walk

Rest, but Don’t Quit

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walk: the way you conduct yourself; to live in obedience; to move; to go through

Throughout his ministry, Jesus walked a lot.  There was this one time that he needed to travel through Samaria.  When he arrived to Sychar, a city of Samaria, he was tired (John 4:4).  What I love about this passage of scripture is that when Jesus got tired, he didn’t quit.  He didn’t give up.  He stopped and rested.

Jesus, therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well  (John 4:6, KJV).

So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down [to rest] by the well  (John 4:6, AMPC).

As believing Christians, we walk a lot too.  Well, we are supposed to.

Let us walk honestly  (Romans 13:13).

For we walk by faith  (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Walk in the spirit  (Galatians 5:16).

And walk in love  (Ephesians 5:2).

Walk as children of light  (Ephesians 5:8).

That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing  (Colossians 1:10).

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments  (2 John 1:6).

Throughout the bible, we are told how we should walk.  I know we don’t always walk how we were taught to walk.  I know you’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I want to encourage every person who is reading this.

Keep walking!

Do you remember when Paul was in a ship with some other prisoners?  While they were sailing, Paul perceived that they would suffer hurt and much damage (Acts 27:10).  He wasn’t just talking about the ship, but he was talking about their lives being in danger.  But the centurion wouldn’t listen.  He believed the master and owner of the ship more than the words spoken by Paul.

Sometimes we believe the words of people more than the word of God. 

When a violent wind came, they were tossed about on the ship.  To save themselves, they had to throw things off the ship to reduce the weight.  They experienced seasickness, stress and they were without food for a long time.  Have you ever thought back to some decisions you made and said, If I had only listened?  Paul told them that they should have listened to him, but he knew they were already feeling bad so he didn’t make them feel worse.  He didn’t condemn them.  He told them to cheer up.  There will be no loss of life among you, but only loss of the ship  (Acts 27:22, AMP).

Maybe you didn’t listen when God warned you, but don’t dwell over it.  Don’t beat yourself over it.  Cheer up.  The enemy wants you to feel like you’re a failure.  He wants you to think that you can’t do anything right.  You’re always messing up.  You do good for a little while, but then you do something foolish just before the breakthrough or before the promise can be fulfilled in your life.  For some of you, there are people who have blamed you for the choices they  made.  They made you think it was your fault.  They made you feel like you were a bad person.  Yes, you have made some bad choices, but that doesn’t make you a bad person.  Everything wasn’t your fault.

I don’t care what people have said about you.  You won’t miss it this time.  You have been the tail for too long, but things are about to turn around for you.  No, God hasn’t changed His mind about you.  He wants to bless you.  If you will obey His voice and do all that He has commanded you to do, God will make you the head (Deuteronomy 28:1, 13).  You don’t have to force it.  HE will do it.

So don’t look back.  I don’t want you to regret anything.  I don’t want you to worry about it anymore.  I don’t want you to sit too long.  Get up and ‘walk’.  Don’t stop doing what works just because it seems like it’s not working.  I know you wish you could have done some things differently, but guess what?  You still can.  It’s not too late for you.  Every day that God gives you is another chance and another opportunity to do things differently.

I told you earlier that Jesus needed to go through Samaria.  When Jesus sat down to rest, he ministered to a woman who was ‘tired’ too – tired of going from man to man, tired of the hurt, tired of the disappointment – looking, searching and hoping.  Is he the one?  Will this one love me the way I deserve to be loved?  This woman was so busy looking for someone to love her that she never learned to love herself.  But she met Jesus – and he spoke to her like no other man had ever spoken to her before.  What this MAN did for  her made her forget about what all the other men did to  her.

You need  to go through what you’re going through.  It’s going to help somebody.  Someone has lost hope, but you’re about to give someone hope again.  I know you get weary at times along the way. Sometimes you want to give up, but keep walking in what God told you to do.

And when you get tired, rest.

Rest in the promise God made to you.  Become like Paul who believed God and believed that it would be as it was told to him (Acts 27:25).  Be at peace with what God said and as you place your hope in Him, He will renew your strength and you will walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

Rest, but don’t quit.

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You Shall Rise Again

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There are some people who fall, but get right back up again.  Then, there are others who fall, but have a harder time getting up.  Sometimes it’s not what people have said about you that keeps you down, but what you think  about yourself that keeps you down.

In John 5, the writer tells us of a sheep market or gate in Jerusalem.  Sheep were led through this gate to the temple where they were sacrificed.  The sins of the people were placed upon the sheep to cleanse them of their sins, but right next to the gate was a pool, called Bethesda, filled with a lot of people – a great multitude – who needed to be cleansed of their sicknesses.  They were impotent, blind, halt and withered.  Some of them became a burden to others because they had to be carried, lifted and transported from one place to another.  These people were overlooked, forgotten, abandoned and rejected.  No one wanted them while they were not well.  Where were their families?  Where were their friends?

But Jesus was there.

One of the people lying at the pool was a man who had an infirmity for thirty eight years.  The scriptures didn’t tell us that he had been this way since birth, but thirty eight years was too long.  I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly  (John 10:10b).  Jesus knew how long he had been in that condition and asked him if he wanted to be made whole.  The man told Jesus, Sir, I have no man to put me in the pool  (John 5:7).  Not only was he waiting for the move of the water, but he was waiting on someone to carry him into the pool.  He sounded helpless, but he also sounded like he was blaming others for his current state.  If someone would have put me in the pool, I wouldn’t be here. I’m still sick because of them. It’s their fault.   But Jesus never asked this man about other people.  He asked a question so that the man may examine himself, not others.

Jesus didn’t say it to this man, but I believe He is telling a lot of us this:  You could have been up a long time ago.  In fact, you should have been walking by now. Don’t get me wrong.  I do believe God will carry you, but at some point He wants you to learn how to walk.  He wants you to grow up and stop feeling sorry for yourself.  Stop thinking everyone is against you.  Stop regretting what happened.  Stop living in the past.

Sometimes, just like this man, we’re waiting on a person.  We’re waiting on someone to do what God says we can do.  We’re waiting on the pastor to do it.  We’re waiting until the wife comes or the husband comes and then we’ll do.  We’re waiting until the money comes and then we’ll give.  Why don’t you give what you have now?  Why don’t you do what God has told you to do now?  If you’re not doing anything with little, why would God trust you with much?

Jesus didn’t take him by the hand and lift him up like Peter with the man who was lame from his mother’s womb (Acts 3:7).  Instead, He gave him a word.  Rise, take up your bed, and walk  (John 5:8).  The impotent man believed he would receive his healing through the water, but he received it through the word.  God doesn’t always heal or perform miracles the way we think.  We expect Him to do it one way, but He may do it another way.  What I want you to understand is this: Jesus told him to do something, the man did it and he was immediately made whole.  This man literally walked  in obedience and in faith.  Had he not obeyed the word, he would have never received his healing.  No one had to carry him anymore.

I can be so hard on myself. Sometimes I beat myself up like a drum.  Seriously.  But falling doesn’t mean failure.  I’m learning now that had I not fallen, I would have never learned how to walk.  For the last few months, I’ve been praying Psalm 51:10.  Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me.   I’ve also been asking the Holy Spirit to help me move on and let go of things (and people).  Will the enemy remind you of things you did to someone or things someone did to you?  Yes, but every day I am choosing to forgive – and that includes myself.  Jesus has already made me free (Galatians 5:1), but now I must choose to walk in that freedom.  It’s a choice. 

You will recover from where you have fallen.  You are going to make it.  Time is too precious.  Don’t spend another moment living in regret, worry or anger.  This man walked for the first time in thirty eight years – and so can you!  It doesn’t matter how many times you have fallen. You’ve been lying there long enough.  Rise again.  Take up your ‘bed’.  Don’t use excuses anymore.  Don’t blame anyone for what happened to you…and walk.

For though I fall, I will rise again (Micah 7:8).

 

Walk as He Walked

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lie: to convey a false image or impression; to exhibit a false representation

At one time or another, we have lied about something.  We lied to get out of trouble.  We lied to prevent hurting someone’s feelings.  We lied because we thought that was the only way we could get what we wanted.  Whether you told a little lie, a big lie or a white lie, a lie is still a lie and according to Proverbs 6:17, a lying tongue is one of the things that God hates.

If we SAY that we have fellowship with Him and WALK in darkness, we lie  (1 John 1:6).  What we say should match what we do.  If we say that we abide in Christ, then we should walk as He walked (1 John 2:6).  Telling others that I’ve been going to church since I was child or that I’ve read the whole bible isn’t proof that I know God.  If I truly know Him, then I will do what He says.  We do know that we know Him if we keep His commandments  (1 John 2:3).

It is what we do – not what we say – that confirms our relationship with God.  This is what separates the carnal Christian from the spiritual Christian.  The carnal Christian refuses to grow up in the Lord.  They refuse to be taught.  They live the way they want to live.  They do what they want to do and not what God wants them to do. They are like the scribes and Pharisees.  They say, and do not  (Matthew 23:3).  They don’t walk in godliness.  They just have a form or an appearance of godliness.

Sometimes it takes years before you discover who a person really is. You may be able to lie about who you are, but you can’t hide who you really are but for so long.  Do you remember the parable of the wheat and tares?  A tare resembles wheat while it is young, but when they begin to grow, they look nothing alike.  The reason why the householder didn’t allow his servants to gather up the tares or expose them is because he knew that the tares would soon expose themselves.  You see, the tares have seeds inside of them, but only the wheat brings forth fruit.

Verily, verily I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit  (John 12:24).

But when the blade (wheat) was sprung up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also  (Matthew 13:26).

If I bite into a plastic fruit (fake), I don’t get anything out of it – only disappointment, but when I bite into a real fruit, there are many benefits – health, vitamins, mineral and less risk for certain diseases and illness, just to name a few.  Fruit is a sign of maturity.  When we refuse to die to selfishness, pride or our way of doing things, we remain the same and there is no fruit, but when we fall to the ground (humility) and die (submission), we will grow and bear much fruit.

A few months ago, I (a Christian) saw someone (another Christian) who hurt me in the past.  Honestly, I didn’t want to see or talk to this person ever again.  (It’s funny how we remember when someone hurt us, but forget when we hurt others).  As I saw the person approaching, I looked straight ahead to avoid the individual.  I didn’t speak – on purpose.  The Lord immediately said, That’s not Me.  In other words, I wasn’t displaying Him.  Love doesn’t behave that way.

I admit I need help in that area.  I don’t want to teach it or in this case, write it, but not live it.  I don’t want to become what I hate – a liar and a hypocrite. If we as Christians are tired of people lying and pretending, then let us stop lying and pretending. Instead of talking about what everyone else is doing, let us examine ourselves and be careful how we live.  If you’re going to dress as sheep, then act like sheep.  Put on the armour of light (Romans 13:12).  Put on the new man (Ephesians 4:24).  Put on love (Colossians 3:14).  Just as you identify a tree by its fruit, people identify us by what we do.

We are representatives of Christ.  We aren’t chosen just to speak for God, but we are chosen to live for God.  Jesus just didn’t say  what His Father said, but He did  what He saw His Father doing (John 5:19).

Let us walk as He walked.