1-3In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. (Eph. 4:1-3)
Paul is imprisoned for preaching the gospel message, but he takes his call to preach the gospel, plant and establish churches, and encourage believers in Christ seriously. He writes to the Ephesian church, even when he cannot be at their homes and in their synagogue preaching the message, in order to encourage them to keep growing in the faith. His words are clear - get out there and walk! Okay, before you jump off the deep end and tune me out, I am not heading down the path of needing to adopt a physical exercise program! Paul wanted us to know that we need to be active in our spiritual walk - avoiding the urge to settle in and rest comfortable in the realm of our spiritual growth. It would make Satan very happy to know that we have decided "we've arrived" and then just settle in and relax in what we have received in Christ without growing any further!
It is a road that God has called us to travel - to make strides, some quicker than others, but consistent progress toward a goal. I am planning a trip in just 29 days and am eagerly awaiting our departure. As I do so, there is a great deal of planning that is underway - what will I pack for the journey, what will nourish us along the 300 mile drive to our destination, what pathway must we follow to get there, and the list goes on. In our spiritual walk, we are always preparing for a journey! We no sooner get to one destination in Christ that we are preparing for our next! Behind the scenes of our life, there are "planners" just preparing the course and readying the experiences we will take in along the way. Our part is to be ready, packed and anticipatory of the hour we are to begin the next journey.
We ready ourselves (packing, as it were, in a spiritual sense) by exposing ourselves to the Word, allowing it to take root in our lives. As we do, we are laying up "provisions" for our journey - we are prepared in advance for what it is we will experience. The path is revealed for us by "God's Positioning System" (spiritual GPS) - his Word, his Spirit, and his urging in our spirit. We can count on his leading to be just the course we need to travel in order to accomplish maximum benefit for our journey.
Paul knows us all too well - even though he never met those of us reading this message today! Those "fits and starts" he warns us against are all too common of an occurrence in our lives! We mean well, then "peter" out. He reminds us that the enjoyment of the journey is in running it, not in observing it from a position of idleness. So, today is a new day for each of us. Are your bags packed? The journey awaits!