When we finally see Christ for who He is-Savior, Master,
Brother-we want to drop everything and follow Him. It's a bit like
the first stages of falling in love: The roses are so red, the violets so
blue, and your new love never seems to mind the really horrific
poems you try to compose. But after a few weeks, some of that infatuation
starts to wane as you truly get to know the person. Maybe he
doesn't call when he's running late. Maybe she chews with her mouth
open. All the little things we fail to notice at first start to surface as
we begin to let our guard down.
But this isn't a bad thing. In fact, it's good. It wouldn't be fair to
expect a relationship to resemble a far-fetched fairy tale or the
canned laughter of some brainless sitcom. The Walk is the part of
your spiritual life that begins after the first couple of dates-when
you can begin to be yourself with God and expose some of the ugly
or less-than-perfect qualities you have. As in any relationship, there
comes a time when you need to deal with the garbage in your life
that you've been okay with but that no one else wants to deal with.
You start to see that maybe some changes need to be made. Possibly
you have to call a few more times. Or chew with your mouth closed.
Or consider even more serious adjustments. That's part of staying in a
relationship. It's also part of living the Walk.
So we do what it takes to stay close to God-to Walk with Him
wherever He takes us because we trust Him and know that His plans
for us are perfect, even when we don't always know what's coming
WHAT IS THE WALK?
1. The Walk is a common metaphor for a life set on following Christ.
It implies that we are active, on the go, and ready to travel where
God takes us. That's key because we can't Walk if we don't get up and
move. First John 1:7 states that "if we walk in the light, as he is in the
light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus,
his Son, purifies us from all sin." According to this verse, the Walk
does two things for us. What are they?
2. Try to find a few more passages that refer to Walking with God. If
your Bible has a concordance, start there; if it doesn't, use an online
concordance, like www.biblegateway.com, and do a keyword search
for walk. What else can you learn about the Walk from some of these
3. Pick one of the verses you found. Explain what it says about the
4. Walking isn't the only way to describe the life of a God-follower.
The Bible uses other parallels from our physical life to illustrate our
spiritual life. For instance, just as we need daily nourishment from
food, we also need regular spiritual sustenance from God's Word.
Another analogy is that we are children of a Father in heaven, just as
we are children of our earthly fathers. Think of a couple more real-life
comparisons and write them down.
5. Walking should lead to progress as we advance in our relationship
with God. What happens if we don't grow as we Walk
6. Later, in verses 22-25 of the same chapter, Paul wrote that a relationship
with Christ should change who we are if our Walk is going
to mean anything. Use these verses to contrast in three ways the person
you were with the person you are becoming.
Old You New You
7. So why do all of these changes need to take place? What's the
point (Ephesians 2:10)?
8. The book of Romans is one of the most thorough clarifications of
what our Walk with God is all about. Read between the lines, if you
will, of the following verses. Each one relates to some aspect of our
Walk with Christ.
a. Romans 5:6: How is the Walk even possible in the first place?
b. Romans 6:22-23: We used to be slaves to sin-our only
option was to mess up. Now, we gladly leave all that behind and
become "slaves" to God. (Note: Here, "slaves" means that our
only option is to do the right things and follow God, as opposed
to our previous slavery to doing the wrong things.) What is the
result of our "slavery" to God?
c. Skip ahead a couple of chapters to Romans 8:5. How does this
verse relate to our Walk with God?
d. Walking is exercise, and exercise isn't always easy. How can we
be sure that our hard work-our "sufferings"-will pay off in the
end (Romans 8:16-18)?
9. Give an example from your own life when you experienced how
the Walk pays off.
The Walk consists of three primary stages: (1) justification, (2) sanctification,
and (3) glorification.
Justification occurred when we accepted Christ and He set us
right with God. It happened once-past tense-and will never need
to happen again. Jesus' death and resurrection were enough.
Sanctification, you might remember from The Life, isn't a one-time
event, but a process. It happens to some degree every moment we
live. The Spirit guides, leads, and prompts us in our day-to-day living
to become more and more like Christ and to reflect His glory. This is
truly the essence of the Walk-getting further and further away from
our old ways ("slave to sin") and choosing more and more to align
ourselves with God, trusting Him and staying in a close relationship
with Him ("slave to God").
Glorification is what we have to look forward to-an eternity
with Christ, free from all of our tendencies to wander away. It's difficult
to imagine just how different and incredible this will be; we'll
need new bodies and new senses to adequately experience an all-impressive,
all-beautiful, and all-perfect God.
The following chart recaps the differences among these three
stages of the Walk.
Justification Past Tense-I have My position is in
been saved . from Christ
the penalty of sin.
SanctificationPresent Tense-I am My condition is
being saved . from becoming like
the power of sin. Christ.
Glorification Future Tense-I will My expectation is to
be saved . from be like Christ.
the presence of sin.
All this goes to show that the Walk-while it definitely requires
effort, practice, even suffering-pays off in the end. God is genuinely
good to those who Walk with Him, who stay strong, persevere,
and reflect His glory.
10. Look up Colossians 3:1-4. How do these verses relate to all three
parts of the preceding chart?
11. You may have noticed by now that this Walk isn't your typical
stroll through the park. You definitely need to attain varying levels of
skill and discipline as you learn how to truly Walk. Read Romans
6:11-13 and try to apply these principles to your Walk.
a. What part of you has died?
b. Because of this, who or what should rule your life?
c. How can you accomplish this? What real steps can you take to
Walk toward God?
12. It's always good to be reminded of the reason we Walk. Why do
we do all these crazy things like "count ourselves dead" to our old
ways and instead become "slaves to God"? We do it because we realize
how much God loves us and what He did for us, and we want to
do everything we can to be with Him and share His goodness with
everyone we know (1 John 3:1-3). Write out a prayer to God explaining
why you want to Walk with Him. (Note: If you're not sure you
want to Walk with God, talk with Him about it. Tell Him you want
to want to Walk with Him. Ask Him to give you that desire.)
HOW SHOULD I WALK?
13. In Micah 6:8, we are given explicit directions about how the
Father wants us to Walk. Look up this verse to help you answer the
a. List the three things God requires of us.
b. Why do you think the Father tells us how we are supposed to
c. Of these three requirements related to the Walk, which is the
most difficult for you personally? Why?
14. Look up the following verses. How does each one say we should
2 Corinthians 5:7:
1 John 2:6:
15. Stay in 1 John if you haven't already lost your page. Read 2:15-17.
What are some practical ideas you can take from this passage and
apply to your Walk? Do you already know of a few things that might
be tripping you up as you try to Walk with God?
16. What role do our God-following friends and family play in our
Walk? What role do we play in theirs (Hebrews 10:23-25)?
17. Now turn to Romans 12:1-2. What two things are Christ-followers
called to do?
18. Rewrite this passage in your own words. (Be sure to relate it to
your Walk with God.)
19. Fortunately, as you might remember from The Life, we aren't alone
in this Walk. We have Someone who helps us stay strong and know
what's right and what's not. Who is it, and how does He come into
our lives? (If you need a reminder, look up 2 Corinthians 1:21-22.)
WHERE WILL THIS WALK TAKE ME?
20. Jesus is our prime example. He Walked perfectly, even when it
ended in His brutal assassination. Because of this, Jesus gets all the
credit, all the glory. Eventually, every person who has ever lived will
give Christ His due, because His perfect Walk made it possible for us
to be God's own children. Those who rejected Christ will realize
what a huge mistake they made. For more on this, examine
a. What traits defined Christ's Walk on earth?
b. How, exactly, will people respond when they see Christ in all
c. Why has God given Jesus so much honor (verses 6-9)?
21. Now look back one verse to Philippians 2:5. How does this statement
(and everything you read in question 17) frame the way you
think about the Walk?
22. Christ's example shows us the quintessential way to Walk. He
Walked with humility, even when the terrain was treacherous and
people wanted to kill Him. When the going gets tough for us, the
Walk can feel more like a race-as though we're running for our
lives like some freaked-out blonde in a horror movie. When it feels
like this, remember this passage: Hebrews 12:1-3.
a. What four things are we supposed to do, according to this
b. What is Christ's role in all of this?
c. How can we keep from growing tired of our Walk (verse 3)?
Extra Credit: Memorize Hebrews 12:1-3. Start by writing it out a
couple of times. Then say it to your friend, your dog, whomever. It's
a passage that can help you time and time again on your Walk.
23. Jesus said in Luke 9:23 that if we want to Walk with Him, we
must carry our cross daily and follow Him. What does it mean to
carry our cross? What does that look like in your life?
24. Read the rest of what Jesus said in Luke 9:24-26. What does it
mean to you to lose your life for Jesus' sake? How is this a part of
your Walk? Did Jesus lose His life for anybody's sake?
25. One more time: Why do you Walk?
a. For something to do.
b. Everyone tells me to.
c. Otherwise I'll feel guilty.
d. Because I love God so much.
e. For some other reason: _________________
26. Explain your answer.
Walking with God means living out our faith actively and purposefully.
It is how we progress, grow up, and become a brighter reflection
of Christ's glory. But at the same time, it isn't just a walk in the
park. This Walk looks more like an expedition, like something out of
Tolkien's trilogy or Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Where God will lead us
in this life is anyone's guess-that's part of the excitement. Where we
will ultimately end up, however, is in heaven, in glory, with Christ.
That's something to remember.