ANYBODY CAN WALK STRAIGHT Andy Hollifield 9-17-17
Exodus 18:20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
Joshua 22:5 But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Psalms 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Matthew 7: 13 &14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (14) Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
I know that is a lot of verses but that is just a few of the best ones that I found in the bible pertaining to the word “walk”. “Walk” is used 212 times throughout the bible. One of the interesting things that I noticed in doing just a small word study is that the word “walk” most of the time comes with a promise. If you walk with the Lord, you are promised the good things of God. If you don’t walk in his ways, you are promised judgment and destruction. That shouldn’t be a hard choice for any of us to make; just walk with the Lord. If any one of us went to a financial planner concerning investments and he said, “If you invest here you are surely going to lose, but if you invest over here instead, you are surely going to come out good” we would all take his advice and invest where it would work to our benefit. It really is that simple when it comes to walking with the Lord.
A couple or 3 weeks ago, Pastor Terry Sprouse at State Street Baptist in Asheville made a statement that I jotted down because it kind of stuck with me. He said this, “anybody can walk straight”. I thought a lot about that and you may think that I just go around robbing other preacher’s thoughts but actually I just realize that I haven’t “arrived” so to speak, and I can still learn from other folks. I have even learned while feeding cattle and goats and the Lord has used those things to impress a message upon my heart. I even had a donkey once that was real skittish and if you were standing beside her and flinched, she would immediately turn away from you and kick. I learned that if she turned one way, I needed to turn the other way and run. You may be thinking “what could I have possibly learned from that”. To be honest I learned that if you are walking with someone and they turn and kick and run off, I need to run twice as hard the other way. If you can learn from a donkey, learning from the brethren isn’t a problem.
As I got to thinking about Terry’s statement I thought “how can anybody walk straight?” All of the scriptures listed above promise benefits of walking the straight way with the Lord. I read several scriptures that promised longer life just by walking with the Lord and in his ways. In Exodus 18, the thing I noticed in that verse was that God told the Israelites that they must walk in his way and told them the work they must do, it wasn’t optional. It isn’t optional in our day either. If you want the good things of God, you have to walk his way. If you refuse to walk in his ways in obedience, at some point his mercy will run out and judgment will begin. If God did not withhold judgment from his “chosen people” the Jews, he will not withhold it from us. Every time throughout their history that they refused to walk in his ways, he brought judgment and captivity on them. While in captivity, they would moan and groan and cry out to God for mercy and forgiveness. He would grant it and release them from captivity and bless them again, only for them to repeat the cycle later down the road and rebel against him once again. That makes me think of our country. We are pretty bad to call on him when we need something and try to kick him out of everywhere when things are good. If you think about it, we also follow the same pattern as individuals. Proverbs 3:15 says that, “good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard”. That should tell us all we need to know about sticking with the Lord. In Jeremiah 6 it says the old paths are the good way. That’s not hard to figure out.
Anyone that has been saved and walked with the Lord very long at all can testify to this fact: when you walk with the Lord, he not only walks with you but he guides you and leads you according to Psalms 23 and there are continual blessings along the way. If you walk contrary to the will of the Lord, you are walking on your own and subjecting yourself to God’s judgment. I have not always walked with the Lord like I should have since I have been saved. God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11) and I was loaded down with guilt and fear in those times. But, boy when I have strived to walk with the Lord in obedience to his commandments in my life; how sweet it has been! In times of trouble, he has been a very present help (Psalms 46:1). In good times it has been “joy unspeakable and full of glory” as Peter said in 1 Peter 1:8. In times of fear, “perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 1:18). In times of sickness, he has been a healer just as he was in his ministry on this earth. In the middle of the night when the baby was running a fever, when we called on him he rebuked the fever just as he did for Peter’s mother in law in Luke 4:39. In times of doubt and confusion, he has given “the peace of God which passeth all understanding,” to keep my heart and mind (Philippians 4:7). In times of crisis he has come to my side and calmed the wind and waves in my life by simply saying to them, “Peace, be still (Mark 4:39).
I could go on and on in my life and tell you what he has been to me and all he has done but I couldn’t scratch the surface. He “daily loadeth us with benefits” (Psalms 68:19). In Romans 8:28 he promises that everything in our life is being worked by him for his purpose and to our benefit. My assessment of what he has been is really good….for me. What about your life? What has he been to you? How many times has he brought you back from the brink of destruction? How many times has he built the hedge around you as he did for Job in chapter 1? How many storms has he calmed in your life? How many times has he give you peace in the midst of trouble that you simply couldn’t understand? You may be asking yourself, “what has all this got to do with walking straight?” It’s obvious if you have ever been a guilty distance from the Lord. These are just some of the benefits of walking with him. There is no condemnation if you have accepted him as your Savior. If you are one of his, he will lead and guide you in the paths of righteous for his names sake (Psalms 23). Yeah, I have to agree that anybody can walk straight: and why wouldn’t you want to? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!