“Just as you received Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6,7
My oldest son recently graduated from high school.
Seeing him dressed in a cap and gown was a little surreal. I mean, seriously, where’d the time go? It seems like only yesterday we dropped him off at kindergarten wearing a backpack twice his size.
But those kindergarten days are long gone.
In many ways, graduation signifies his first steps into young adulthood. The road ahead will require him to take personal responsibility for all sorts of things, most importantly, his faith.
Is he ready?
Better yet, am I?
Feeling a little helpless about the whole situation, I’ve prayed Paul’s words in Colossians more times than I can count. Each phrase in today’s verse is a sermon in and of itself, challenging us to grow in our faith and echoing my heart as the dad of a soon-to-be college freshman.
• Yield to the Lordship of Christ.
• Sink your roots deep in Him.
• Let gratitude overflow from within.
Yet, the entire verse hinges on the five-word phrase in the middle – “continue to live in Him.” This is where the rubber meets the proverbial road. If we don’t make the ongoing choice to continue to live in Christ, our roots will not grow deep, we will never be “built up in Him,” and thankfulness will quickly fade from our lives.
In the original language, “continue to live in Him” is translated as “continue to walk in Him.” If you stop and think about it, a walk really is a beautiful picture of the Christian life. When we walk with someone, we walk in the same direction and generally at the same pace. We converse with them about what’s on our hearts and minds. It’s a wonderful way to deepen the relationship.
Furthermore, walking entails continual forward progress. We cannot walk and stay in the same place. It’s impossible. (Unless we’re walking on treadmills at the gym!)
The same applies to our walk with the Lord. We are called to continuously walk towards spiritual maturity, growing in the “grace and knowledge of God” (2nd Peter 3:18).
Yet, the temptation for all of us, not just graduating seniors, is that for one reason or another, we grow complacent, even stagnant. But the Lord didn’t suffer the agony of the cross, so we would just stand still in the knowledge and contentment that we’ve been saved from hell. No, He saved us so that we’d continuously walk with Him and move onward toward maturity.
Remember, salvation is the beginning of our journey with Jesus, not the end. Charles Spurgeon says, “Conversion is a turning onto the right road. The next thing to do is walk on it.” So, while we made a one-time decision to “receive Jesus as Lord” in our past, we demonstrate His Lordship by walking with Him in our present.
Ask yourself, “Am I walking with Jesus, progressing toward spiritual maturity? Or have I somehow stalled out along the way?”
My son is beginning his journey through young adulthood, and I can only hope I have been a good role model as a dad.
You may be at the beginning of your journey with Jesus. If that’s the case, I encourage you to continue the walk, putting one foot in front of the other, seeking His will daily.
Or you’ve known the Lord for a long time, and, as I said earlier, you have just stalled out somewhere along the way. You are not alone. Many of us have found ourselves in the same place. But you don’t have to stay there. Finding your path back to the Father is through prayer – asking Jesus to help you walk with Him again.
Whether at the beginning of adulthood or finding your way back, you can always be assured that Jesus is waiting for you.
So, Christian friend, walk on.
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director, RFTH
Live it out
Find a quiet location- (a room, your car, outside, etc.) to regularly pray to the Lord.
READ James 5:13-17. In what ways are you encouraged by verse 17?