Walking has becoming a popular form of exercise these days. What was once a necessity is now a creative fitness adventure! Most enjoy teaming up with a friend for the benefits of conversation, encouragement and safety.
It is no coincidence that the Bible frequently describes the Christian life in terms of walking. For example in Ephesians we read, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, … that we should WALK in them.” “WALK in love. . .”, “… WALK as children of light”. (Eph 2:10;5:2,8).
Why did the Holy Spirit use the idea of walking as a description of the path of discipleship?
1. Walking implies progress
From the time we become children of God through faith in Christ we are to move ahead in spiritual growth. Such growth depends on our learning, obedience, and life experiences. Proverbs poetically describes this progress:
“The path of the just is like the shining sun,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” (4:18).
2. Walking implies pacing
Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? Although our spiritual life is also compared to a race, it is a marathon, not a sprint! (Heb. 12:1). We need a steady intake of God’s Word, continuous prayer, and ongoing dependence upon divine strength. As it says in Hebrews 6:11,12, “We desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
3. Walking implies balance
We don’t take many steps if dizziness sets in. Charles Ryrie’s, Balancing the Christian Life, was one of the first discipleship books I read, and the theme has stuck with me. We need to balance many contrasting principles: doctrine and practice; grace (in salvation) and works (the evidence of it); God’s providence and human responsibility; individuality and relationships…
4. Walking implies a destination
Enoch walked with God, and he arrived at his eternal destination in a glorious way! (Gen. 5:22-24; c.f. 1 Thess 4:14-18). As believers, this heavenly destination should liven up our steps! “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed” (Heb. 12:12,13).
Norman Grubb pointed out the importance of our daily walk.
“One of Satan’s favorite weapons is false condemnation. He loves to make us look back at our past failures, or into the future at our probably equal failures (so he says), and then put us into a tailspin of despair or depression. ‘Look at your pride, coldness, sensuality, worldliness, fruitlessness. You say you were born again or sanctified. Look at yourself! And if you have been that in the past, believe me, you will be exactly the same in the future!’ In other words, Satan likes to talk in long-term generalities, based indeed on an element of truth, but built up into a huge lie; for God does not look on His children in a general sense as proud, cold, fruitless, and so on. He sees them IN CHRIST, being conformed to the image of His Son. The difference between Satan’s condemnation and God’s conviction is that where Satan uses generalities pointing back to the past or forward to the future, God sees past and future in Christ and just deals with the PRESENT, and deals specifically. We WALK moment by moment, STEP BY STEP with Him, the past under the blood, the future in His keeping. We are in Jesus and He in us.
Let’s continue on our pilgrimage, walking in the Spirit day by day.
Our Father, thank you for the honor of walking in fellowship with You. Keep us attentive to Your guidance and grace. Turn our hearts from whatever grieves Your Holy Spirit as we rejoice in the blessed identity and destiny we have in Christ. In Your name, amen.
 Continuous Revival, p.13,14 [emphasis added].
Copyright 1999 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint for noncommercial use if credit is given to the author and GraceNotebook.com.
Biblical quotations are from the New King James Version (copyright Thomas Nelson).