COLUMN: Walk with the Lord

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By George Smith

 Who would be better to turn to for advice on living the Christian life than the Apostle Paul?

Paul told the Corinthians, “Be an imitator of me, just as I am an imitator of Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1).

He said in Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ ….”

In II Timothy 4:7 he says as he comes to the end of his life, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”

Paul gives the Ephesians advice on the Christian life. “Therefore be careful how you walk (way of life), not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (5:15-16). In chapter 6 he warns them that they struggle “against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness” (6:10-12).

In reference to “the world,” 1 John 2:15-17 advises, ”Do not love the world nor the things of the world ….” Paul’s “world forces” and John’s “world” refer to the invisible spiritual system opposed to God, which is led by Satan. The devil has evil spirits working with him and seeking to influence the affairs of the world. Just as the Holy Spirit uses people to accomplish God’s purpose on earth, so the devil uses people to fulfill his evil desires.

We need to note that there is a human world, a physical world and a spiritual world. The Christian is a member of the human world. Jesus loved the human world. “For God so loved the world (people)…” (John 3:16).

All of us love the physical world God created. The Psalmist said, “The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains (24:1). But the Christian does not belong to the spiritual world led by Satan, who is opposed to God (Ephesians 6:10-18).   Christians live with the forces of evil against us.

Go to Ephesians 4:17-32 to gain further advice from Paul in living the Christian life. He says we are to lay aside (put away) the former life (before we became a Christian). The Holy Spirit helps us to do this. Then we are to “put on the new self (the Christian nature and all its attributes). Finally, he counsels us “do not give the devil an opportunity.” We put down the devil by looking to and clinging to the Lord.

Every day we live by faith in the son of God. James 4:7-8 gives good advice to every Christian: submit to God – resist the devil – draw near to God – cleanse your hands – purify your hearts.” Paul adds, “Do not grieve the Spirit of God by the way you live.” (Ephesians 4:30).