Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What Your Walk Says About You (especially when your knees pop)

Last night my daughter Emma told me that she's learned how to identify who is walking down the hallway simply by listening to their footsteps. She can pick out her mom & big sister without much difficulty because they tend to walk the fastest. Her little brother walks the softest so she's able to identify him quickly as well. But I'm the one who is easiest to pick out. Why? Because, in her words, "Your knees pop a lot." 
After grounding her for the rest of the week I started to think about what she had said. Unknowingly she had reminded me of an important theological truth: our walk says a lot about us. I'm not talking about our physical walk-although that's true as well. And apparently my walk says that I'm getting a little older. What I'm referring to, though, is our spiritual walk. The Bible often uses the word walk to describe our life with Christ. Colossians 2:6 says, "Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him..." Notice that Paul doesn't say "live for Jesus", but "walk in Him." In other words, those are synonymous terms aren't they? To walk with Christ means you're living for Christ. We see this idea throughout scripture. Genesis 6:9 describes Noah as a righteous man, then tells us that he walked with God. In Micah 6:8 we're told that God expects us to walk humbly with him, i.e., to live in simple humility before him. And in Ephesians 2:10 Paul says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." To walk in these good works obviously means that we do these good works. The point is this: to live for Jesus is walk with Jesus. And how we do so, how we walk with him, speaks volumes about us. Jesus reminded us in Matthew 7 that you will know someone by their fruits. Now he was speaking specifically about recognizing false teachers but the principle is the same, and we find it in other texts as well. In Colossians 1:10 Paul tells the church he is praying that the church will increase in their knowledge of Christ, "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." Galatians 5:22-23 remind us of the fruit of the Spirit, the external evidence of the internal transformation done by the Spirit in our lives.  
So if our walk is the same as our living for Christ, and our walk says something about us (as Emma so unkindly reminded me), then here are the questions we must wrestle with: What does my walk say about me? And more importantly, what does my walk say about Christ
--Do we demonstrate with our lives that Jesus is supremely valuable to us? It's easy to make that claim on Sunday morning, but much more difficult to demonstrate it with our lives.
--Do we show the world that we love Jesus more than we love sin? In the daily battle against sin, what wins in our lives? 
--Does our life give evidence that Jesus has our affections? Are we more taken with the things of the world than the One who made the world?
Our walk answers these questions. We can make claims and professions but what matters isn't really what we say-it's what we do. 
May we walk in humble obedience to the one who loved us and gave himself for us, demonstrating by our lives that he is greater and infinitely more valuable than anything in this world.