October 23, 2008

The Walk of Life

Paul begins his discourse on ethics earlier in his letter to Ephesians, noting the way in which each of us walked when we were spiritually dead, following the course of this world (Eph 2:1-2). The word walked is from the Greek peripateo, referring to the way in which we conduct our lives. It has to do with the principle way in which we choose to live.

Seven more times throughout the rest of the letter, walked is used to contrast the former way of living with the way that is found to be pleasing to the Lord...a way of conducting one's life as a child of God. This needs to be understood in distinction from the fact that as believers we still sin--and pursue a life of repentance. Walking or living in sin is not the same as being a sinner saved by grace.

As followers of Jesus, we need to be aware of our commitment, manifest in obedience. Because the Holy Spirit has sealed us in Christ and has created in us a new heart, we are able not only to obey, but to desire it as well.

So how in this world does it look to walk in ways that are pleasing to the Lord? We've got to be willing to examine the ideas and beliefs we hold and the issues and decisions we are confronted with on a daily basis. And as women serving God, we must be prepared to mentor young women in these times. The way this looks is to examine the latest trends, understand the ideas of the age, and evaluate the ways of the world. Trying to discern what is pleasing to the Lord is not as easy of a task as it once was, in my opinion. The many questions and choices that constantly bombard us require more than 'that's good for me' or 'God created me this way.' Daytime and primetime television is selling women the idea that the good life is merely what you determine it to be, and the politicians will simply agree with the popular opinion--that's the nature of politics

We are called to a faith that is both thoughtful and practical, but the two can never be separated. Historic Christianity requires that we avoid ritual and really understand what we believe, and live it. So walking in a way worthy of our calling demands more than just a casual devotional life or a spirituality that has no effect on our every day decisions. To walk in the way God expects requires that we consider how our faith impacts every corner of our lives, recognizing that there is nothing that God does not have his hand upon.

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