“Life is a highway. I’m gonna ride it all night long.” That is the chorus to a popular song from the early ‘90s. The song had it partially right. Life is a highway. Since it is, we will “ride it” all lifelong. We are, all of us, on a journey. Perhaps you have heard the familiar adage: “Life is not a destination. Life is a journey.” That is true. Sort of. This life is a journey, but as with all journeys, this life will come to an end. At that end, the most important thing will not be where you have walked, or even how you have walked. The most important thing come journey’s end is with whom you have walked. The where and how you walk are both meaningless if you are not walking with the right person. Jesus Christ is that person.
Apart from Jesus Christ, a person’s walk is “according to the course of this world,” and that is a death walk – “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1-2). But God is rich in mercy, great in love, and His grace is amazing! By His grace and through faith in His Son, we may be saved (vv. 4-9). All who are saved “are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (v. 10).
Believers are to walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). We are to walk like our Savior and Lord (1 John 2:6). Ephesians has much to say about the believer’s faith walk. Our walk should be consistent (Ephesians 4:1) and distinct from this world (Ephesians 4:17). Our faith walk should imitate Christ (Ephesians 5:1-2), testify to a watching world (Ephesians 5:8-11), and we should walk wisely (Ephesians 5:15). Of course, this is only possible if we share the attitude of David, who wrote in Psalm 86:11, “Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”
John G. Paton exemplified this kind of walk. He resolved to go as a Missionary to the unreached tribes of the South Sea Islands in 1856. A Christian friend objected, “You’ll be eaten by cannibals!” To this Paton responded:
Your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my resurrection body will arise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer. (HT: Thanksgiving for the Lives of Flawed Saints)
Do not think of Paton as a “super-Christian.” As with all of Christ’s followers he was a flawed saint, but he was also a faith-filled saint. We pray that his example, and others like him, will spur us all on to continue (or maybe to begin) walking by faith. We are all flawed, but may we also walk as faith-filled saints.
All of us are on a journey, and every journey ends, sooner or later, at a destination. With whom and for whom are you walking? Trust God to lead you on your journey, and may we run all the way to the end, finishing our course, having kept the faith.