It has been a joy to watch my little granddaughter learn to walk. I’ve watched her get stronger and learn the basics of balance through sitting alone, crawling, pulling up and finally standing alone. I was fortunate enough to be there when she took her first steps from her mom to her dad. And I can tell you, it was a wonder for everyone involved! We could tell she was delighted with this new ability, and she wanted to practice over and over. It took a little work to get the balancing part down, but she was always raring to go! She would wobble toward one person (usually giggling), then she was ready to turn around and go back. In fact, sometimes we couldn’t get her turned around and stabilized before she lunged forward toward someone else and would fall into their arms (also usually giggling). She was eager to polish this new skill, and she was fortunate that mom, dad, and others were there to catch her or lend a hand when she lost her footing.
When we surrender our life to Christ, we are now a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). But we don’t become “perfect” overnight. In fact, in this life we will never be perfect. Only Jesus lived a perfect life.
However, when we become a follower of Christ, our heart undergoes a transformation. Our desires and motivations begin to change. Just like my granddaughter, we start wanting to learn how to “walk” in this new life. (Ephesians 2:10) And just like a baby, it takes learning and practicing of new skills to develop the ability to walk out our faith in a way that honors God.
As we try out our spiritual “legs”, we will wobble at times, we’ll mess up and sometimes even fall on our faces. But our Heavenly Father is there to catch us and stand us back up to try again. He isn’t disappointed. In fact, He’s right there, ready to teach and to guide us. And scripture tells us that there are witnesses cheering us on! (Hebrews 12:1)
As a Believer exercises skills such as the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control – Galatians 5:22-23), we realize we must become more dependent on God and the Holy Spirit that lives within us to walk according to God’s will. As we lean into Him, our desire to do His will gets stronger and we are less concerned with what WE want. (2 Corinthians 5:15)
Just like a baby gets better and better with balance and movement and gross motor skills through practice, so we will know God more intimately by practicing the basics of our Christian faith (prayer, Bible study, “alone time” in God’s presence, Christian community).
Let me encourage you to look at prayer, Bible study, Christian community and time set apart to be alone with God as integral skills that must be practiced consistently to “walk” closer to Him.
These days, walking is almost second nature to my granddaughter. She is working on lots of new skills. And her parents are teaching, guiding, and cheering her on!
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him. Colossians 2:6 ESV