We learned in Part 3 that Paul prayed that the Colossians would “walk worthy of the Lord” and he instructed how to bring this about (Col. 1:10-12NKJV). To walk worthy of the Lord is a wonderful goal for Christian living. In other New Testament passages, our walk is required to be “worthy” in other respects as well:
- Our walk should be “worthy of the saints” (Rom. 16:2). In the New Testament, the name “saint” applies to every believer because every believer has been “set apart” for God. Therefore we must be holy in every aspect of our lives. In this verse the action “worthy of the saints” is particularly that of receiving another “saint” – Phoebe, in this case – for practical Christian fellowship. Do we in our local churches receive other believers for practical Christian fellowship in a manner worthy of “saints”?
Old Testament Saints Who Walked Worthy Of God
When Paul prayed that the Colossian believers would “walk worthy of the Lord,” he added “and may please Him in every way” (Col. 1:10 NIV). Enoch’s “walk with God” actually achieved this: he lived a godly life in the corrupt antediluvian world (Gen. 5:21-24; Heb. 11:5). Enoch had constant communion with the Supreme One for the 300 years of his life that followed the birth of Methuselah. But Enoch was not the only saint whose lifestyle pleased God. His great-grandson, Noah, also walked with God, while Abraham, Isaac, David and Hezekiah walked “before” God. There is much to learn from the lives of these Old Testament saints, such as:
- Noah found favor with God and was preserved through the flood because he was a righteous man, blameless in his generation (Gen. 6:9; 7:1). According to Hebrews 11:7, his righteousness was a practical outcome of his faith. He was altogether in life what he preached (2 Pet. 2:5).
- Abraham was 99 years old when he was told by God: “I am Almighty God! Walk before Me and be blameless” (Gen. 17:1 NKJV). Because he obeyed the Almighty God (El Shaddai), he was privileged to be called God’s friend (Jas. 2:23). God made known His will to him (Gen. 18:17).
- Isaac’s walk before God (Gen. 48:15) showed his unique respect for God and left an abiding impression on his son, Jacob, as shown by the divine name, “the Fear of Isaac” (Gen. 31:42).
- David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), who “shepherded [Israel] according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands” (Ps. 78:72). He walked “before God in the light of life” (Ps. 56:13 NIV) and enjoyed the blessedness of such a godly walk (Ps. 1:1). When Solomon confessed this during his prayer for wisdom, God told him, “If you will walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days” (1 Kings 3:6,14; 9:4 NKJV). David’s lifestyle was made the standard of comparison for all the kings of Israel and Judah that followed Solomon, as we see for Jeroboam (1 Ki. 11:38), Abijam (1 Ki. 15:1-6), Josiah (2 Ki. 22:2), and Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 17:3-4).
- Hezekiah was able to appeal to God about his illness on the basis that he had “walked before [Him] in truth and with a loyal heart, and…[did] what is good in [His] sight” (2 Ki. 20:3). His prayer was heard and he was healed (20:5). Hezekiah was loyal to God in a difficult period of Israel’s history, which was very much like our present times. The majority of the nation wanted to follow the way-of-the-world and ignore the word of the LORD through Isaiah. But Hezekiah led Judah and they remained faithful.
- Finally, at the end of the dispensation of law and the following 400 years of silence from God, this is recorded about Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth: “They were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord” (Lk. 1:6).
I conclude this series on “The Christian’s Walk” with words W. E. Vine wrote, “The Christian walk is in newness of life (Romans 6:4), after the Spirit (Romans 8:4), in honesty (Romans 13:13), by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), in good works (Ephesians 2:10), in love (Ephesians 5:2), in wisdom (Colossians 4:5), in truth (2 John 3-4), after the commandments of the Lord (2 John 6). And, negatively, it is not after the flesh (Romans 8:4), not after the manner of men (1 Corinthians 3:3), not in craftiness (2 Corinthians 4:2), not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), not in the vanity of mind (Ephesians 4:17), not disorderly (2 Thessalonians 3:6).” And I reiterate my prayer that we will, by the grace of God and in dependence upon Him, “walk worthy of the Lord” – that we will walk as He walked!
By David Anderson
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org