‘Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord.’
(Psalms 89:15 NLT)
My kids still tease me about how triggered I became when a visiting speaker preached about ‘Plodding On’ Plodding rather than running the race! Plodding rather than walking or jogging.
Some Bible verses do compare life to running eg:
‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.’
(1 Corinthians 9:24 ESV)
But no one can run all the time. Right?Even ultra runners walk. But when does a run turn into a jog? Or a walk turn into a plod?
Walking with God has been a theme since the start.
In the very beginning before the fall, God walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam & Eve. A few chapters later, when sin had entangled the world God created with love, we read of Enoch ‘walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.’
(Genesis 5:24 NLT)
In the next chapter we read that Noah ‘walked in close fellowship with God.’
(Genesis 6:9 NLT)
Later in the book of Genesis, Jacob also referred to God walking with His people:
‘And he blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day,”
(Genesis 48:15 ESV)
In this journey of life,the ultimate ultra run, it’s all about pace- God’s pace rather than ours!
“Are you tired?
Burned out on religion?
Come to me.
Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
Living freely & lightly. The unforced rhythms of grace.
Grace determines the pace of life:
‘By grace I am redeemed
By grace I am restored
And now I freely walk
Into the arms of Christ my Lord’
‘And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.’
But we have a choice:
‘Thus says the Lord:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.”
But they said, “We will not walk in it.”
Jesus invites us to walk through life with Him. It is our decision whether we accept this invitation to draw near.
If we follow Jesus things won’t always be easy.
‘Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.’ (1John2:6)
Jesus’ brother John wrote:
‘I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.’
(3 John 1:4 NIV)
The words of the old hymn ‘O For a closer walk with God’ can be the prayer of our heart :
‘So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame;’
I love those soothing words- calm & serene rather than flustered & frazzled!
When Jesus was on earth, he walked many dusty paths with His disciples. He also walked on water to through the storm when they were frightened:
‘But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”’
(Matthew 14:27 ESV)
In life we walk through green pastures & past still waters but even through dark valleys we need not be anxious.For Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”‘
(John 8:12 ESV)
He will guide as we walk:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
(Psalm 119:105 ESV)
Even if times are tough & we’re just plodding,He is with us:
‘For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”‘
(Isaiah 41:13 ESV)
“Because I, your GOD, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.”
(Isaiah 41:11-13 MSG)
We cannot change life’s pace or Gods timing but we are in the grip of God’s grace.
So what does God want us to do?
‘He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?’
‘If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.’
(Galatians 5:25 NKJV)
‘For all the peoples walk,
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
forever and ever.’
‘The best thing I can do for my family is to walk with God.’
‘May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you [filling your heart with the spiritual well-being and serenity experienced by those who walk closely with God].’
(Jude 1:2 AMP)