Summary: What does it mean to walk with God?
Learning How to Walk
Lance Armstrong won 7 Tour De France titles. His training regiment for the sport of cycling did not begin just prior to the Tour De France but began long before the race. Even in the off season training was essential. It has been estimated that in the off season cyclists, if they want to maintain their top race condition, can only afford to cut down on training 20-30% during off season. That means if you train during the season 6 days per week in off season, to maintain form, a cyclist can only drop to 4 days per week instead. Condition specialists in the field do not recommend falling below 3 days per week if one wants to maintain the racing edge
The same goes in all sports but also in all walks of life
In 2000 I served as an adjunct professor of Christian Education at a Christian College. In one class during the Spring Semester, a main portion of the grade was to take a missions trip to Belize in Central America. This was going to be my first time in the village where we were going to be serving. During the preparations for taking the class to Belize I found out that the nearest restroom/shower facility to where we would be staying was a mile away. I decided I needed to be in shape.
So I joined a local gym with a walking track and began to walk a mile everyday in anticipation of my trek to the restroom in Belize. Much to my surprise my stamina increased and found that one mile, after a period of time, was not as difficult as I had originally imagined.
Many times we have no problem (nor do we give a second thought) in keeping ourselves in physical condition but when it comes up to our walk with God….well, that’s another issue.
Question, what is the #1 priority in your life? Researcher George Barna in 2006 asked pastors what they thought was the number 1 priority in the lives of their congregations. Pastors responded that 70% of their peoples #1 priority was their walk w/God. Keep in mind that Barna is asking pastors about people who regularly attend worship. When laypeople were asked the same question only 15% responded their walk/relationship w/God was their #1 priority. That’s a huge difference!
How many of us in prayer ask God for guidance in decisions that will affect our lives? How many of us go through our day with the thought and goal of pleasing God and to further our walk with Him? If the research is correct, not many. Why?
Could it be that in our lives we are satisfied and self-sufficient? Could it be that we live compartmentalized lives where our lives during the work week is one thing and our church life is another and the two shall never meet? Could it be we don’t understand what God is offering us in relationship with Him? Or, is it that we do understand what is required for this relationship and have decided the price is too high to pay?
Thus it comes down to priority. I tell the guys I work with in the prison system there are three questions we can ask ourselves to determine where our priorities lie.
--What do I think about?
--How do I spend my time?
--How do I spend my money?
Answering those questions honestly will lead to an honest inventory of what is most important in our lives.
Or, finally could it be that we are so busy DOING the work of the church that we have forgotten how to BE God’s people?
A story is told of a Chinese Christian who visited one of the great mega churches in the U.S. The pastoral staff of the church, with great pride, showed this brother in Christ the facilities and explained to him all of the programs the church was involved in DOING the work of the Lord. When the tour was over he was asked what he thought about the church and its programs. He replied, “This is amazing how you can have so many programs and God isn’t in one of them.” What he picked up on was this church was so busy doing church the people had forgotten how to BE the Church.
Throughout scripture we see that God is always more concerned with our BEING than He is with our Doing. God wants us, you and me, to BE His people…to Be in daily relationship with Him…to walk with Him.
God offered that over and again to the nation of Israel. At times they clung to the offer. When times were good and smooth--when they were satisfied and self-sufficient--they wanted their own way. This is the context of our scripture passage from Isa. 30.