Forward Progress

Isn’t it fun to watch a little baby progress in the different stages of mobility? First the learn to sit up without falling over, then they begin to scoot around until they can do a good army crawl, and then whether you like it or not they soon will be walking on their own. That is forward progress. We want to see these stages in a baby’s development.

God wants to see the progress for His kids too. God has actually designed our walk as believers in similar fashion. In the book of Ephesians the Apostle Paul teaches that we sit, walk and stand. In Ephesians 2:6 he writes, “For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.” NLT. When we become new babies in Christ we are no longer dead in our spirits but alive in Jesus. We are children of God in our position but we are not yet standing up on two feet all by ourselves. Just like babies do we first have to learn to sit up. We as Christians are in our infancy stage and we learn about all that God has given to us. We understand that we are to grow and mature as we feed on the milk of the Word and though we are not yet strong enough to walk we will soon be able to move on to the next stage of walking.

Ephesians 5:8 says, “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, walk as children of light.” Colossians 2:6 says, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.” How do we walk in Christ? The very same way we learned to sit.  We do it by faith. We look back and remember that we learned how to sit on our own so we trust that we will be able to pull ourselves up into a standing position and walk. One step at time we move forward. The muscles have become stronger as we learned to sit and now it is time to test things out. The first few steps are awkward and you will fall down from time to time but before you know it you are walking at break-neck speed. Off you go and there is no looking back. There is actually a scripture that comes to mine in Philipians 3:14, “I’m off and running and I’m not turning back.” MSG. Yes, there is no going back. You are walking out your salvation. You are becoming a force to be reckoned with because you are passionate about living this life God has called you to and you want to make an impact. But watch out! There is someone who wants to trip you up. His name is the devil.

We are reminded in Ephesians 6:10 about this. “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” Now that you are stronger and able to walk out your salvation the devil does not want to see you succeed. He will make many attempts to knock you down. It is your responsibility to learn how to stand your ground.  A few verses down in verse 13 Paul writes, “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing.” I like the part of you will still be standing!

We have to have our spiritual armor on and our spiritual muscles strong and ready for a fight. There will be a fight. Maybe several fights and we want to be able to come out on top.

Contrary to what some have said living a Christian life is not a piece of cake! It is not without challenges. Once you learned that you were seated in Christ as his child you move on to walking out the truths you learned as a baby Christian. You mature as you keep going forward and you prepare yourself for the inevitable event of learning to stand strong when things get tough. Don’t get knocked down and sit there until Jesus comes. Get up! Run the race and don’t look back.

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

 

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