Excerpted from The Wealth, Walk, and Warfare of the Christian by Ruth Paxson (1939).
God’s goal for every Christian is complete conformity to the image of His Son, and He would have every step in our walk bring us that much nearer to the goal. Such a walk requires on the manward side fullest co-operation with God. It demands a set purpose, a steady progress, and a strong perseverance. The Christian must resolutely purpose to “put off the old man,” and to “put on the new man.”
He must not be content without a step-by-step growth “up into him in all things;” and be must keep steadily on his course without faltering or fainting in spite of all opposition by not “giving place to the devil,” or “grieving the Spirit,” but rather by being filled with the Spirit and empowered by Him.
But how exceedingly difficult is such a walk! The old habits of life are so binding; the worldly currents about us are so strong; the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil are so subtle; the fear of being considered peculiar is so gripping; the opportunity of fellowship with spiritually-minded Christians is so limited.
To maintain a steady, sustained consistency in daily conduct is not an easy task. It is far easier to float downstream with the tide of nominal Christianity; to drift in the listlessness and lukewarmness of a worldly church.
Words of Grace for Strength
Friends it is time for “followers of Christ” to stop talking about being followers, and truly begin to WALK like Jesus walked.” Actions speak louder than words. It is time for “followers of Christ” to yell from the rooftops that they are His, no matter the cost, no matter the course.
It is too easy for us to “go along to get along,” drifting along in that tide of nominal Christianity that does not threaten the world—so the world does not hate us as much, and we can get by. Or even worse, to be lukewarm in a worldly church, claiming to be “of Christ” while doing damage because of the false faith we show. This not only appeases our conscience, not only placates the world by accepting more and more each day (that which is antithetical to the mind of Christ), but misleads those poor souls who would seek Christ—who instead have now fallen into the same spiritual fog we would stumble around in ourselves.
Light cannot abide the darkness, but darkness cannot abide in the light. Let us be the light of Christ in an ever darkening world, that beacon of love and hope that can draw others to Him as we draw closer to Him ourselves. A difficult walk, yes indeed. The Christian life is not an easy life in this world.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Without Christ it is an impossible life. There is no way to approach the uncompromising standards of Christ-like obedience without Him as Lord and Savior; without being His disciple and growing in Him daily. Yet as hard as the Christian life is in this world; the struggle, the pain, the torment and hopelessness of an eternity without Him makes it pale in comparison. And it is that hope, that Blessed Hope of a life in Christ in the eternal presence of everlasting divinity that makes the present world not only tolerable.
But we are engaged in a battlefield of warfare for the souls of all those who are now lost as we once were. A battlefield that we can walk through, that we can win through at the side of Jesus. It is exceedingly hard for us, but Jesus has won the war, and made it possible for us to prevail in this present battle if we would just turn to Him, put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20), and fight the good that He has instilled in us.
We are exceedingly rich with the life of Christ within us, we have stored treasures in heaven in Him. Now it is time to go and spend our very selves in service to the Lord poured out for Him. Fear not, for we will be filled yet again in His eternal presence. A cup of joy and thanksgiving awaits in that day when we are finally like Him. A cup that will never run dry, filled with the Living Water we will never grow weary tasting.
Dr. Tuck Whitaker and Andy Coticchio
Rafter Cross Ministries