Seven Steps to Get Grip on your Walk With Jesus.
By Brian Jakowski
A strong walk with Jesus doesn’t just happen, it takes persistence and hard work. If you keep your fixed on Jesus and follow the pattern outlined by the Apostle Peter you’ll be on your way to laying a solid and enduring foundation for your relationship with Jesus.
Building a Walk with Jesus.
God equips those He’s called. The primary tool is His word. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” NIV
The following verse from Peter outlines a path to Growing in your faith.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 2 Peter 1:5–9
Peter tells us these qualities are all we need for a strong walk with Jesus. One step leads to the next.
let’s take a look at these seven steps to developing a strong walk with Jesus.
It goes without saying that coming to faith in Jesus is the first step in your walk. Without faith, none of the others can happen.
Coming to faith is the time you realize there has to be a better way to live and surrender control of your life to Jesus.
This step brings you into God’s kingdom and makes you a child of God, as well as an heir to the kingdom of God with Jesus. It’s also when you’re filled with the Holy Spirit who will be your teacher and guide for the rest of your days.
In this step, you begin to submit your life to Jesus taking on His character and living a more moral life. The Holy Spirit begins showing you what needs to change in your life.
As you grow in goodness through God’s grace, you leave your sinful nature behind becoming more Christ-like and less prone to sin.
Each step builds on the last. You can’t grow in goodness until you’ve come to faith and received the Holy Spirit to guide you. The Apostle Paul talks of this process in Ephesians 4:22–24,
to put off your old self,[a] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22–24
Being well grounded in God’s word is essential. Arguments against your new faith will come from every direction. As you grow in Intimacy and live in the spirit the power of sin fades as you are prepared for the next step, Self Control.
Having knowledge of God and intimacy with Him gives birth to Self Control. You are now becoming certain of your identity in Christ and of God’s unconditional love. With these certainties in your life, you no longer need to prove anything to anyone or seek to fill emotional needs.
The resulting peace will in time allow you to respond calmly to events that once triggered an angry outburst or sent you to the fridge to wolf down a couple of pints of Hagen-Daze.
Your understanding of God’s perfect love (1 John 4:18) drives out fears that once caused you to lose control. With your new-found self-control, you now move on to learning to persevere.
By definition, perseverance means to endure, stand, and overcome in the face of adversity. It is also a necessary component for your lifelong walk with Christ.
There is a lie common to Christians, its well intended, but a lie nonetheless. Telling seekers, “If you ask Jesus into your life you’ll never have another problem.” Sure, you mean well, but it’s simply not true.
Challenges and problems will come. If as a new believer you’re unprepared to persevere, your faith can be derailed.
Your faith walk is a marathon, not a short sprint. you will have mountaintop experiences where Life couldn’t be better, and there will be Death Valley that test your faith.
Your Death Valley passages are valuable because it’s in them you learn to trust Jesus and grow the most.
consider James 1:2–4,
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
The foundation you built in gaining knowledge and intimacy with God will help you persevere in these times. In these times meditate on this Song of Ascent found in the Psalms,
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1–2
Eugene Peterson’s, A long obedience in the same direction, discusses the Psalms of ascent and is an excellent guide and source of encouragement for your own walk with Jesus.
A dictionary will tell you Godliness is, the quality of being devoutly religious; typically. The word religion typically refers to a practice of traditions. That’s okay for the dictionary, but for For a follower disciple of Jesus it’s not about traditions, it’s about relating to God and Imitating Jesus life. Godliness is Goodness grown-up.
In Godliness, you intentionally take on the qualities and character of Jesus and the Father. you take ownership of your actions and work to foster Christ-like behavior in your life and all your relationships or interactions.
In the words of Francis of Assisi’s, “You preach the gospel always (with your life) When necessary use words.” Emphasis added.
The Greek word for mutual affection is commonly translated as Philadelphia, which we know as the city of brotherly love. We are to live peacefully with one another caring for the needs and desires of others as much as our own.
Philippians 2 Makes the concept crystal clear,
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:1–4
This passage is a beautiful description of the Christian life and the perfect segue for the final step in learning to walk closely with Jesus, love.
Love, Christianities Crown Jewel.
All the previous steps culminate in God’s defining trait, Love. Paul tells us no matter how grand his achievements are he has nothing if he hasn’t love.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails… 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4–7, 13
Love is the crown Jewel of your walk with Jesus. Through love, God breaks the hardened heart drawing it to Himself; with love, God heals the broken heart, allowing it to live and love again.
A fruitful Walk?
Peter assures that if you possess all these qualities your walk with Jesus will be strong and fruitful.
You will grow in all these areas and be part of pushing out the Kingdom of God. Best of all, you will have peace and live in the many blessings God has for you here and now in this life.
Unfortunately , those without the above qualities, though saved, may struggle and go over the same lessons again and again, some even miss many of the benefits of knowing Jesus in their lifetime.
Maybe your a baby in Christ and you’re still crawling, that’s okay. The important thing is you’re in Christ and your moving forward in your walk with Him.
If you’ve been walking with Him a while, you might be strong enough to meet Him on the mountaintops or help younger Christians in a Death Valley experience; Keep on growing and watch for pride.
It could be, you’re in the middle. No problem, as long as you’re still moving forward. Here’s the thing about your walk with Jesus, it’s your walk, not anybody else’s. After being restored by Jesus Peter asked Jesus, what about him, meaning John. Jesus responded,
” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” John 21:22
Other disciples can be guides and coaches on your path, but like you, they are pilgrims on their own life’s journey. You want to become like Jesus, not them; like you, they’re broken and flawed.
When it’s all said and done, the truth is, You must follow Jesus!