What’s Your Walk Like?
Proverbs 1:8-19 Philippians 1:27-30
Have you ever noticed how much you can tell about a person simply from the way he or she walks. When a woman walks tall and straight with her arms going in opposite directions it says one thing. When she walks and places one hand on her hips and adds a swing to the side as she walks another message is immediately picked up.
When a guy is walking down the streets with both hands in his pockets and his eyes looking straight ahead you get one message. If he takes his hands out of his pockets and keeps looking from side to side you get another message. If you are at the gas station and you spot someone across the street who all of a sudden starts to walk quickly toward you, and you do not know the person, what should you do? Stop pumping the gas and get back into your car.
We look and we learn about people and their intentions from the way they walk. The bible compares the Christian lifestyle to a walk. A walk involves not only moving from point A to point B, but also how we move from point A to point B. Just like any walker, somebody is observing us to see what we’re really saying about what’s going on inside of us. We find in the book of Colossians in chapter 1 verse 10 the challenge to walk worthy in the Lord. Some of the newer translations use the word live instead of walk, but the meaning is the same.
How many of you have seen a person with a devil sitting on one side of his shoulder and an angel sitting on the other side with each trying to get the person to do either the right or the wrong thing. It would be nice if that were the case, because then we would know exactly who we are listening to but often times our walk is not that easy.
Many things seem harmless to us at first, and we have no problem walking in that particular direction. But the situation can change very quickly and we can go from trying to be nice, to being in a mess. One thing about walking is that it’s good to know where you’re headed, what’s the best way to get there, and what to watch out for along the way. Not all pathways end up where we think they are going to go end.
If you want to draw a straight line, you have to have a fixed point at the end to connect it with the beginning. Any of you who have ever wallpapered you know that you need to measure both sides of the paper. Otherwise you can draw a line that think line is straight and even to the other side. But then when you go to hang that paper, you find a gap between the straight edge of the ceiling and your paper. Now if your fixed point is off, your line is going to be off.
The bible tells us that as we walk the Christian lifestyle, we are to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. This means no matter what we do, our goal is to get to Jesus into that situation. For instance if you and someone in your home is having a disagreement, your ultimate goal is to get to Jesus as soon as possible.
This immediately ends some of the options you thought you had at your disposal. If Jesus is your goal, your fixed point, you are limited in what you can say and how you can say it. You are also limited in what you can or cannot do. It’s not because the other person deserves some kind of special treatment. The person might just be wrong. It is because we have been called to have our walk line up straight with Jesus. I’m doing this for Jesus.
Now if you are anything like me, you are going to be tempted to stop focusing in on Jesus, and putting your eyes on something else. We all know what happens when we take our eyes off the road while driving. We can very easily kill ourselves or kill somebody who happens to be in the way. When we take our eyes off of Jesus as we are walking, we start to hurt ourselves and to hurt others without even realizing what’s taking place.
Most of the time when we take our eyes off of Jesus in our walk, we do so for something temporary. In the Old Testament reading in Proverbs, we found a young man who had been trained by his mother and father with instructions on how to live his life in a way that was going to be beneficial to him. They gave him a warning, saying, look some of the people you think are your friends are going to come and try to entice you to stop walking on the straight path. But whatever you do, do not give in to them.
How many of you know, when we are young we treat our friends as sacred. I can remember as a teen getting upset because my mother did not want me hanging around certain ones of my friends. How dare she tell me who I could have as friends? I ought to be able to hang or chill out with who I wanted to be with. She did not know them like I did. She may not have known my friends, but she did know about life. Few things influence our walk for the Lord, more than our friends. They are going to entice us to become more like them.
This young man in proverbs was invited to become a part of gang. Gangs are nothing new, and what they have to offer today is nothing more than what they had to offer then. They invited this young man to join them, and they had plans to jump some innocent people and give them a beat down, and some they even planned to kill. They were going to take their property and burglarize their homes. They were going to get rich in the process from the crimes they committed.
They would be like family to each other and share in all this money that they were going to have. All this young man had to do was to come and walk with them in this scheme. He would not have to worry about going to school, he would not have to worry about finding a job, and he would not have to worry about needing money. All he had to do was simply walk with them. Get the tattoo mark. Wear their colors. Hang out at their place.
This young man’s parents, pleaded with him saying, please do not go along with them, and do not set your foot on the road they are walking on. Those people are destroying their own lives and they are setting up an ambush for themselves. When you go after something you should leave alone, it will take away some of your very life.
When those four guys robbed the two guys downtown and killed one and wounded the other, they had no idea they would be looking at the death penalty or that they would be caught so quickly. But what they was perfectly described here in the book of Proverbs. It all started with how they were walking that day.
We all need to listen when someone tells us, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to keep hanging with that group or with that person, or in that place. Others my have an ability to see something going on, that we are either blind to or want to pretend that could not happen to me.
If someone that loves us, tells us the truth about our walk, and our response is “don’t you tell me who I can be with, or where I can go, or which group I can join” then perhaps we need to check ourselves and check in with Jesus. Be courageous enough to ask God, “Lord what do they see that I am missing.” What price am I going to pay if I neglect the warning.
Sometimes we think if I’m around them long enough, I may be able to turn that person around. I may be able to help her out. If you have that attitude are you committing to running away from them, as soon as you see the negative affect they are having on you or your familydddd? Some people you are never going to turn around, because they don’t want to be turned.
In Lifesharing this week we were in Philippians chapter 1. The apostle Paul was writing this book from jail, and he was not sure if he would be released from jail or if he would be executed for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He leaves us with this challenge in verse 27, “Whatever happens conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Now the literal meaning of “conduct yourselves” is “as citizens of heaven, live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
Now when Paul writes whatever happens, he’s facing a life and death situation. His head could be placed in a chopping block and rolled off a stand because of the stand he took for Jesus Christ. His eyes were focused on Christ in his walk for the Lord. His whatever carries a lot of weight. Whatever circumstance you or I found ourselves in today, we are to be living as citizens of heaven.
Are you trying to give yourself an exemption for why you do not have to walk worthy of Christ in a given situation. Some of us may be thinking, but you don’t know what they did to me? You don’t know how I have suffered. You don’t know what they took from me. You’re right. I do not.
But that’s not a cause for you to go down to their level. It is going to be in your fixing your eyes upon Jesus and choosing to walk worthy of Christ that you will find your deliverance and your healing. Jesus knows exactly what you are going through, and Jesus still says, “walk worthy.” But they cursed me out. Walk worthy. He made fun of me. Walk worthy. I had already told them to stop. Walk Worthy.
It is not easy tying to walk worthy, because our walk is based on what Christ desires of us and not merely what we desire of ourselves. We find in Colossians 1:10 Colossians 1:10 (NASB77) 10 so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
One of the things we need constant reminders of as believers is just who is our Lord and Savior. So often we push Jesus off the throne and get back up there. Very quickly we begin to think that our Christian walk is about us. We think the goal is to please us. But this verse confirms that the goal is to please Christ in all respects.
Almost each time I feel like complaining about something, it’s usually got something to do with myself not being pleased by the situation. I’m just not happy. We have a tendency to forget what’s important and dwell on things that really do not matter in the huge scheme of things. Anybody can find fault with the church. That’s Satan’s job and some of us are only to eager to volunteer to help him out, but is that walking worthy of the Lord seeking to please Him in all respects.
To walk worthy of the Lord is to seek to please the Lord. It involves building up the church and those in it. How an usher ushered is of less significance than how you worshiped the Lord during the service and how you improved the life of the church today.
God is looking for people who are willing to please Him. How many of us see our homes as an opportunity to please the Lord? Well for most of us, it is God’s major workplace for conforming our lives to look like Jesus. The home is where God wants us to put our priority. Do not sacrifice your home to help somebody else out. Be a witness at home first.
What am I doing to make this family more of what God wants it to be. When everybody is asking this question, the quality of life at home goes up. If we are walking worthy of the Lord at home, how many of you know that’s volunteering to do more than our fair share.
To walk worthy of the Lord means there are some things we are not going to bring into our homes. Now there are plenty skunks in this area around Cleveland. Has anybody here ever captured a skunk in order to bring it inside. Why not? You know that the skunk is going to influence the whole house.
The attitudes that we walk around with in our homes are like odors. They can be sweet and satisfying like perfume or they can smell and stink like a skunk. Everyone is affected though it may be to different degrees. When we are walking worthy seeking to please Christ, which of the two aroma’s are we going to be spreading through the house.
Most of us are wonderful fragrances while we are walking for the Lord at the church. But too often we leave the fragrance here by walking out the door and immediately thinking it’s all about my happiness and what I want to do. We can be pleasant even if we don’t get our way. You’d be surprise at what God might do for you in the process if you do it with a willing heart to be used by God.
We sing that song, “I Want to be more like you Jesus, I want to be more like you. I want to be a vessel you work through, I want to be more like you.” It only happens when we choose to walk worthy right where we are.
There is a way for you to walk worthy in your chores. There is a way to walk worthy in the lunchroom, in the classroom, in the boardroom, in the bedroom, in the family room, in the computer room, in the tv room. We can be pleasing to Christ in each of these rooms. This is where our light needs to shine.
I hear so many people say, “well I don’t know much about what the Bible says”, and my response is “why not.” It is not that difficult to read the bible in today’s modern translations. It is not that difficult to understand. If you’re walking worthy you’re reading the Word to learn what it says. You’re coming together with other believers to learn.
Can you imagine going to a mechanic to have your car fixed and the mechanic saying, I don’t know much about your car, but I’ll do my best. If you saw a book in his office about your car, you might suggest he look into the book.
The bible is the most important book we have to prepare us for a life here on earth and for eternity to come. Too many of us are wondering what it might say. Why not simply open it up and read it? Why not become a part of one of the Lifesharing groups? You do not have to worry about not knowing enough. You’re the kind of person we specialize in. If you apply yourself it could change your life. If each family simply took one concept from a Lifesharing class and worked on it all week, we would have families that loved each other more.
When Jesus called us, Jesus said, come follow me. In other words, observe what I do and do it. Watch how I talk and talk it. Watch me walk and walk it. Watch me serve and serve it. Watch me grow in my relationship to the Father and grow yourself.
We all are giving off a message to the world about Jesus by our walk. What’s your walk really like? Are your eyes fixed on Jesus, or do you need to pray like me, “Lord, open my eyes and show me where my walk has been missing the mark.” When God shows it to you, make up your mind today to do something about it.
Sermon Outline Pastor Rick
3/15/09 “What’s Your Walk Like?”
Proverbs 1:8-19 Philippians 1:27-30
A. You Can Tell A Lot From A Walk
1. Four Kinds Of Walk
2. The Warning Walk
3. Walk Provides Intentions
4. Walk Moving From A To B
5. Colossians 1:10 Walk Worthy
6. The Little Angel & Devil
7. It’s Not Harmless
B. Walking In A Straight Line
2. Jesus Is The Fixed Point
3. Getting To Jesus Limits Options
4. When You Take Your Eyes Off
C. Young Man Receives Advice Prov 1:10
1. Remember What You Learned
2. Avoid Some Of The Friends
3. Friends Do Have An Influence
4. Invitation To Join A Gang
5. Self Destructive Walk
6. Can We Listen To Those Who Love
7. Who Is Turning Who
D. Whatever Happens, Conduct Yourselves
1. Philippians 1:27
2. Conduct Yourselves—Citizens Of
3. But Look What They Did
4. Walk Worthy
Colossians 1:10 Colossians 1:10 (NASB77) 10 so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
E. Who Is Really Lord
1. Let Jesus Sit Upon The Throne
2. Opportunity To Be Pleasing To God
6. The Home—God’s Building Plan
F. What’s The Lord Doing At Home
1. Bringing in the Skunk
2. We All Affect Each Other
3. Attitudes Can Smell
4. Don’t Bring Everything Home
5. Don’t Leave The Smell At Church
6. Give In And Go Along For Jesus
H. I Want To Be More Like Jesus
1. Walking In The Rooms
2. Walking Worthy
3. Choosing To Know The Bible
4. The Bible Is For Us To Read
5. Learn & Be Blessed
J. Jesus-Come Follow Me
1. Look & See
2. See & Become
3. Lord Open My Heart