CC Photo Credit: Colby Stopa
“So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:3 (MSG)
“But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Look down and have mercy on me. Give your strength to your servant;” – Psalm 86:15-16a (NLT)
Have you ever wondered why human babies have to “practice” walking? Some animals possess the ability to walk, even run, right after birth. Humans need some extra practice.
The Walk of a Lifetime
Human babies have big heads and relatively weak necks. The central nervous system of a human baby isn’t fully developed at birth. Muscle coordination is not a human babies’ strong suit; those little, uncoordinated muscles are weak. All of those factors combined, mean a baby has to practice before walking begins; muscles require strengthening and balance needs mastering. Without thinking about it, you tense certain muscles, while relaxing others, to take a step. The only time you notice what your muscles are doing when walk is if your muscles are sore from some previous strenuous activity.
If you are reading this, chances are walking is an automatic activity for you. Unless you have suffered some injury or illness leaving your muscles weak or uncoordinated, you don’t even think about walking. You simply, walk.
God’s command in Micah 6:8 is to walk humbly with your God. That seems to be a more difficult task. Usually by the age of 2 babies are proficient at walking. Mastering the humble walk God is looking for takes a lifetime.
Before you start your Monday off feeling like a failure, only 4 humans hold the distinction of walking with God: Enoch, Noah, Abraham and John the Baptist’s dad, Zachariah. (Well, 5 – don’t forget Jesus.) Those are big shoes to fill, especially on Monday. The words of the old hymn come to mind; Prone to wonder Lord, I fell it. Prone to leave the God I love.
Choosing a Path
It’s not so much the task of walking that’s difficult, it’s the path. God’s walk leads the believer on a path that is foreign to the human footstep. God’s path leads you places you may not care to go on your own. God’s walk is not merely moving your feet. The humble walk encompasses the words that so many googly-eyed lovers have quoted at their wedding. Those words are the guideline for the daily humble walk God requires.
Paul sketched it out in 1 Corinthians 13. You can speak well, powerfully and effectively but without love it’s noise. You can give up all the things you have, but without love, it’s worthless. It’s reminiscent of the snotty response God’s people gave to the “charges” leveled against them in Micah 6:6-7. God doesn’t want your stuff if He doesn’t have your heart.
God’s list is a difficult path for the heart that is “prone to wonder:”
- Love never gives up
- Love cares more for others than for self
- Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have
- Love doesn’t strut
- Doesn’t have a swelled head
- Doesn’t force itself on others
- Isn’t always “me first”
- Doesn’t fly off the handle
- Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others
- Doesn’t revel when others grovel
- Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth
- Puts up with anything
- Trusts God always
- Always looks for the best
- Never looks back, but keeps going to the end. 1 Corinthians 13 (MSG)
You see the humble walk God is after, isn’t about you. It’s about keeping your life in step with His; and God IS love.
Mastering the Art
Mastering this kind of walk takes supernatural help. You may be able to take a few of these steps on your own, but eventually, if you are relying on your own ability, you’ll trip on something in this list. The best news is; God is kind and patient. God will help you learn to walk like this.
As you stumble and fall while learning this humble walk, God will pick you up. Keep getting up. Keep reaching out for Him. Keep strengthening your spiritual muscles. Let God’s Spirit teach you the balance this humble walk requires.
God will help you master this walk.