Today our attention is directed to the Epistle to the Colossians, Paul’s letter to the believers at Colosse. As Paul, under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, wrote to these Christians, in each chapter he referenced their walk in some form, and how important our walk is as we journey through this life. A person’s walk can reveal many things: weariness, an injury, an inebriated condition, even a family resemblance. And, so too, our walk as believers reveals much to those who are observing our steps. What does Paul have to say concerning a believer’s walk? Let’s look and see.
First of all, Paul notes that it should be an aspirational walk – “”That ye might walk worthy of the Lord” (1:10). Every day of our lives our goal should be to walk worthy of the name we bear – the name of Christ. In the preceding verse, Paul speaks of his prayer that these believers might be “filled with the knowledge of his will.” That is, that they might know the will of God so that their walk would be in conformity with His will, pleasing to Him. In verses 10-12, the apostle gives several characteristics of this worthy walk: being fruitful in good works, increasing in the knowledge of God, patience and longsuffering with joyfulness, and thankfulness. All of these are characteristics of the walk to which we should aspire. I must ask myself on a daily basis, “Am I walking worthy of the Lord?”
Not only does Paul write of an aspirational walk, but he also writes of an advancing walk – “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith” (2:6-7). That is, our walk should be advancing in all aspects of our faith in Christ. Peter speaks of our responsibility to “grow in grace” (2 Peter 3:18). Our growth is fostered by two critical elements: nutrition and exercise. These are essential to physical development. Likewise, both nutrition and exercise are vital to spiritual growth. We must feed on the Word of God and then seek to exercise ourselves to obedience to His commands; in doing so, we will foster that advancing walk, becoming more like the Master.
Then, we discover in chapter three that Paul reminds the Colossian believers of the abandoned walk – “In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now…” (3:7-8). In verses 5-9 of this chapter, Paul focuses on reminding believers of those things which were once characteristic of our lives before we met Christ, but now things are to be different. Paul tells us that these things must be put off and put to death! How easy it is for us to return to those things which were once common in our lives before we were saved. We must frequently examine our lives to see if these things which should have been abandoned have been taken up once again, hindering our goal of walking worthy of the Lord.
Finally, in chapter four, Paul indicates that the walk of the believer is to be an anticipating walk – “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time” (4:5). These words remind us of Paul’s admonition to the believers at Ephesus to whom he wrote, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16). The phrase “redeeming the time” has to do with making the most of every opportunity. Time is life’s most valuable commodity, and we know not how much has been allocated to us personally. Therefore, we must walk in the light of eternity, redeeming the time. We should live each day as if it were our last day on earth, for it may be.
With the challenge of the apostle ringing in our ears, let’s determine to consider our walk today and seek to walk not “as menpleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:6).
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Bro. Burcham serves as the Chairman of the Bible Department at Golden State Baptist College. Prior to coming to GSBC, he served as a missionary with his family in Japan for a number of years and then pastored in Missouri. Bro. Burcham also teaches an adult Sunday school class at NVBC.