“We exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and have charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, Who has called you into His own kingdom and glory.” (1 Thessalonians 2:12)
Have you ever walked anywhere accidentally? I’m not asking if you’ve been on a walk and ended up somewhere unplanned. I mean, have you ever been sitting on your couch and suddenly found your legs carrying you across the room, unbidden? I’m guessing that hasn’t happened to you; because walking is a deliberate thing, right? ……
Again and again the Bible refers to the life of a believer as a walk; a walk that is “worthy of God.”
Paul said it to the Ephesians: “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” (Ephesians 4:1)
He said it to the Colossians, praying that they would “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of the Lord.” (Colossians 1:10).
And he said it again to the Thessalonians, not only exhorting them to do it; but imploring them like a preacher; not only encouraging them to do it; as if with an arm around their shoulder; but also charging them to do it; urging them with an emphatic warning …..
So you see, this walking thing must be a serious business. And it must be “worthy” of the One we follow ….
The word “worthy” carries with it the idea of weight or gravity. A certain kind of dignity. An acute, obvious awareness of whose presence we’re in. Just as you wouldn’t wear a bathing suit to an important meeting, or serve leftovers to respected company, or show up late to an appointment with the CEO at your workplace, in essence, the kind of walk that is “worthy of God” requires taking into account the “weight” of our audience. That is to say, recognize the supreme majesty and magnificence of our Lord and Savior. The Creator of the whole world and everything in existence! (Colossians 1:16), (John 1:3)
This awareness is what keeps a true believer in Jesus Christ from ever being indifferent to the need for their walk to match their talk. Anyone who climbs on board the “follow Jesus” train is simultaneously agreeing to a walk that pleases God. And even if you’re often discouraged in your walk, disappointed in yourself, or afraid you can never satisfy Him no matter how hard you try, the power of the Holy Ghost at work in a believing heart can lead to a genuinely consistent lifestyle that truly delights Him. It is this power that is able to not only change a heart — but transform a life. I am a living witness that can attest to this ….
To some, the problem with their walk is that the effort it requires is unpleasant, uncomfortable, or doesn’t seem necessary, as if the life that they deserve is instinctively more valuable than what God deserves. Seriously? Walk this way — I dare you …..
But the Bible’s exhortation to walk worthy is not an option for us, nor is it out of our reach. It wasn’t intended as a suggested or occasional stroll through the park type of walk. Like Paul would later say in his same letter to the Thessalonians,
“Brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4:1).
You see, they were doing it, just as Paul said. They were walking worthy, pleasing the Lord. His only challenge was that they keep it up, that they do it “more and more.” And he knew they could do it …..
Just as I can. Just as you can do it too. Remember: “you can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens you” (Philippians 4:13)
If you desire to walk worthy of the One who has loved and saved you, you can honestly do it; through a deliberate, daily, “determined” choice to make up your mind, pick up your feet, and just start walking. Commit to moment-by-moment thoughts that lead to minute-by-minute decisions to honor Christ Jesus hour-by-hour, one day at a time. Keep getting up every morning. Keep getting up from every stumble. And keep on walking. And most importantly: keep on praying just as we’re taught and instructed: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
“Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
In closing, a few things to ponder might be:
Why is walking such a picturesque description of what our life with God should be like?
Often the inconsistency in our walk arises from not recognizing more quickly the inestimable worth of God, who calls us to this worthy walk. What would help you keep His true presence and identity more continually in mind?
Let us pray together ~
Father in heaven, You are great and glorious and worthy of all of our praise. And You alone are worthy of all our obedience. Nothing we desire outside of You or in addition to You can ever satisfy us as You can and will if we choose to follow You with our whole hearts. Thank You for placing within me this hunger to know You better and follow You more faithfully. Thank You for giving me Your Word to guide me in living it out each day. Keep me walking in Your way on the journey that You have placed before me so that others may see the difference that You make in a person devoted to following You. I am Your kindling my Lord. Lay me across Your alter that Your Holy Ghost fire may consume me and burn so brightly that all who see me — may see You and thereby You may be glorified through me. Use me for Your glory. I pray this in the worthiest name I know; that of my precious Jesus, Amen …..