by: Rhonda Loftis, Instructor
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; faithful love and truth go before You. Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound; Yahweh, they WALK in the light and favor of Your presence. They rejoice in Your name all day long, and they are exalted by Your righteousness. For You are their magnificent strength... Psalm 89:15-17
Awhile back ago a friend shared with me that she was in her last few weeks of completing memorizing the whole New Testament. I was deeply humbled, encouraged and inspired by her resolve, obedience and desire. Her purpose was not an over ambitious attempt to achieve some great “super spiritual feat” to draw praise for herself, her desire was born out of humble desperation to know God, to know His Word and obedience. She was desperate for intimacy with the Living God, to drink in His living water of truth and to take in the sustenance of Him who fully satisfies and comforts. She knew life called for a reservoir of strength, hope, joy and truth that could only come from “…every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)” And you know how she did this? She would write out portions of Scripture in little notebooks and as she went on walks, she memorized and meditated on the verses she had written. She told me this practice, over a period of years, was the very thing that gave her strength and perspective to literally walk through some of the most difficult seasons of her life. It’s how she learned to survive and thrive. My friend didn’t come up with this on her own, it was an invitation from God, a desire He placed in her heart and He was faithful to her obedience, because she was faithful to His faithful Word. I have not been nowhere near as consistent as my dear friend, but I can attest to the power of this walking practice. I do not know all the science behind it, but I do know there is something about the right/left movement of our feet, reading Scripture out loud and meditating on the living Word of God that helps it flow deeper into our hearts and renews our minds with pathways of His truth and righteousness that transform us (Psalm 23:3). Truly one of the best “secret places of prayer” is found in walking with some Scripture in hand as we pray, declare and memorize His Word (Matthew 6:6).
He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
We were created to live, move and have our being in Christ Jesus (Acts 17:28). Movement, actively engaging our mind, bodies and spirits as we learn from and experience Him was His original design for us. It is how we were made (Genesis 1:26-28, 3:8). Following Jesus was a life in motion for the disciples spiritually and physically. Much of His teaching took place while he and the disciples were traveling by foot on dusty, muddy roads, over difficult terrain in harsh conditions. They didn’t have books to read in comfortable coffee shops on “30 Ways to Be Like Jesus in 30 Days” or even personal copies of the Scriptures like we have. They had something better: the Word become flesh dwelling among them and His invitation to follow Him (John 1)! I recently read is estimated that Jesus himself may have walked an average of up to 20 miles a day during his ministry and his disciples right there with him. They heard his words, laughter and prayers, saw his love, power, joy, tears, humility, sorrow and obedience as they walked with Him. They had an up close and personal witness to the King of Glory and what it meant to belong to Him, to be like Him, to love Him and to love like Him and by the help of His Spirit and the power of His Word we get to become His followers and witnesses too!
“…walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6
Often in the New Testament, the word “walk” refers to a way of life, a way one conducts him or herself. It is used to describe how we are called to live out the Gospel of Christ in our day to day lives. It reflects we are to live in such a way that others know we have new life in Christ, that we belong to His kingdom and not of the world (see 2 Corinthians 5:7, Ephesians 2:2 & 10, 1 Thessalonians 2:12 1 John 1:6-7, 2 John 2:6). Walking is forward movement and so is walking by faith. It conveys intention toward a goal with a purpose. Living out the Gospel is our purpose, so when we walk with Jesus, we are fulfilling our purpose. It means imitating Christ as joint-heirs with Him, as dearly loved and chosen children of the Father. We seek to be more like Him, loving as He loved, obeying as He obeyed, caring about what He cares about so others are drawn to Him, that they may come to know His gracious gift of salvation and eternal life. Walking with Jesus means walking so closely after Him we get to “be in the dust of His feet” as I recently heard it described. I love that, don’t you? As we walk, we keep our eyes on Him. We don’t have to fear where following Him will take us because He is always with us, He is our destination. Think about this: the hardest path ever walked was the path Jesus walked, on our behalf, to the place where he was crucified to rescue and redeem us from sin and death. He went before us and walked the full way so perfectly for us so that we have a worthy and trustworthy example to follow.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength…they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength…they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31
Physical activity has its benefits and place, but nothing is more important that pursuing a closer walk with Jesus! He is the best walking partner who never leaves our side. So often we look to God only to supply provision through the tangible things and we completely miss the wonderous grace of provision He offers us through the glorious riches of His very Words (Ephesians 1:15-19). Sometimes it will simply be discipline, sometimes delight, sometimes both, but always learning and growing in the purpose of becoming like Him. Walking with Jesus is step by step embracing what our eternity will be, walking in the light and countenance of Christ forever. You were made on purpose for a purpose and that purpose is to become more like Christ, to bear the image of God through the likeness of His Son Jesus. Colossians 3:10 says as believers living in union with Christ, we, “put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.” “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, WALK in Him.” Colossians 2:6-7