Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Prayer for a Worthy Walk, XII of ?

Prayer For A Worthy Walk

Colossians 1:9-10

"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"

The Christian’s Constant Employment

To ‘Walk worthy of the Lord’ is the great task which is assigned the Christian, and it is to be attempted with the utmost seriousness as his principal care, and attended to with unwearied diligence as a matter of the utmost importance. To honour that blessed One whose we are and whom we serve, to so conduct myself that fellow saints glorify God in me (Gal. 1:24), to ‘adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things’ (Titus 2:10), should be my supreme quest and business, never to be forgotten or laid aside. The Christian ought to be even more earnest in endeavoring to approve himself to God than they who contend so zealously for the honours of this world and those who devote all their energies to acquiring its riches. We should make it our constant concern to bring no reproach upon the name of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. Otherwise we cannot magnify Him nor His cause here upon earth. It is not our talk but our walk that most furthers His interests. People soon forget what we say but they long remember Christlike conduct. Actions speak louder than words. The Lord has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light that we should ‘shew forth his praises’ or ‘virtues’.

If we are not walking worthily of the Lord, we lack evidence of our title to heaven. Of Enoch it was said that ‘before his translation [to heaven] he had this testimony, that he pleased God’ (Heb. 11:5). That looks back to Genesis 5:24 where we are told that ‘Enoch walked with God.’ Therein he ‘pleased’ Him, and that testimony bore witness to his eternal inheritance. Only as holiness is our aim do we have a token and an earnest that heaven is our portion, for without holiness ‘no man shall see the Lord’ (Heb. 12:14). The merits of Christ alone give anyone title to the inheritance, yet personal holiness confirms that title for us. There is no good hope toward Christ where there is no sincere effort to honour Him: ‘Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments’ (1 John 2:3). Only those are fit to live with Him hereafter who are conscientious about walking with Him here. At death we change our place but not our company. ‘They shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy’ (Rev. 3:4) - fitly disposed and prepared to do so. On the other hand, ‘Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived’ (1 Cor. 6:9-10). Those who gratify the flesh are necessarily excluded.

‘As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him’ (Col. 2:6). Unless we give the utmost attention to our daily walk and order it by the revealed will of God, we break that covenant which we solemnly entered into with Him at our conversion. It was then that we renounced all other lords, forsook our idols, surrendered ourselves to the righteous claims of the Lord, and promised that thenceforth we would love Him with all our hearts and serve Him with all our strength. We voluntarily and deliberately entered on a course of obedience to Him, where we ‘choose the things that please’ God, and thereby ‘take hold of his covenant’ (Isa. 56:4). Consequently, to return to the pleasing of self, or to seek the favour of men or the applause of the world, is a denial of the covenant and a throwing off of the yoke of Christ which formerly we took upon us. It is a practical denial that we are not our own but bought with a price. Such deplorable backsliding will issue in having a conscience that no longer is ‘void of offence’ but rather accuses and condemns us. The joy of salvation is then lost, the light of God’s countenance is then hid from us, that peace which passes all understanding is no longer our portion. Instead, darkness and doubts possess the heart, the rod of divine chastisement falls heavily upon us, our prayers remain unanswered, relish for the Word is gone.

We cannot enjoy conscious communion with Him unless we walk worthily of the Lord. We cannot have the comfort of His presence in every company or in all conditions. If we consort with the ungodly, the Lord is grieved and will evince His displeasure. If we turn to the pleasures of this world for satisfaction, His smile will be withheld from us. If we indulge the lusts of the flesh, He will say to us as He said to His people of old, ‘Your iniquities have separated between you and your God’ (Isa. 59:2). The one who has Christ’s commandments and keeps them proves his love to Him. To this one He says, ‘I will love him, and manifest myself to him.’ And again, ‘If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him’ (John 14:21, 23).

The Christian has been called to the fellowship of god’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Cor. 1:9). What an inestimable favour is that! How highly it should be valued, how tenderly cherished! The root idea of fellowship is partnership - one having something in common with another. In wondrous love and amazing condescension the Lord Jesus designed to make the interests of His people His own. That was unspeakable grace on His part, and what does it call for from us? Surely that deepest gratitude should now make His interest ours. We should exercise the utmost circumspection in avoiding everything that would injure His interests; we should now exert ourselves to the utmost in promoting the honour of His name on earth. ‘Love so amazing, so divine, demands my love, my life, my all!’ What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits but to earnestly endeavour to walk worthily of Him.

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