(Friends, during our time away, a number of thoughts and experiences occurred that crystalized into messages that I'll send along this week. Thanks, Glen)
"One Step At a Time"
I'm not sure how many steps we took during our 50 mile hike last week. But I do know this. We took them one at a time.
"Walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16).
"Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us" (Ephesians 5:2).
"Walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6).
"Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called" (Ephesians 4:1).
It mattered not whether we ventured uphill, downhill, or on flat paths. One step at a time. We cannot physically walk in any other way, and the same applies in spiritual terms. We cannot take the second step without the first, nor can a journey be completed in one stride. Each particular component contributes to the whole, including the current step that must plant firmly and surely in preparation for the next. We therefore seek to trust and submit ourselves to the Lord for immediate benefit and consequence regarding this moment, but also in the realization that faithfulness now will lead to faithfulness later. We want to finish our spiritual path as did the Apostle Paul, in victory and completion - "I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (II Timothy 4:7). Trusting and obeying God now, concerning the step before us as navigated by the power of the Holy Spirit, ensures our own triumph and fulfillment, to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Of course, missteps will occur along the way of the path of righteousness. Our understanding of the step by step journey of faith does not preclude detours and stumbles. Thus, the next step often involves honest recognition and acknowledgement of sin. God's grace and mercy provides restoration to the path in such times, lifting us up to walk again in forgiveness, cleansing, and renewed determination. We cannot change the fact of missteps, or of consequences that occur as the result of unbelief and disobedience. We can, however, begin our journey anew, from where we are. The redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ raises the fallen to walk again as we confess our sins and believe that "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John 1:7). Such a step back into the Light enables us to take the next faithful step in the light. Indeed, one step. One step at a time.
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delighteth in his way."
Weekly Memory Verse
Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
(II Thessalonians 2:16-17)