Walking by the Spirit..Romans 7:7-8:4
1) Recognise the problem: Sin is the problem.
2) Accept Jesus as the cure to the problem.
3) Walk in the Spirit
Christians need to walk in the Spirit. It is not an easy task. No baby is born walking. Just like the baby, Christians learn to walk… first by creeping, crawling, standing, then walk step by step.
I forgot how I first learned to walk as a toddler. But I definitely remember learning how to walk again after my fall. It was not an easy task after weeks of not using my feet and legs. I first had to learn how to stand, putting my weight on the good foot and put the bad foot down just enough to touch the floor. It was so hard. The therapist started me with 3 minutes – then 5 minutes, then 10. Each second seemed to tick away so slowly. It was a test of endurance.
I found that time goes by faster when I watched the TV while doing the exercise. Then as I do the exercises more often, I learned to get used to it more easily. It got easier. After this, I learned to hop with the walker. For the stairs I had to use the crutches. Going down one step, bad foot first, putting weight on the crutch then my good foot, was a challenge. I trembled just at the thought of it even before I started trying. Going up was worse. As I had cold sweat going down, I sweat from effort of hopping up the stairs with my good foot one step at a time. Whoa.. It was my most dreaded routine each time the therapist came to our house. When my surgeon gave me go signal to put 50% weight on my bad foot, I thought that was good news. Well, it was good but it was not really easy to walk with 50% weight on the bad foot. How do I know how much is 50% and not too much? There’s a methodology to this but I won’t bore you with the details.
Now to the important part of metaphor of learning to walk physically with learning to walk in the Spirit:
1) Everyone learns from the beginning. No one is born walking so does every Christian learns to walk by the Spirit. Learning starts with the will, the mind, the choice to learn.
2) To apply my own experience, it starts with standing. Standing on my good foot while putting the bad foot on the floor without putting any weight on it takes endurance. New Christians need the support of mature Christians to make them stand.
3) As we mature, we learn to walk better. As my bad foot gets better, I can put more weight on it. Then the good foot can let the bad foot carry more weight.
4) Even when we falter along the way, we can get up and try again. As the baby learns to walk, the parent allows him to fall but the parent helps him up and encourages the baby to try again. It takes patience, practice and perseverance.
5) Finally, the goal is towards complete and able walking. As I recall from where I started, it encourages me that there is improvement in the journey. From the wheelchair, to the walker, to the crutches, to partial weight, to limping, to stretching and exercising to bend my knee and bend my ankle, each stage is a milestone to celebrate. So with walking in the Spirit. As we practice listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit through unceasing prayers, through daily feeding on God’s Word, in attentive listening and deep meditation, we can learn to walk closely with our Lord Jesus… step by step, moment by moment, day by day until the journey’s end unto eternity.