Do you enjoy walking, or do you view it as something necessary to get to your destination? In Scripture the way we ‘walk’ is used as an analogy to describe our relationship with God. There are many examples such as Enoch who is commended as one who walked faithfully with God. The psalms start with the ‘blessed one’ who is praised for not walking with the wicked. Godly wisdom alerts us not only who we should walk with but on how to walk in love, and the freedom that is ours when we do!
Walk in Love Verse
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.Ephesians 4:32-5:2 NIV
This Scripture is found in the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. In this letter he summarises the gospel of salvation by grace and through faith alone. He establishes our position as believers in Christ Jesus, re-affirming all that the Lord has done for us. There is clear teaching on unity, and maturity in the body of Christ. Then Paul writes with guidelines for Christian living, the natural outward working of our faith. It is in this section of his letter that we are reminded to ‘walk in the way of love.’
How to Walk in Love
Paul has already discussed the expected moral code and conduct for Christian living. That we put off, or turn away from, our old selfish way of living, and leave our old lives behind us. The attitude of our minds is changing because we are a new creation in Christ Jesus! The instructions of how to walk in love are given with the command. The answer is to simply follow Jesus.
We are influenced by those that we walk with, those that we choose to spend our time with. Jesus links our love for Him with our desire to follow His example. Jesus is not remote but walks with us on our journey of faith. He is our ‘Good Shepherd’ and will guide our steps, encourage, and strengthen us, when we falter. Jesus is always by our side.
We love God, because He intentionally loves us, it is the revelation of His love that draws us to love Him. Our love for the Lord Jesus comes with the realisation that He gave up everything for us. There is no-one else who could do for me, or you, what Jesus has done! He demonstrated sacrificial love for us, not only for our salvation, but as an example of the way we are to live for each other.
The greatest gift that we have been given is love, and it is the greatest gift that we can give to others. This is not a sentimental love but conscious acts on behalf of another, and it is reflected in our attitude and our behaviour. But this does not come from our own effort, or even our desire, but as a fruit of the Holy Spirit within us.
Benefits of Walking in Love
These days many of us have an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, but we all know that walking is good for us. Some will still just walk the minimum amount to get to their destination. While others will choose to walk purely for the exercise and to build physical fitness. Then there are those who are more purposeful, who like a challenge, and enjoy the adventure of planning new longer routes and destinations. Or it could be that we find pleasure in walking when we are with friends because our focus is on the companionship.
I wonder if there are analogies there for our spiritual walk? There will be times when we need to make a conscious decision to keep on walking by faith, when we know what is expected but we are struggling to respond in love. I’ve found that it is through those people I find awkward and difficult that the Lord builds spiritual strength and maturity in me! It is not always easy and sometimes it hurts. But we are following the example of Jesus, and maybe we shouldn’t be surprised by that.
There are seasons when our spiritual walk is full of purpose, it is exciting, an adventure, of planning and stepping out in faith in a new direction. Then there are those special times, when our walk with the Lord seems to be particularly close. When we seem to be more aware of His presence with us. There is a closeness and a sense of real fellowship with the Lord and with other Christians.
In all the different seasons of our lives the benefits of walking in love bears fruit. As we co-work with the Holy Spirit, we slowly become more like Jesus. This is an ongoing and a lifelong process, and thank God, He is patient with us.
Walk in Freedom Scripture
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.Galatians 5:13
The freedom of the wide-open space of God’s grace is given to us through faith in Christ Jesus. The freedom of knowing our sins are forgiven, that we are accepted by God. That we are released from fear and condemnation, we are now children of God and precious to Him. The response of our hearts to all the love that we have received is to choose to walk in the love of the Lord, and to follow after Jesus…..