THE REV. BILLY GRAHAM
Q: I went to a new church recently and heard a sermon about walking in the Spirit of God, but the pastor never explained what that means. Can you help me understand this? – S.W.
A: To walk means to place one foot in front of the other and to go forward one step at a time. If you stop doing this, you are no longer walking. You are standing still – or worse, going backwards. Walking always implies movement, progress and direction.
Parents who take their child for a walk generally want the child to stay close so that he or she does not stumble over rocks or slip. Parents should guide the child and teach him or her how to anticipate problems ahead. This is what God wants us to do – stay close to Him.
No wonder God commanded that we walk with Him. Doing so means we are moving forward in step with Him, confident that the way He is leading is best. Now many people ask God to walk with them as they sprint through life, never consulting Him in prayer or by reading the Bible – God’s roadmap to life.
We often do this because we are weak. We forget to look to our Guide. We stumble or get diverted, or get weary and stop moving forward. But that is one reason why the Spirit of God has been given to those who trust in Him. Galatians 5:16 could be paraphrased this way: “Walk by means of the Spirit.”
One of the highest commendations in the Bible is found in these words about Noah: “Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6).