HOW IS YOUR WALK WITH CHRIST?

HOW IS YOUR WALK WITH CHRIST?

One of the things that I like to do when I want to ‘chill-out’ is to park myself in a quiet corner of a busy area and people-watch. You see, people-watching is very illuminating for me because from their gait, their posture and their pace, you can tell, with a rather high level of certainty, just how their life is to them right now.

Now, I say ‘to them’ because there really is no absolute measure to life, is there? How much income is ‘enough’? How many dishes must you put on the table for there to be ‘enough’ food? How many mains must you gobble down before you have had ‘enough’ to eat? How much must you do for your boss before he says that you have done ‘enough’? That last one, for most people, is a bottomless pit, isn’t it? But I jest.

The point I am trying to make is this. If you see someone, slouched over, dragging their feet, moving at a pace that would make a snail look like Usain Bolt; you can be sure he’s having a bad day. He may seem to have it all together, and he could very well have; but there is something that is weighing him down, literally and figuratively.

And that image speaks volumes about the environment that he represents, doesn’t it? If his parents saw him like that, they would probably think that he’s getting bullied at home. If his colleagues saw him like that, they would probably think he was getting run into the ground at the office. So imagine what others would be thinking if they saw us like that?

Fact is, our walk reveals our state of mind. It is a direct reflection of how we are feeling on the inside. Not how things really are, mind you; just how we are feeling on the inside. And if we are constantly slouched over, dragging our feet from place to place, then what does that say about what we think of our Father’s love?

Look, I’m not saying that we are not allowed to feel tired. I’m not saying that we have to be bright as a button and chirpy as a canary all the time. There are ups and downs and it is perfectly alright to wear our heart on our sleeves. But the question I would like us to consider is – what does it do for us?

So we feel tired and start dragging ourselves all across town. We will eventually drag ourselves into our homes and onto the dining table; at which point, our spouses who worked hard to put food there, may very well end up thinking that it was because of them that we are feeling that way. Is that fair?

Our children would also have no doubt picked up on our walk and wonder why we aren’t happy to see them. They are children after all, and even if they could understand the complexities and intricacies of the stresses that come with the daily grind, need they be put through that?

And finally, how much does dragging of the feet make us feel better about ourselves and less tired? It won’t, will it? Because the more we drag our feet, the more we engage in those emotions that weigh us down, the more we allow them to affect us, the more we stay stuck in that rut. So how then should we walk? Well, Paul says,

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,” Ephesians 4:1

We are called to walk in a manner that is worthy of the calling with which we were called;

“…[that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation]” Ephesians 4:1 [AMP]
Now, that’s quite a mouthful. There’s the godly character bit, which includes moral courage, personal integrity and mature behavior; essentially the things that govern how we manage our daily affairs. Then there’s the life that expresses gratitude to God for our salvation. And that’s the tricky bit. Living a good life, an upright life, a life of moral integrity, that we can all understand, that we all know what it takes to execute. But a life that expresses gratitude to God? What’s that all about?

“…[with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service,” Ephesians 4:1 [AMPC]

Well, we are called to walk in a manner that shows how being called to God’s service has done us good, such that we feel proud to be doing His will and want to be a credit to His service and calling. It’s a bit like this.

Say you had it in your mind that you want to join your local police force and start a career in law enforcement. Now, you pass a patrolman one day and he’s all slouched over and dragging his feet while on the beat. Would you still be enticed to join? For all you know, he could be having problems at home, his family could be ill, or he could just be displaying the after effects of staying up late and watching the game. We really don’t know the reason why he’s walking that way, but we will naturally assume that it has something to do with his work. And is that fair?

In similar fashion, if we, who profess to love the Lord and live under His abounding grace and mercy, start dragging our feet each and every time this world gets to us, what kind of testimony are we giving to those around us? Most likely, our mood is affected by things that have nothing to do with His protection or provision. And if it is, it could very well be because we think that we have asked God for what we want, but we have yet to receive from Him. And so, we get a little jaded, a little upset and unhappy with Him. But we forget that it could very well be that we don’t get because

“…you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives….” James 4:3 [AMPC]

Well alright, perhaps ‘evil’ and ‘selfish’ are words too strong to be used on us. But whatever it is, we should always remember that,

“You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.” 1 Peter 1:17 [MSG]

Fact is, in many things, we don’t know any better; and it is true that,

““For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”” Isaiah 55:8-9

He really does know better, what we should get, when, why and how.

Yet, have you realized that the moment we perceive lack in one area of our lives, that area becomes all consuming, blotting out all the rest of the good that is in our lives? The moment we think that God is not answering in one area, we are blinded to all the other areas where He has been and still is continuing to bless. Don’t believe me?

Think about 10 areas where you know that God has been providing for you and protecting you. Perhaps it has been quite a while since you visited the doctor, or it could have been a long time since you remember having a disagreement with your spouse, or perhaps you have just received a promotion, or did not get the ‘golden handshake’ when the rest of your colleagues in your company or industry have had theirs; whatever it is, find 10 areas where you know you have been blessed. Got that? Not that difficult, was it?

Now, think about a need in your life. Got that? Much easier, wasn’t it? Now review the 10 areas of blessing. Can you even remember what they were anymore? And if you could, do they still feel like blessings? Or was it your efforts that earned you those things? How sure are you now that those blessings will still continue in the days to come?

And that’s my point. The world has a knack for taking all that’s good in our lives and wrapping them up in that one area in which we perceive to be a lack. It doesn’t mean that God has been absent. It doesn’t mean that God hasn’t been providing and protecting. But once we see lack, all the other areas of blessings all seem to fall away.

And that is why we need to be even more conscious of our walk. When we walk deliberately conscious of the blessings that our Father has given, when we walk conscious of the protection that is upon us, when we open our eyes to see what really should have been in our lives, we will appreciate what is. And as we continue to always and deliberately walk

“…[with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service,” Ephesians 4:1 [AMPC]

“…[that is, to live a life that exhibits godly character, moral courage, personal integrity, and mature behavior—a life that expresses gratitude to God for your salvation]” Ephesians 4:1 [AMP]

All that needless worry over the momentary lack in our lives will start to disappear, because we are now even more aware of the provision that we are receiving daily.

Beloved, how we walk is more than just a PR effort for God. How we walk reflects what we allow to affect us. So let us fill our minds and our hearts with the reality of our Father’s love for us. Focus our attention on the tangibles that He has given us and let’s walk in a manner that expresses our gratitude to Him and is a credit to His service.

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