Thomas Jefferson: Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.
Abraham Lincoln: I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.
George W. Bush: Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger which in Texas is called “walking.”
Go about your ordinary life during the first week of a New Year, and you will see more than your fair share of people who have resolved to exercise. Many people, perhaps because it doesn’t “cost” anything, as does a gym, for example, or a bicycle, or because they lack the strength and agility to run, choose to walk.
Please note the use of the word “perhaps.” You may choose to walk simply because you like walking. And so we should.
Walking improves your health.
Improves heart health.
Aids weight loss.
Regulates blood pressure.
Reduces risk of diabetes.
Boosts immune function.
As for mental and emotional health, walking can:
Boost your mood
Improve brain activity, and memory
Help you reflect and think.
Walk is mentioned 390 times in the Bible.
Here are a few examples.
God. Genesis 3:8. The Lord God walked in the garden in the cool of the day.
Enoch. Genesis 5: 22. Enoch walked with God.
Noah. Genesis 6: 9. Noah walked with God.
Abraham. Genesis 13: 17. Walk through the land I will give thee.
Children of Israel. Exodus 14: 29. Walked in the midst of the Red Sea.
Leviticus 26. God commands his people 6 times not to walk “contrary” to Him.
Deuteronomy 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 19, 26, 28, 30. God commands to walk “in his ways.”
Perhaps the best known and best-loved verse on “walking” is:
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.
One of my favorite verses on walking is Luke 13: 31: Jesus said, “I must walk today and tomorrow, and the day following.” If ever there were an example to follow, it is this one.
Elsewhere. Psalms, Proverbs, Prophets, the Gospels, the Epistles.
We are to walk uprightly, before the Lord, in His paths, in His light, humbly, in light, in newness of life, not after the flesh, honestly, by faith, in the Spirit, in Christ, worthy.
Today, we will discuss only one principle on “how to walk” that applies to each of us no matter “where we are” in life.
Ephesians 4: 1-3 I therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
Worthy. Of commendable excellence or merit.
My great grandmother was Mary Texana Vinson. She was married to a sheep farmer and scraped out a hard life on the plains of West Texas. She married at 13 and had her first baby at 14. Twelve other children followed. One of them was my grandmother, Alma. My grandmother worked in laundry or a cleaners her whole life. She never went one day to college, but made sure my mother did. My mother graduated from college at 19. She taught in the Duval County public schools for over 30 years and even substitute taught after she retired.
I want to walk worthy of the women who came before me.
And we should desire to walk worthy of the Lord, which means something different for each of us.
Vocation: a “call.” [Think of “vocal.”]
As believers to what are we called? What is our “job description”?
Galatians 1:6. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.
Galatians 5: 13. For brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
I Timothy 6:12. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou are also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
II Timothy 1:9. Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
I Peter 2:19-21. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps.
Colossians 1:9-11. 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; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness…
Two aspects of successful walking are: schedule, that is, consistency, and staying motivated. For best results, we need to walk every day…and keep walking.
This brings us back to the description of Jesus: “I must walk today, and tomorrow, and the day following.” He walked every day, and had no home to walk to at night, walked with twelve men, who remained slow to understand what He said, and among whom was one who would betray Him, walked among throngs of people, who always wanted something from Him, walked among critics, unbelievers, scoffers, enemies. And He was ultimately walking toward the cross.
One of the reasons we “stop walking,” that is, stop moving forward and maintaining our spiritual health, is our disappointment in results, in ourselves, in the circumstances under which we must keep walking, bearing the burden we must continue to bear, all the while we are trying to move one foot in front of the other. This is also one reason we are hesitant to keep praying, why we give up believing when our attempts at moving forward fail.
Be reminded: Jesus left us an example that we should follow in his steps. I Peter 2: 21.
“Heavenly Father, Grant me to walk as Christ walked, the life of love, of faith, of holiness. Help me to love Thee with soul, body, mind, strength. Fill me with grace daily, that my life be a fountain of sweet water.” –The Valley of Vision
They that wait upon the Lord…shall walk and not faint.