Your Christian Walk and Jesus
Or maybe it’s just not really the right question altogether. Maybe it might be better to ask ‘Where’s your walk?’ You see, how we ask a question can completely transform the emphasis. Just think of how, in a court case, barristers aren’t allowed to ask ‘leading questions’ in their examinations-in-chief. ‘How’s your walk?’ is a leading question, as the question itself puts all the emphasis on you and what you do. But if we ask ‘where’s your walk?’, the emphasis isn’t so much on you anymore. And not only that, but the question actually becomes a bit more biblical, for the emphasis in Scripture is on the location of our walk. As Colossians 2:6 tells us, ‘As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him’. Our walk is ‘in Him’ – in Christ. So even when it comes to my Christian walk, the emphasis isn’t so much on me and what I do, as on Christ and He has done.
But what does it mean to ‘walk in Him’? Is that just a case of adding Jesus onto my prayer and Bible reading, my outreach and evangelism, or my efforts at defeating sin? Not at all!
What does Colossians 2 tell us about walking in Him? Well, we ‘walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him’ (Col. 2:6-7). Rooted and built up – that’s past. So our walk in the present is rooted in the past. It’s not all about what I’m doing now, but all about what Jesus has already done. It’s not about all about my life for Jesus, but rather Jesus’ life (and death and resurrection) for me.
And rooted in Him, we have stability. Our stability isn’t found in how good we are at holding onto Jesus, but in how good Jesus is at holding onto us. Our roots are sunk down into Him, and so this stability is the basis of our Christian walk, not the result of it. You see, we don’t have to walk a certain distance before we can know stability and security in Christ. If were the case, then our stability would depend on us and our own accomplishments – we would be rooted in our own achievements instead of Christ and His great achievement for us on the Cross. But the reality is that our stability comes right at the outset, as we are rooted in Christ through faith – as we are united to Him by the Spirit. He holds onto us and as a result we can then grow in Him.
And that growth is strongly linked to the past too, for we are built up in Him. Our growth is in Jesus, not through our best efforts at being good. And Jesus is the goal of our growth too. As we grow, God is conforming us to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). The more we grow, the more we become like Jesus.
But Colossians 2 doesn’t only speak about the past when it speaks of walking in Him. The last part of Colossians 2:6 also tells us of the result now of having been rooted and built up in Jesus. And that present result is to abound with thanksgiving. So our thanksgiving flows out of the fact that we are rooted and built up and established in Jesus. Our thanksgiving flows out of the fact that Jesus has done it all. We’re not relying on what we do, but on what Christ has already done for us. Already in Him we are forgiven and accepted, and so how can we but abound with thanksgiving? The Christian life is a life overflowing with thankfulness.
And we walk in Christ, because we have received Him. ‘As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him’ (Col. 2:6). The command to walk rests on the reality that we have received Him. We are united to Him, and so all His is ours (which includes His righteousness and standing with the Father). We don’t walk the Christian walk in order to receive Jesus, but because we have received Jesus. We don’t walk the Christian walk to please God and earn salvation, but we walk because Jesus has already pleased God for us and won salvation for us. We don’t walk the Christian walk in fear, but in thankfulness.
By ourselves we cannot walk this walk. The only way to walk it is in Him. The only way to walk it is because we have received Him. Through His blood shed for us we know forgiveness for our failures to walk with the Lord. Through His life lived for us, He has walked the perfect walk for us, and in union with Him, that walk is ours. And now, saved through His life for us and His death for us – through the whole of His walk for us – we walk in Him, becoming what we already are.