One of God’s great promises in the Bible is that He will be with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9). The Lord said in Isaiah 43:2 that when we pass through deep waters, He will be with us. Furthermore, it says that when we walk through the fire, the flames will not set us ablaze. Whatever circumstance we may face in living the Christian life, the Lord who called us to follow Him will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5). We can hold these promises and rest in the truth that we are never alone. The day we decide to follow Jesus commences our walk with God. From that day forward, we aren’t alone in our walk through this chaotic world. As we walk on the road of faith, when we pursue God’s righteousness, He will be beside us the entire way.
Christianity is about following Christ which means in this lifetime, we seek the character of Christ so we can reflect on His glory. It is not just about the services of the Church and the ministry we belong to. It is in its purest essence about God. Sounds like a tough task? It is. It’s difficult to pursue holiness in a world full of ungodliness. There are too many temptations and lures around. It is much easier to fall into these desirable traps than pursue God’s righteousness. There are so many lies that sometimes, it’s hard to hear the voice of God. The voice of God is the voice of truth. It is the only voice Christians should listen to, but yet the task is tough. Nonetheless, we must not be overwhelmed by this for the Bible has given us numerous ways to walk with God holy and righteously.
Walk With God Graciously
The Lord continues to be with us even after the day of our salvation. If truth be told, we need Him more as the days pass. Pursuing righteousness is much more difficult than receiving God’s salvation. Most Christians fail to understand the true power of God’s grace. We often think its power is about salvation alone without realizing it is also what causes a transformation in us. The Lord does not give us salvation to only leave us to work on our own to preserve and pursue it.
The grace of Jesus doesn’t work that way. Grace is not just saving, it is transforming. It is active. He will walk beside us after we are saved. The truth about being Christ-like is that without God working in us, it is impossible to walk a straight path (Proverbs 3:6). It is the grace of God that enables us to be transformed day by day, from glory to glory.
The transformation to be Christ-like should be lived by grace. Many think that to keep their salvation, it is solely by doing good works. This fact is false. If its merit will be on man’s good work, then what’s the point of Jesus finishing the battle on the cross? The work of Christ on the cross is already complete, nothing is lacking. The endeavor to work hard in order to reach salvation is pointless because it already was done when Jesus declared it to be. If its merit will be on man’s work, then it is not grace, for grace is the undeserved favor of God. It is at any definition, unmerited.
Why Should We Work to Pursue Holiness?
Growth in Christlikeness is sanctification in us. Human participation matters for Christian growth. The grace of God is working in us and we should respond to it. Grace works. If we begin to be unresponsive of God’s truth after hearing and experiencing it, then where is the power of truth in our lives? Grace releases us from the bondage of sin which means there’s no point in turning back again when we encounter a better life of genuine freedom. Why will you return to a dark place when you’ve already seen the light? What’s the purpose of chaining yourself with shackles when the shackles already are broken? Grace shows us no reason to turn back.
Say you’re imprisoned for a crime you’ve committed. However, someone comes to take your place in prison, paying the penalty of your wickedness without expecting any in return. And he’s doing that so you can enjoy a second chance at life. Will you not live your life in the best way not to commit the same mistake again? Grace makes a different life; a transformed one. We need to walk with God under His grace. It is not just simply accepting the salvation from the Lord. Instead, it fully embraces the grace of God to work and transform us every single day. We need a daily dose of God’s grace to be able to live in this world in Christlikeness.
Walk With God’s Word
The most powerful weapon of God’s people against the works of the enemy is the Word of God. If we desire to walk with God righteously, we need to carry with us His truth wherever we go. The Lord commanded the Israelites in the Old Testament to always have the laws given to them tied on their hands as signs and frontlets between their eyes (Deuteronomy 6:8). In this command, God also instructed the Israelites to always set His words in their hearts (Deuteronomy 6:6). Moreover, He directs them to talk about it whatever they do, when they walk by the way, when they lie down, and when they arise.
In other words, Joshua 1:8 summarizes it like this: “This Book of Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act according to all that is written in it”. All the pieces of advice we could ever need are written in the Books of the Bible. The word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrew 4:12). It is living and active. The Bible says it can pierce the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts of the heart. Like a sword, God’s word can enter through any layer of man’s heart, mind, and soul and discerns what is in there. It penetrates through whatever is in our hearts: lies, doubts, fears, pride, and deadness. There’s nothing, absolutely nothing too hard for God’s word.
If there is anything that hinders anyone from walking with God in holiness, the Word of God can pierce through it with much less effort. But how do we let the Word penetrate through us?
Ways to Fasten the Word of God
There is no doubt about the power of God’s truth to change anyone’s heart and life. However, it also can be very challenging. This is perhaps the reason why the Lord commanded the Israelites to have His words bind in their hands and between their eyes as a sign. It can be a metaphor for allowing the Word of God to rule over their decisions and perceptions in life. Yet, it can be also very practical advice in memorizing the scripture. Let the verses hang on the wall or on a bracelet around your wrist. Let it resonate on your devices and other personal belongings. Make it visible to remind you every day of the wonderful truths of the Bible. This is an effective way to memorize Scripture.
Memorizing the words of God in the Bible is very important for Christians. Compare it to burying treasures within so when a time comes when temptations prowl or discouragements creep, your spirit will remember the truths you placed within. In this way, you’ll be able to stand firm on the foundation of your faith. Memorizing the Scripture is not just an activity for children. Every Christian needs to realize the need to feed our spirit with God’s truth.
There is no best way to keep your spiritual soul nurtured than to have a regular devotion to God’s truth. Joshua 1:8 says to meditate on it day and night. Not just read God’s word from the Bible, but meditate on it. Meditation in simple terms is thinking about it, analyzing it, contemplating it, and pondering what God is trying to tell us through His Word. God’s Word is living. Therefore, it was not written for the sake of reading. It is meant to be applied to various areas of our lives.
Walk With God In The Light
Man cannot walk in righteousness if he is still walking in sin. In the same way, he cannot walk in the light if he is still walking in darkness. We cannot keep secrets from God. Likewise, we cannot run from God. We ought to walk with God in His righteousness in our lifetime. This is the only way to live. Other paths we take that lead to pride, envy, worry, and sin will lead us to destruction. Darkness means destruction. We cannot and should not walk in it. It will devour us. We need to walk with God in His light.
How do we walk in the light with God? How do Christians walk from darkness to righteousness? First, God wants an honest confession. He desires that we tell Him whatever darkness we have. No matter what sin it is that you have committed, He wants to hear it from you. But remember, the Lord who is rich in grace will always welcome us with open arms. Do you want to draw nearer to God? Have a humble heart before Him. Let it be humble enough to admit your sins and inadequacies. Confession is about telling God your sins and asking Him for forgiveness. It prepares our hearts to receive the righteousness of God.
The Necessity of Confession
The Lord plants a seed in the hearts of people, but God’s seed cannot grow if the ground is full of thorns and weeds (Matthew 13:7). There is a need first to uproot these thorns so the seed which God plants will bloom. This is the importance of confessing our sins. It is so we can walk with God in righteousness. Unconfessed sin will take root and grow, pulling up the good plants. This is bad for the Lord wants the grounds of our hearts for His word to flourish.
Anything exposed to the light becomes visible (Ephesians 5:13). Confession exposes our sins into God’s light. Here is the primary step to walk with God in light. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it (John 1:5). Jesus said He is the light of the world and whoever follows him will not walk in darkness (John 8:12). Therefore confession to God is the beginning of repentance; of turning away from sin and walking into God’s light. Exposing our sins before God is hard but it is the first step that we need to take to allow ourselves to walk holy and righteously.
Ephesians 5:8 reminds us to walk as children of light. The fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true. This is what we are to pursue. Let us walk in the armor of light which is always overcome no matter what. The world may choose darkness over light but we, children of the light should walk with God.
Walk With God In A New Life
Paul said in Colossians 3:1, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God”. We are not anymore part of this world when we decide to follow and live by the principles of Jesus. God’s children are no longer slaves to sin. On the contrary, they have become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:17-18). What does this mean? From being enemies of God’s holiness we experienced redemption which brought us from darkness to light. Therefore, we are not anymore part of the world which drives us to personal pleasure.
Our citizenship is now in heaven. We are not of the world but instead, we are of God. Jesus redeemed and clothed us with a new life when he defeated death. What it means to walk with God in the newness of life is explained in two steps; put off your old selves and put on a new self.
Put Off Your Old Self
Christians who truly accept Jesus are dead to sin and alive in Christ (Romans 6:11). The life that we are living in is not anymore about us but about God. We have been brought from death to life. Therefore, we ought to flee from our youthful passions. Christians are vessels and instruments of God’s righteousness and not of sin. The old self belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires (Ephesians 4:22).
What are these old manners of life which Christians should put off as they walk with God? The Book of Colossians has this answer listed for us (Colossians 3:5-9). Let’s put to death these earthly manners: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. The Bible also warns us about the following which causes God’s wrath: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Furthermore, Paul tells us not to lie to one another, seeing that we have put off the old self with its practices.
Put On the New Self
The Bible then tells us to put on the new self as God’s holy and beloved people (Colossians 3:12-14). Here’s what the Bible tells us about putting on the newness of life. We must put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Moreover, we need to be always forgiving, clothed with love, and peace. This is the way to walk with God in the newness of life. There is just too much on the list. It’s very challenging to accomplish all these. There are things needed to let go and things that need to be done. It’s too much for us to handle. But don’t worry; there is a lot simpler way to walk with God (Colossians 3).
Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus”.
The Lord is holy therefore doing things for Him should also reflect His glory. With this in our mind, it will be easier for us to understand what pleases God and do the things that are good and just. If we start to do things with Jesus as our primary subject, it becomes easier to follow His teachings and even His righteousness. Our new life represents a redeemed life. Thus, it shines wherever it is for there is something special in the life that we are living. May we put on the new self as we walk with God on the earth.
Spend More Time With God
An amazing characteristic of sheep is that they know the voice of their shepherd. They listen for the voice of their shepherd and listens only to him. John 10:27 tells us the same thing. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”. Do you want to hear the voice of God in your life? God also desires the same thing. He wants us to listen to Him and follow Him. The key to this is simple. Spend more time with God. A writer once said that if we want to smell like flowers, we must spend hours in the garden where flowers bloom. We’ll surely smell like flowers after an entire afternoon spent in the garden. Likewise, if we want to be more like God, we should spend more time with God.
The Habit of Prayer
The best way to spend time with God is through prayer. Prayer is such a wonderful privilege we have with Christ. It requires nothing of us but our time and our hearts being poured out to God. There is no hassle in prayer. We can be in the presence of God at any time of the day. The Lord assures us, whoever seeks finds (Matthew 7:8). We can come to God just as we are. He doesn’t care about what we have on the outside. Instead, He looks on the inside and that is truly amazing. All the reasons that we have or we can come up with not to pray is simply senseless. Even our daily hustle and bustle does not count.
An intimate relationship with Christ is vital to growing in Christlikeness. To be able to walk with God in holiness, His voice must be clear in every aspect of our daily lives. How can we hear His voice if we are not familiar with it? The only way to get our ears familiarized with the vice of truth is to spend daily time or prayer. The more we talk to God, the more we become aware of His voice and guidance in our lives. The Lord takes delight in a good and intimate relationship.
David is very consistent in this aspect of devotion to God. He always seeks God. David is in constant search for God’s presence. He was even called a man after God’s own heart because he was so transparent before God. Aside from this, David followed the voice of God. He didn’t simply talk to God; he was sensitive about what God has to say. This is how important prayer is in our walk with God.
Invest Time with Godly People
There are a lot of things that influence us in this world. From the media to advertisements online and in printed articles, there are just too many of them. Additionally, we also have different types of friends who influence us in diverse things as well. With all this chaos, Proverbs 13:20 has a bit of advice for us if we want to walk with God righteously. It says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm”.
We must be careful with whom we spend our time with. They can either influence us to more for God or more for the world. Fellowship and other church activities where we get to spend time with God’s people matters. They can strengthen and influence us to pursue the righteousness of God. Their testimonies are also of great importance to encourage us in walking with God whatever the situation is.
We can choose those who will influence us. God’s people can help us walk positively with God; so do not underestimate the impact these people can make in your life. Spending time with our fellow believers is highly encouraged in the Scripture (Hebrews 10:25). After all, we cannot walk with God alone. We need others to correct, rebuke, teach, and encourage us.
Assurance Of God’s Sufficiency
Pursuing the righteousness of God is never easy. It is a lifetime endeavor on our part. To walk with God in holiness and newness of life is a challenge, a hard race. Paul tells us to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). The walk with God is not a fast lane, for if it is, many would have already done so. Isn’t it wonderful to think that the God whom we follow is the same God who walks with us, guides us, and strengthens us so we will be able to finish life’s race? The Lord is not an audience in our lives trying to sit and watch what mistakes we are going to commit each day. He works in us and within us. He works to show us the right path.
Walking with God means allowing ourselves to finish the entire race yet still depends on God for our every step and turn. As Christians, we’re now living in the way of the Spirit and not our way. Our flesh may be weak but the Spirit of God is strong. We can be inadequate but the Lord is sufficient in all of our needs and in all ways. His righteousness is shown through us. Now that we are walking in the Spirit, this journey reflects itself in the world.
Every day we are faced with the responsibility of doing what is right, pure, and just. We can just do what we want. We are not anymore led by our sinful nature but by the Spirit of God that is in us. The good news is we are not alone in this race. God walks with us.