Did your parents ever say that to you? You were walking to school or to the store, and you came to the intersection and wanted to dart across ahead of them. They knew the dangers of going on without them, and they warned you.
Paul, in Ephesians 2:6, said, “So, then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him . . . ” The word for “live” is peripateo, which means “to walk all about or at large.” The implication is that we should walk all around, or live our entire lives, in the Lord Jesus Christ.
As an illustration, let’s look at Abraham in Genesis 17. In verse one, God told Abraham, “Walk before me and be blameless.” Notice two commands: walk (not run) before God, and be blameless. The believer is to stick close to God and live in righteousness and holiness.
God promised Abraham children when he was 99 years old. Sadly, Abraham did not have the patience to walk with God and trust His timing, so he ran ahead and had a child by his wife’s maid Hagar. God did give him a child, Ishmael, but he was not the one God promised. Isaac, Abraham’s son by his wife Sarah, was the promised child. Ishmael and Isaac, the ancestors of the Middle East nations, have been struggling for centuries since then. If Abraham had just walked with God in patience and faith, he and generations to come might not have suffered the consequences.
“Do It Yourself” has been a popular theme for car and home owners for years. Personally, I fear I am the kind of person whose famous last words will be, “Let me try this and see what happens!” I prefer to have a trusted professional do the work and maybe even teach me. When it comes to the spiritual walk, “Do It Yourself” is definitely not the best advice. We run with the crowd; run ourselves ragged; run into trouble; run ourselves down. Walk, don’t run. We must walk with the Lord, not run ahead of Him. Only as we walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the company of his saints, will we find protection, blessing, and growth. It was only when the Lord walked with the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13 & ff.) that their understanding was opened. So it is when we walk with Christ on the road to the next minute, hour, and day.
Joni Eareckson Tada is a walking paraplegic. “Must be a miracle of medical science!” you might say. No, Joni has been wheelchair bound for almost 40 years, but her spirit has soared freely for almost as long. When she had her crippling diving accident in 1967, she wanted to die. However, she walked with some friends who walked with the Lord, and now she has a devoted husband, world-wide ministry, thousands of friends, and great rewards in heaven. Following the Savior means keeping up with him wherever he leads, even if it’s literally through troubled waters to the point where you cannot physically walk.
I am reading a book called Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit. It’s over 300 pages about walking. Sounds thrilling, eh? Actually, it traces the history of walking through famous people from every “walk” of life, who’ve found solace and inspiration while walking alone or with trusted companions. It’s amazing how many philosophies were birthed, books were written, and musical scores composed during a walk. When we think or worry or need a break, we often pace about the room or outside. We peripateo.
If you want to imbibe a biblical philosophy, comprehend the Book of books, or learn a new song (Psalm 40:3), peripateo with the Prince of Peace. You won’t even have to leave your seat. Or wheelchair!
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