I Want To Follow Christ!
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves… Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”Galatians 5:16,25
Have you ever taken the time to observe how others walk? What can you learn about a person from the way that they walk? If they walk with a limp, or shuffle their feet along slowly, you might guess that they are injured or lame. If they walk quickly, unaware of their surroundings, you might guess that they are in a hurry for a very important appointment. If they walk slowly, shoulders slumped, you might guess that they are discouraged. If they walk with their head down, not looking anyone in the eye, you might guess that they are shy or lack self-confidence. If they walk with their shoulders back and their head held high, you might guess that they are confident or optimistic. If they walk slowly, frequently gazing around with a puzzled look on their face, you might guess that they are lost.
Is there a right way to walk? In our relationship with God, there is absolutely a right way to walk. The Scriptures are filled with instructions about how we are to walk in our relationship with God. While we are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, and not at all by walking a certain way (good works), we will only fulfill God’s purpose for our life and ultimately please Him by walking with Christ.
In the New Living Translation, the word “walk” has generally been replaced with the word “live.” The word used in the Greek, peripatetic, directly translated as “walk,” generally carries the meaning of “live” in these contexts. If you read the following verses in the English Standard Version, you will see them translated as “walk.”
As we consider what it means to WALK with Christ, we will continue this five part series that examines some of the basic concepts a new believer must grasp to establish a strong foundation for their new spiritual life. As we disciple them, we want to help them understand their spiritual IDENTITY, learn how to WALK with God, learn how to TALK to God and about God, learn how to FEED themselves spiritually, and learn how to CLEAN up after they make a mess of their life spiritually. Sonlife has developed disciple-making conversation tools for each of these five foundational concepts: IDENTITY, WALK, TALK, FEED, CLEAN. Over the next five weeks, we’re going to introduce these basic discipling concepts.
Let’s consider what the Scriptures have to say about how we are to WALK.
We are to WALK in Newness of Life
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”Romans 6:4
We are to WALK by the Spirit
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”Galatians 5:16
We are to Keep In STEP with the Spirit
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”Galatians 5:25
We are to WALK by Faith
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”2 Corinthians 5:7
We are to WALK in a Manner Worthy of the Lord
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,”Ephesians 4:1
“so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;”Colossians 1:10
“We exhorted each one of you and encouraged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”1 Thessalonians 2:12
We are to WALK in Love
“And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”Ephesians 5:2
We are to WALK in the Light
“for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”Ephesians 5:8
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”1 John 1:7
We are to WALK in Wisdom
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,”Ephesians 5:15
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.”Colossians 4:5
“so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.”1 Thessalonians 4:12
We are to WALK in Him
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,”Colossians 2:6
We are to WALK to Please the Lord
“Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.”1 Thessalonians 4:1
We are to WALK as Jesus Walked
“Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”1 John 2:6
We are to WALK in the Truth
“I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father.”2 John 1:4
“For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”3 John 1:3-4
We are to WALK in Obedience
“And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.”2 John 1:6
If we are “walking in Him,” we will then “walk as Jesus walked” by “walking in the Spirit.” Only by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our life are we able to “walk by faith,” “walk in obedience,” “walk in the truth,” “walk in wisdom,” and “walk in love.” It is the Spirit of God at work within us allowing us to “walk in newness of life,” “walk as children of the light,” “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,” and “walk to please God.”
In Galatians 5, where the Apostle Paul instructs us to live by the Spirit and walk in the Spirit, he reminds us that the fruit of the Spirt’s work in our life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The KEY to living like Jesus and walking with Jesus is the Holy Spirit. We are not left as orphans, Jesus promised. He has given us His Spirit. The Christian life apart from the Spirit is impossible. The Christian life, filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit, is entirely possible.
Teaching a new believer to WALK in the Spirit is essential. If we try and teach them to live like Jesus without first teaching them to walk in the Spirit, we are setting them up for frustration, failure, disappointment and discouragement. The Christian life will seem like a bunch of rules and disciplines, and try as hard as they might, they will fail miserably.