We’ve all heard the saying, “You gotta walk the talk.”
Perhaps we’ve said it in light of someone else’s behavior that didn’t align with what they claim to believe. But maybe we whispered it while looking in the mirror.
We can talk about the Lord all day long, but unless we live out what we believe with the help of the Holy Spirit, our talk is meaningless. Jesus called people to follow Him, and following requires action.
That said, following Jesus and walking out our faith isn’t always easy. We will surely stumble and fall into sin at times; but just as we believed in Him by faith, we have to follow Him by faith.
Scripture gives us some instructions for how we can do that.
First, we have to walk in truth.
“It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.”2 John 4, NIV
Truth is found in the Word of God, not in the world, not within ourselves, and it isn’t relative to what’s culturally sensitive or politically correct. Truth is a standard that comes from God alone.
Jesus repeatedly stated, “I tell you the truth.”
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'”John 8:31-32
Many people deny truth because they believe God’s ways are restrictive, but truth is liberating. It allows us to experience freedom from the deception of sin and its consequences. God’s truth found in His Word is a guide that will lead us to walk in His ways and not our own.
The enemy will convince us that our way is best; but in the end, it leads to death. That’s why we are warned so often in Scripture to follow God and His ways.
Joshua gave this warning to the Israelites as they prepared to take possession of the Promised Land:
“But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.”Joshua 22:5
God’s way is the way of truth, so if we will follow His way and not our own way, we will be able to live out the faith we say we believe.
Second, we must walk in the light.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'”John 8:12
Walking in the light means that we are willing to let our lives be examined by God and seen by others. We aren’t hiding sinful actions in the dark, hoping to not be caught.
I’ll be honest. I’ve thought, said, and done some things I would rather keep hidden in the dark. But God wants us to live our lives above reproach. I’ve had to ask myself if I would want the world to hear and see all I say and do. If the answer is no, I need to exercise self-control in those areas of sin, while trusting the power of the Holy Spirit to empower me to overcome.
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.”Psalm 89:15
Every sin for a believer is forgiven (Colossians 2:13-15); but every sin still has consequences. Those consequences include damaging our witness to a watching world. We are called to be different, set apart, holy.
That holiness is what shows others the power of God in our lives. We can’t achieve power over sin in our own strength. We have to trust in the power of God to be at work within us.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”1 John 1:5-7
Fellowship with Jesus means walking in the light. A great way to do that is daily searching our hearts and confessing our sins, asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate any sinful areas that we need to turn from.
Having accountability with a sister in Christ is another way to stay in the light. When we ask others to hold us accountable for any sin we are dealing with, we are opening ourselves up to the light.
Third, we must walk in the Spirit.
“So, I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.”Galatians 5:16
Being led by the Spirit means that we are responsive to and guided by the Holy Spirit, obeying His initial promptings and cooperating with His work in our lives.
If we say we follow Christ, but our lives are characterized by the acts of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:19-21), we are not walking in the Spirit. As believers, our lives should be characterized by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Spending daily time in the Word of God will keep our hearts more receptive to the leading of the Spirit. Proverbs tells us this about the Words of God:
“When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.”Proverbs 6:22-23
God’s Word and God’s Spirit together give us what we need to walk out our faith. Our job is to follow.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you , saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'”Isaiah 30:21
How we walk matters. People are watching to see if our lives are different and if we really believe what we say we do.
Let’s walk by faith, following Jesus.
Memorizing Scripture is a great way to keep the Word in our hearts and help us walk out our faith. Click here to get your free download, How to Memorize Scripture in 10 Easy Steps.