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Walking with Jesus
- Jacob Ninan
A mistake many Christians make is to assume that walking with God is a privilege that only a few 'great' men and women of God have, not realising that these people have become great because they walked with God! We learn to walk with God somewhat in the same way that we learn to walk physically, with attempts to get up and stand, take a few steps, and get up again when we fall. Physical walking comes instinctively, but our spiritual walk comes by choice!
Jesus tells us about a gate and a way, indicating that we need to first decide to walk with Him, and then to actually walk with Him daily along the way of life. We need to make this a deliberate choice and practice because the easier thing is to walk like everyone else around us, who are actually on the broad way to destruction (Mt.7:13,14). By their standards Jesus' way is narrow, because when we choose Jesus we simultaneously choose against things that are displeasing to Him.
The life of Joseph in the Old Testament gives us a challenging example of this walk. When his father Jacob gave him a multi-coloured robe his brothers began to hate him because of their envy. Then when he told them about the dreams he had at night where he saw them bowing down to him they became furious. But later on when Jacob asked Joseph to carry some food and refreshments to his brothers who were away pasturing sheep Joseph had no hesitation to do that! He was not harbouring any ill feelings towards his brothers.
When the brothers saw Joseph they wanted to kill him, but later sold him off as a slave. As a slave in Egypt in Potiphar's house, Joseph conducted himself so well that Potipher entrusted the entire responsibility of the household to him. What does this indicate but that Joseph was not nursing bitterness, grudges or hatred in his heart towards his brothers or God? When Potiphar's wife tried to entice him, he replied, "How can I do such wickedness against God?" (Ge.39:9). This woman falsely accused Joseph and he ended up in prison. In the prison his attitude and behaviour encouraged the jailer to give Joseph the responsibility over his fellow prisoners!
Joseph requested one of the prisoners who was going to be released to inform Pharaoh about his unjust imprisonment. But that man forgot all about it for two years. When Pharaoh had a dream that needed interpretation, this man suddenly remembered Joseph. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dream, and was awarded with the highest position in Egypt. Years later when Joseph met his brothers he told them that God had worked everything for good (Ge.50:19,20;Ro.8:28).
What we see here is that Joseph was walking consistently with God, seeking to please Him and denying himself from day to day in order to do that. Isn't this what Jesus asks us also to do (Lk.9:23)? Isn't that how we can walk with Jesus in a practical sense? The knowledge of God from His Word, the leading of the Holy Spirit and the fellowship with other disciples help us as we walk this way.