruit

Jesus commissioned his disciples that they were to go out into the world and bear fruit. He was speaking in a figurative sense, but the metaphor is relevant to my point. Most trees need several years of growth before they start to bear fruit, and even then the fruit develops over a whole season. The disciples would not be able to fulfil Jesus’ objectives in a day, a week, or several months – and neither can we. The Great Commission, and all that God calls us to be and to do, is for the long haul. It’s a walk.

Wheels

In a meeting at a Christian holiday retreat someone described a mental image of a car with its wheels spinning as it struggled up a slope. It was a kind of rebuke to people who rush about seeking quick, short term blessings. The Christian life is not a quick, easy ride from one excitement to the next. We need to get out of the car, and walk steadily, in good times and bad, faithfully following in the footsteps of Jesus.

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him.[2]

© Derrick Phillips 2021


[1] Colossians 1:10 (KJV)

[2] Psalm 128:8 (NIV)

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