A Walk Of Faith?
One of the struggles which I have discovered in my life and I find the lives of those that I counsel is a misconception about the Christian life and the growth process. We often hear it said in the church that one must take a "leap of faith", but that is a misconception!!! God has made us men and not frogs! I know of no place in Scripture were we are to take a leap of faith. However, we are to walk in the faith, step by step.
The problem is that when we come to believe that we must take a leap of faith and discover that we are unable to do that, we become frustrated, angry, and depressed. We either come to view God as being totally unfair which results in anger toward God and we distance ourselves from Him or we come to condemn ourselves for our inability to do what we believe that God would have us to do which results in angry turned inward and depression. Both extremes are destructive. Again, the problem is that we have started with a a false concept, a lie. We must always confront the LIE with the TRUTH of God's Word.
I. The following are a few of many Scriptures that speaking of walking.
"And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden" (Genesis 3:8). To be with God we must learn to walk with Him.II. Often we want to JUMP from point "A" to point "Z", but don't consider the growth process. Although there may be spurts of growth at times, usually growth is slow.
"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Genesis 5:24).
"These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Genesis 6:9).
"And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do" (Exodus 18:20).
"If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will ...." (Leviticus 26:3-12).
"The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways" (Deuteronomy 28:9).
"And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day" (I Kings 3:6).
"Now therefore, O LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me" (II Chronicles 6:16).
"Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name" (Psalms 86:11)
"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:4).
"But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches" (I Corinthians 7:17).
"(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)" (II Corinthians 5:7)
"But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh" (II Corinthians 10:3-4)
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).
"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25).
"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him" (Colossians 2:6).
"In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth" (Colossians 3:7-8).
"For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries" (I Peter 4:3).
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John 1:7)
"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked" (I John 2:6).
"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon" (Psalms 92:12).III. Often people want immediate deliverance from all bondage that the enemy has brought. I often work with people for two weeks (4 to 6 hours per day, Monday through Friday). It is not uncommon that people become discouraged because they don't receive complete freedom the first few days.
"For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear" (Mark 4:28).
"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ" (Ephesians 4:15).
"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" (I Peter 2:2).
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen" (II Peter 3:18).
"I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land" (Exodus 23:29-30). Often God drives the enemy out little by litte before us.IV. Often people want immediate healing from the diseases which have come upon them. Although that sometimes occurs, generally there are some steps of faith that must occur first.
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth" (III John 1:2). The preposition "as" is like an equal sign (=) between prosperity and health and (=) the prospering of the soul.V. We often worry about tomorrow before tomorrow comes. The Scriptures tell us that we are to live one day at a time.
"Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean" (II Kings 5:14). Naaman had to follow the instruction of Elisha and dip himself in the muddy Jordan river before he was healed.
"And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly" (Mark 8:23-25). The blind man needed a second touch by Jesus.
"Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). We are to ask for God's provision each day.VI. Here are some simple things we can do in order to walk with God in faith.
"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Matthew 6:34). We are not to worry about tomorrow, but cast all our cares upon Him.
"Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that" (James 4:13-15). We can pray and make plans, but leave the results in God's hands.
A.. We are seek Him and His kingdom.VII. Remember we can only take one step at one time and that by the grace of God."But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).B. We are to fellowship with Him."Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me" (John 15:4).C. We are to spend time in the Word."Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" (Psalms 1:1-3).D. We are to knit ourselves together with Him while anticipating His work in our lives."But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31). The Hebrew word translated "wait" means to knit together with.E. We are simply to hear and obey His voice."My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27).
"O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). We can only walk in righteousness by the grace of God.
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand" (Psalms 37:23-24). When we seek Him, he orders our steps. Even if we stumble and fall, He will lift us up.VIII. As we walk step by step in the faith, then we are changed.
"A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps" (I Peter 2:21). Sometimes the steps lead through a suffering experience.
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18).IX. We should also remember that God doesn't always reveal the whole of His plan for our lives.
"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee" (Genesis 12:1). Abraham didn't even know where he was to go or exactly how he was to get there. He just had the promises that God would lead him and bless him. When I got out of seminary, I didn't want to see the inside of a school building again. My grades had been very poor and I was fed up with school! Some fifteen years later, God taught me some principles of success in studying. Then some twenty years after getting out of seminary, God led me back to college to take some noncredit Spanish courses. I did well competing with twenty year old students in a non-visual learning course when I am a visual learner. This gave me the courage to take some psychology courses toward getting a L.P.C. Then God had me to change directions again and gave me the courage to go for my Ph.D. in Christian Counseling. That led into the counseling which I now do. If God would have initially told me to get my Ph.D., I would have ran in the opposite direction.X. In order to walk with God we must be willing to give up anything that would hold us back.
"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26).
"So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33). We can be a Believer (born again) with out being a disciple, but we must be willing to forsake all to become a disciplined follower of Jesus.
"Not I But ...."
"Ability To Live"
"Keys To Endurance"