Summary: This message looks at the essential ingredients needed to walk with God.
Perhaps the most significant milestone in childhood development is learning to walk. This is a result of the development of coordination and the strengthening of the muscular system. This milestone marks the child’s first steps toward independence. Just as this is a milestone in physical development, I believe it is also an important milestone in spiritual development. To mature as a Christian, it is imperative for us to learn to walk with God. The main ingredient to walking with God is learning to live by the spirit. There is a tremendous amount of misunderstanding surrounding this concept. In fact a great majority is unsure of exactly what this looks like, let alone understanding how this will work in their individual lives. This message is extremely important if we truly want to grow to be like Jesus. What I would like us to do is open the pages of Scripture and find the answers to three vital questions. “What does it mean to walk with God in the power of the Spirit?” “How can we live this type of lifestyle?” “What do I get out of this type of lifestyle?”
I. Understanding the most basic aspect of the Christian life.
A. Insights from Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
1. So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Galatians 5:16—NIV)
2. Living up to God’s standards is impossible for us to do on our own. In fact it can be quite discouraging when we realize how far we come short. This is the exact reason He sent us the Holy Spirit.
3. The purpose of the Spirit is to comfort and guide us. The spirit often points out those times when we stray from God’s will and guides us back on to the right path.
4. The Spirit empowers us to faithfully serve Him on a daily basis.
B. Insights from Paul’s letter to the Colossians.
1. For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9-10—NIV)
2. Paul prayed that the Christians at Colosse would be filled with the true wisdom and knowledge that comes from the Holy Spirit.
3. What type of knowledge is this? This is the knowledge that allows us to apply God’s Word in our daily lives. God measures our wisdom by our obedience.
4. This knowledge and wisdom would be what enabled them to live a life pleasing to God.
C. Insights from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians.
1. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thessalonians 2:10-12—NIV)
2. Paul cared for his spiritual children; he would not allow them to walk in circumstances that might be harmful or fatal.
3. Our goal is to come along side new Christians as they begin their walk and encourage them and teach them what it means to walk in Christ.
4. Our walk with God should become visible enough that it allows others to be influenced for Christ.
II. Understanding what it means to walk with God.
A. Paul outlines seven essential commands if we are going to able to consistently walk with God.
1. Be imitators of God…Since Christians have been given a new nature in the image of God, the family resemblance must be visible.
a. We must walk in love.
b. We must walk in the light.
c. We must walk in wisdom.
2. Impurity, greed or immorality must not be a part of our lives…Our lives should reflect God’s holiness.
3. When we talk our words should not reflect obscenity, foolish talk or course joking.
a. A carless use of the tongue is out of place for the child of God.
b. Our conversation should reflect spirit guided wisdom.
4. We must grow in our discernment so that no one will be able to deceive us.
a. We must be students of God’s Word so false teaching will not sway us.
b. If we are not spending time in God’s word, we are opening ourselves up to being deceived.
5. We are told not to engage in the darkened lifestyles of the world but we are to walk in the light.