Like an athlete competing in a race, the focus of the Believer must center on the object of our hope—the Lord. The difficulty of the challenge, the obstacles along the way and the exertion required—all fade into the background as the goal becomes the preeminent driving force.
Joy, gentleness and unsurpassed peace characterize the stability characteristic of the Believer. Paul presents each as an imperative—meaning they all require a choice.
“‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Our calling is to be a visible demonstration of God’s grace. To walk worthy of our calling is important for every Christian, but especially as we relate to one another within the body of Christ. It isn’t a difficult concept. Summarized in three simple words, we need to “walk the talk.” Be real. Be authentic. Practice what you preach. Have integrity.
Because we love the hour of blue—that moment of intense twilight just between sunset and nightfall—my wife and I usually take our walk at this time of night and return home in the dark on most evenings. Walking in the dark can be lonely, even frightening. But, it’s much easier if you brought a flashlight! With the beam illuminating the path, you can identify obstacles and avoid stumbling.
We are reminded that the Christian life isn’t so much about working, striving and toiling, as much as it is about allowing God to work in our lives and through our lives to accomplish His predetermined purpose for our lives.
Everyone has a unique style of walking that makes it possible to recognize them long before their features are visible. Authentic Christians also demonstrate an observable identifying walk that the apostle Paul described to the Galatian church.
Paul’s admonition is usually seen in negative terms—where we shouldn’t walk. In reality, the emphasis is to be aware of where we should walk.