I have been in the ministry for over 12 years. I began as a volunteer, then moved into an transitional youth minister position twice at the same church. The Lord then called me and my family to a church in Kings Mountain where we have served for close to 4 years. Walking with God is hard. Walking with God requires change. The scripture says this…
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light – Eph. 5:8
Andrea, my daughter, were at church one afternoon preparing for the Wed. night bus trip to pick up students as we did every Wed. night. I noticed her walking out in front of me. You have to understand that at this time she was 4 years old. But as she got older instead of holding my hand, she wanted to walk ahead of me, not holding my hand which we always did for safety crossing the parking lot. She would look back every couple of step, making sure that I was still there but still wanted to be ahead of me. I would have to call her name and say, “Stop, Slow down”.
Believe it or not, to walk with God we have to start thinking like Him. Walking takes some steps.
Our walk is important. We are no longer darkness; we are light in the Lord. It doesn’t say that we were once IN darkness but that we WERE darkness. Many have no idea what I am talking about and are wondering about what does it means to “Walk with God? So I hope to convey to you clearly three steps to walking with God.
STEP 1 – Change your Mind
Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God
We are supposed to conform or fit into a pattern and we all do. Our pop culture that is in rebellion to God will try to convince you to conform into an un-godly pattern.
Not only are we not to be conformed to the pattern of this world but we are to be transformed which is to change into another form. It is like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. The butterfly is completely different, completely! Our minds need to be renovated. The mind is used to perceive and understand and feeling, make judgments. Our minds need to change from what we think is acceptable, pure and good.
Lots of thoughts go through your mind in the course of the day. TV, Movies, Friends, Magazines, Video Games, Bible, Music, Parents, Internet.
These things are not always good. In fact many of the things that we watch, read, play and view are full of ungodly principles. How in the world does a person allow these things to fill their hearts and minds? The battleground between conforming and transformed is fought first in the mind – we must think differently!
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. – Phil. 4:8
Ever had your faith scrutinized? Ever had it tested? Someone ever been put through the wringer to see if your faith was genuine? Worthy? Miller says that they are the genuine draught beer. Coke says that they are the “Real Thing”. What about you? What about your faith? Want to be transformed? Change your mind – change the way you think.
STEP 2 – Change your Attitude
1 Tim. 4:12 – Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity
What kind of attitude do you have? What kind of conduct? What kind of love? What kind of spirit? Faith? Purity? Timothy was a young man. We don’t really know how young but scholars estimate that he was around 25 to 30. Because Timothy was young, he was vulnerable to the errors of youth which often bring the criticism of those who are older. To address this, Paul called him to live a life so that was so godly that no one could despise or “think little of” his youth. God has called us to “make an impression”, to “be an example”. Be an example by what you say, what you do, in love, in attitude, in faith and in purity.
STEP 3 – Change your Heart
Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51 is a prayer of repentance. David was agonizing in prayer after he was visited by the prophet Nathan. The first 6 verses are David’s confession and we read things like “Have mercy upon me, O God, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”
And because of the Lord’s kindness and His mercy David is restored.
David is asking God to shape or fashion his heart, to mold his heart with God as the subject or model. David is asking the same awesome God that created the heavens and the earth to create in fallen man a new heart – Not just a heart but a clean heart – clean, pure, without defects. David is asking God to repair his spirit and to make his spirit firm and fixed on Him.
This story really tells it like it is….
In the forests of northern Europe and Asia lives little animal called the ermine, known for his snow-white fur in winter. He instinctively protects his white coat against anything that would soil it. Fur hunters take advantage of this unusual trait of the ermine. They don’t set a snare to catch him, but instead they find his home, which is usually a cleft in a rock or a hollow in an old tree. They smear the entrance and interior with grime. Then the hunters set their dogs loose to find and chase the ermine. The frightened animal flees toward home but doesn’t enter because of the filth. Rather than soil his white coat, he is trapped by the dogs and captured while preserving his purity. For the ermine, purity is more precious than life.