Learning To Walk
T he Christian journey starts with being born again. We are then to learn to "walk in the Spirit" and be "Spirit led", just like Jesus.
To be born again is to believe that God has a Son whose name is Jesus; that Jesus was crucified and died for the sins of the world; that He was buried, and on the third day, that He rose again from the dead and now sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven as King of kings and Lord of lords, the Saviour of the world.
As a result of these beliefs, a born again believer receives the Holy Spirit as God's indwelling seal of ownership and promise on their life as a child of God.
The bible uses many metaphors to help us understand things from viewpoints that are already familiar to us from the world around us and the stages in learning to walk are no exception.
Feed As We Read
The born again believer has become a babe in Christ and, just like a baby, needs to begin to grow before learning how to walk.
1 Peter 2:2 says "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" and so the believer begins to grow by feeding on the Word of God to become wise.
Just as a baby has an intensive feeding pattern, even to the denial of sleep to the parents, so the newly born again believer needs to feed intensively on God's Word in order to grow.
Believers are encouraged to gain wisdom with all diligence. Proverbs 4:7 declares "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding."
The on-going diligent pursuit of wisdom and understanding should be the staple diet of any Christian.
We Start On Our Knees
We are all familiar with seeing babies learning to crawl on their hands and knees and so too the believer starts life on their knees in prayer and worship.
Prayer is how we enter into first-hand relationship with God. Worship is how we respond to what He has done for us.
Praise and worship should also be part of the staple diet of any Christian.
Learning To Stand
In order to stand we must get to our feet and learn to keep our balance.
Having a sound knowledge of true Christian doctrine and a clear understanding of our identity in Christ stops us from wavering and losing our balance, enabling us to stand. Such learning should be treated as a priority to avoid frequent wavering and falling down.
Just as children need a mother and father to teach them, so the new Christian needs mature Christian guidance. This can be challenging for many new believers for who do not spend time in prayer or reading the Word of God.
1 Corinthians 4:15 warns us "For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers". The church needs many fathers to nurture its children to maturity.
Just as young children should not be left unattended, so the new Christian should not be left to their own devices to grow in the faith.
Good bible teaching and resources are a great blessing and must be prayerfully sought.
Without proper support from the church, or a God-given hunger for spiritual growth, many new Christians stagnate in learning to stand and never progress to walking in the Spirit.
Our First Steps
Almost any parent can remember the first steps of their child but for many new Christians, first steps in the faith are not memorable because we often set out with the same rebellious and self-sufficient attitude that we had before we were born again and because we still have much to learn.
Initially we still have our carnal nature and have yet to become spiritually minded.
We are not to be carnally minded, trusting in our own understanding and wisdom, walking in the counsel of the ungodly, or relying on our own talents, gifts and efforts. The bible describes this worldly approach as "walking in the flesh".
God gave us each a body to live in but we are not to be ruled by it and be carnally minded. The part of a person that God breathed into that is eternal, royal and has a likeness to Him, is the spirit. Our spirit is who we really are, not our body.
As we gain confidence in our steps, mixed with what we learn spiritually, our faith begins to grow also.
Choosing His Direction
As believers we are to be followers of Christ. We are to "deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him". (See Luke 9:23.) We are to put our trust wholly in God for all things. Jesus wants to be our teacher with the Holy Spirit as our most able guide and helper.
We are to look to Jesus and how He walked on the earth as a man. With Jesus as our role model and Good Shepherd, God shows us how He wants our spirit — the real man — to rule our soul, mind, emotions and bodies.
We are to put our own agenda on hold and put Jesus "in the driving seat" and be led by the Spirit.
God has already pre-ordained the good works that we are to walk out, according to His good pleasure and purpose, for the praise of His glory. (See Ephesians 2:10.)
Enjoy your walk dear Christian, you are in good company!
17th February, 2021