Summary: This sermon deals with how do we choose to walk by the Spirit in our everyday lives.
New Year New Walk-Walking By The Spirit—What Do I Need To Let Go Of?
We are in our new series, New Year-New Walk. Pastor Toby launched us last week with “Walking By Faith-Who Am I Going To Trust”, next week we will have Walking Worthy—Which Plan Will I Follow, The final week will be Walking In Love—What Sacrifices Will I Make. Today we are going to look at, Walking By The Spirit—What Do I Need To Let Go Of.
For those of you who are single, I want you to imagine meeting a person who you feel extremely attracted to and the person just seems to have everything on your checkoff list. For those of you who are married just imagine meeting your spouse for the first time or at that moment when you were really started to get interested in the person for the first time. Suppose the person invites you to dinner and you are excited because its your favorite restaurant. You get to the restaurant and you’re thrilled with how things have gone so far. Finally, you each take off your coat, and that’s when you notice it. The person has a big five inch button with a picture on it. You ask, “ whose picture is that on the button?” The person says,” that’s my ex, but no need to worry, all that is behind me, I’ve moved on. I’m ready to walk with you now.”
How many of you are going to say, that’s wonderful, let’s talk about the menu on the table? How many of you are going to be smart enough to say, “If you’ve moved on, why are you still wearing the picture?” We know that in order to start a new walk, something else is going to have to give. Some of us know what its like to try to be involved in a relationship with a person whose still hanging on to the previous relationship. At some point a choice is going to have to be made?
In our Old Testament Reading, Naomi was a woman in distress. She was in a foreign country. Her sons had married foreign wives. Her husband had died. Her two sons had died. She had these two daughter in laws with very little to offer them. She decided she needed a new walk. She was going to leave what they had built in Moab and go back to the land she grew up in. She told her daughters I have nothing left to offer you. Go back to your families, where you will have a realistic chance to find husbands who can offer you families and protection. I’ve got a long journey ahead of me and I have no idea how it will turn out. Look out for yourselves and don’t worry about me. Go back to your own families and think about your future.
Both daughter in laws knew that Naomi was right. Orpha looked at Naomi, hugged her and cried. She then started her new walk down a dusty road. She had to say goodbye to Naomi, to get the life she wanted.
Ruth too looked at Naomi. She hugged her and cried. Ruth knew she was about to start a new walk and she would have to let go of something to begin the journey. She chose to let go of her dreams for herself in order to become a servant for her mother in law. She said, I want to walk with you, Ruth 1:16-17 (NIV) 16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.
17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."
Ruth understood to walk by Naomi, meant to let go of something that really meant a lot to her. She would not see her parents, her brothers and sisters or her friends ever again. She was walking by faith not knowing what was in this country she had never been to. But the only way to start this new walk, was to let go of what she was to let go of her longing to stay in Moab.
When we talk about walking by the Spirit, we are being challenged to simply walk alongside Jesus, in the way Ruth walked alongside Naomi. Can you imagine yourself looking in the face of Jesus and saying, “where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.