BY DONNA CHURCHILL
“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
(1 John 2:6)
About 12 years ago I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis (degenerative disk disease). By the mercy of God, chiropractic care and monthly massages, I have managed to be very nearly pain free for all these years. But last August, I started to have some problems with my left leg and one morning I woke up and was not able to walk from my bedroom to the next room. The pain in my left leg was excruciating. It was a Saturday, so I was not able to see the chiropractor until Monday, and even then he couldn’t do anything for me, the pain and inflammation was too intense. He suggested a doctor’s visit for some prednisone. To make a long story short, after two rounds of prednisone, I still could not walk or stand for longer than a minute because of intense pain. My quality of life became greatly diminished.
During this time, I started to seek the Lord regarding this matter. He spoke to me very quietly and graciously about my “walk” with Him. He gave me the Scripture quoted above. I started asking Him – how am I not walking “even as he walked?” The Lord answered that question and began showing me areas in my life where I was not walking as He walked.
The Greek word for walk or walked in this verse is peripateo and it means “to tread all around; walk at large; live; be occupied with.” Basically, it means how you live your life, how you walk out your life daily. Is it in His presence or apart from His presence? I began asking the Lord to help me walk as Jesus walked; to help me live as Jesus lived.
The Lord started revealing areas of pride in my heart and a lack of humility. The pain in my heart became much greater than any pain I had felt in my leg.
The Word says, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:6, 10
And just in case we missed it the first time, He pretty much repeats it again in 1 Peter 5:5-7 - “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
Don’t miss this – “God resisteth the proud…” I’m sure you remember - pride is what got Lucifer kicked out of heaven! This is no small thing. I remember saying something to the Lord to the effect – “God, I’m 71 years old and I have been a Christian for 47 years; how did I miss this?”
Looking back, I don’t think I completely missed this. I just think God was taking me around the same old mountain because there was so much more I needed to learn!
Shortly after this, the Lord placed a small book in my hands, appropriately titled, Humbled, Welcoming the Uncomfortable Work of God.
An uncomfortable work it truly is! But I don’t want to be in a position for very long where God is actively resisting me.
I am learning that humility is the essential ingredient in relationships – with the Lord and with people. Scripture speaks extensively about “preferring one another in the Lord,” “esteeming one another as better than ourselves,” and more, but I think you get the picture.
When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, all of a sudden they realized they were naked; their sin was exposed – the sin of pride. Satan had tempted them with the promise that they could be like God. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5
And God continues to this day to reveal our sin, my sin, of pride because of the damage it does to relationship! Adam and Eve’s awareness of their sin caused them to hide from God and the sin of pride still does that to us today. It separates us from God and effectively separates us from others, too, in the process.
I thank God He is making me more aware of how this sin affects my daily life. This is a life-long school I’m enrolled in. I thank God that He hasn’t left me in that place of pride and I thank Him that because of Jesus “the goodness of God…. leadeth thee to repentance.” (Romans 2:4)
My heart’s desire is to “walk even as He walked.” And just exactly how did Jesus walk?
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:” Philippians 2:5-9
There it is right there – the very fulfillment of the Scriptures we read in James and 1 Peter. He is our greatest example.
One of my humorous responses when someone is trying to teach me or show me something new is, “You can teach an old dog new tricks – it just takes a little longer!”
I thank God He’s willing to spend my life teaching me.