How Do We Walk with God?
by Anne Peterson
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." - Colossians 2:6-7
I still remember the day I accepted the Lord. I went from hoping I would one day go to heaven, to knowing I'd go to heaven. It stopped being about me and what I did and didn't do, and instead was about the Lord Jesus and all He did. I was immediately instructed to get into the Bible where I'd learn about God's character. Our Bible teacher, Lois, didn't give us a pair of rose-colored glasses and hand out platitudes when we struggled as baby Christians. I remember at times she would say, "Smile, it's gonna get worse."
Was that a pessimistic view? No. She wanted us to know that there would be trials coming. And she was right about that, among other things. Those were wise words Lois taught us. Words I've never forgotten. But honestly, it doesn't mean I didn't sometimes question God when going through difficult times, times that seemed impossible. Most people question God at one time or another.
And yet, being in God's Word was the best place to be, to get prepared for the trials of life. Does the Bible have specific answers to what we will face? I can tell you this, the Bible teaches us all about God's character. And when we learn that, we know that we can face whatever is before us. For He is with us. Will it be easy? No. But we won't have to face it alone.
When I was younger in the Lord, I thought the verse for today meant we received Christ by faith, so we just need to walk in Him like that, by faith. And while faith is the key that unlocked the door, the rest of the verse explains how we're to do that.
...rooted and built up in Him
There's no way to be rooted up in Christ without going through trials. And as things we face become difficult, our roots go a little deeper. We learn to trust in God's ability, not our own. And sometimes, that's a hard lesson to learn. We may not be capable of handling the things before us, but our God can. He tells us to cast our burdens before Him (Psalm 55:22).
Often, we take on things that were not meant for us to carry. But nothing is too big for our Father's hands. When we trust in the Lord, He honors that trust, and we are built up. Not in ourselves, which would make us proud. But instead, we learn that God is the one who gives us strength and power when we merely have 5 stones and a slingshot. Like David, we can face our Goliaths, because God is with us.
…strengthened in the faith
We can't get strengthened in faith without learning how to flex our faith muscles. Just like the strength of a ship is not known without going through a storm. When we go through hard times, we experience that God is always bigger than what we face. He is, after all, God.
…overflowing with thankfulness
I don't know about you, but I have a hard time with this part of the verse. It sounds a lot like the verse that tells us to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18). Does it mean when you've lost a loved one you are to thank God? I believe we need to thank God for who He is, even when we don't understand what is happening. God understands, and that's enough. Even when I've stood before the graves of those I've lost, which I've done many times, I knew I was not alone. God promised me that in His Word. And God always keeps His promises.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
One thing that's helpful in growing our faith muscles is to look back on times that were difficult and remind ourselves how God brought us through those times. David was good at doing that. The enemy of our souls tries to convince us that this time is different and that God is tired of helping us. The Bible tells us that God is immutable, He doesn't change. And he never grows tired or weary (Isaiah 40:28).
How do we walk with God? One step at a time. We learn to walk in His steps. And when we're unsure of our next step, we can be thankful God already knows.
Lord, help me to trust you when I'm not sure what to do next. Thank you that you are never unsure. Thank you for Your Word, which can light my path when things seem so dark.
- Do a study of casting burdens. You'll find at least 42 verses.
- Proverbs 3: 5-6
- Read my article on Crosswalk: God Makes Himself Known Even When He is Silent
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Anne Peterson is a poet, speaker, and published author of 16 books. Her most recent book is Always There: Finding God's Comfort through Loss. Anne has published 42 Bible Studies and numerous articles with christianbiblestudies.com. She has been a regular contributor to Crosswalk for seven years. Visit Anne’s website at annepeterson.com and sign up for a free eBook or visit her Facebook page. You can also subscribe to Anne’s YouTube channel where you can watch her recite her poems and share her heart.