I was recently asked to read and respond to the mission statement of a church. The statement was not particularly unique but it caught my attention for its inclusion of the phrase, "we will walk daily with God." What a challenge! I could only wonder how the leadership of that church intended to help its members reach that goal.
I see an increasing emphasis on personal spirituality among our churches. Am I spiritual? Are you spiritual? What does it mean to be spiritual? Do we walk daily with God? Will we? Can we? What does the phrase mean to you? How would you know if you reached that goal? The obvious answer involves Bible reading and prayer, but is that all? Does the mission statement merely affirm an intention to read the Bible more and pray every day?
In recent translations, the word "walk" is frequently translated "live." I will live daily with God. What is being affirmed? Since the Bible refers to the church as the bride of Christ, consider these parallels from marriage.
To walk with God daily implies...
RELATIONSHIP. A husband and wife exist in a unique relationship of commitment, dependability, forgiveness, understanding, acceptance, and belonging. Whether the relationship is up or down, a husband-wife team stays together. While feelings are a part of the relationship, feelings do not determine the reality of the relationship. We are in love when we do not feel in love. We walk together when we feel like it, and when we do not. No person can live with God daily without first establishing a relationship with God. The beginning point of a daily walk is relationship. Item One: Am I in a saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ?
INTIMACY. To walk with a spouse implies intimacy and closeness. When we are in one another's company and when we are not, because we know one another and care for one another and are in one another's lives, we share intimacy. Intimacy is internal. Intimacy is what I value deep within. Item Two: God and the things of God will be close to my heart, of value, intimate.
LOYALTY. This is a capstone of living for and with another. My allegiance is to my wife each day whether I talk with her or not. When I am on a foreign mission trip and we cannot talk daily, I live for her. The daily walk is daily communication, yet more. To walk with God implies loyalty and commitment. Item Three: God is my God and I will be loyal to him.
When we learn relationship, intimacy, and loyalty to God, we will find the daily nature of the relationship easier--meditation, prayer, dreaming of God's work, planning, listening to God, and seeking his kingdom first are natural.
I think I will adopt the mission statement as my own. I will work on my Bible study and prayer habits. I will study more and pray more. I will seek to know Christ, establish relationship, seek intimacy, and live faithfully in full allegiance to him. Will you join me? Let us begin NOW!
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