I have spent so much of my journey thus far following Jesus stumbling, falling, flailing on the ground, and dragging myself off the ground for just long enough to take a few wobbly steps before falling flat on my face again that I was utterly shocked to discover that for the first time ever I believe I am finally truly standing – not to mention walking.
photo courtesy of public domain pictures via pixabay.com
If you have come to discover as I have that God calls us to walk by faith rather than to CRAWL by faith, there is a reason. Just like a baby goes from crawling to standing and ultimately walking, those of us who are born again by believing in Jesus as Lord and that He died on the cross for us have some serious growing up to do. The third chapter of John in the Bible makes it clear we must be born again to have everlasting life, and that this birth is a spiritual birth. Guess what happens after we are born. We have to grow! That comes by studying and applying the Bible to our lives and, most importantly, engaging in an intimate relationship with the Lord. Suffice it to say that some babies take lots longer to grow. Despite how long it’s taken me, I’m just so grateful to finally be standing and walking. Do I still stumble? Absolutely. And fall? Without a doubt. But I have learned how to stand and walk. It wasn’t so very long ago at all that I kept getting kicked, boxed down, and beaten up and knocked down by the devil. He would love nothing more than to keep followers of Jesus Christ from growing up in the image of the Lord. Needless to say, I spent so much time on the ground that it was virtually impossible for me to believe I would ever stand. But the Bible is clear that in order to stand, we need to wear and use the full armor of God. It is the armor I use today that helps me to stand.
Something that is on my mind lots these days is perseverance. Think about it. Learning involves practice, over and over. Learning involves endurance. Growth takes perseverance. Quitting doesn’t get us to where we need to go. I am thankful that my long-time tenacity, so often used for the wrong reasons and with detrimental results, is now being used to hold on tenaciously to the Lord and to have a no-quit attitude when it comes to the Lord’s calling on my life, and, most importantly, my relationship with Him.
Remember the days an adult in the family measured a child’s growth on the wall? Interestingly, I was just as slow growing physically as a child as I have been growing spiritually. But I kept growing physically until I got to the height God intended me to be. My full standing height, that is. And I am fully committed to continuing to walk with the Lord, day by day, as I grow spiritually until, as the Bible says, I come “unto full stature” – my full height as a woman of God.
Just where do you “stand” when it comes to the Lord? Have you been reborn by repenting, confessing Jesus as Lord, and believing He died on the cross and rose again to pay the penalty for your sins? What have you done since your rebirth? Are you growing up in the ways of the Lord? Are you growing up in His image? Do you find yourself mostly flat on your face from falling? Or are you beginning to learn how to stand? Are you walking with the Lord? Or still crawling?
I want to encourage you, no matter where you are in your journey with the Lord, to truly follow Jesus. We don’t follow by staying down on the ground with bruises, cuts, scrapes, and sores from falling. We don’t follow Him by crawling like a baby. We follow Him by learning to stand – and learning to walk. In the strength of the Lord. Walk, my brothers and sisters. Walk!
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these [a]signs that You do unless God is with him.”3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born [b]again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born [c]again.’8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?”10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;15 so that whoever [d]believes will in Him have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His[e]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:1-16 NASB
…until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the[e]knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature [f]which belongs to the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:13 NASB
For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,… Proverbs 24:16 NASB
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.12 For our struggle is not against [e]flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and havingput on the breastplate of righteousness,15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 [f]in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17
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