Walking the talk is about as accurate a measure of integrity as we have, especially as regards a faith walk. Jesus’s ministry began with the words, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17, so it would seem repentance is a suitable first step in becoming a follower of Jesus. But what is worthy of repentance?
Christianity is not a question of behavior modifications or learning good manners. Certainly we should strive not to chew gum while we’re talking on a cell phone and driving our car in the diamond lane without a passenger, but considering ourselves to be superior to others, or even our own past, for doing so is a short sighted trap.
Paul cautions against practicing such judgement in the second chapter of Romans. “Or do you despise the richness of His goodness, forbearance, and long suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:4 We’ve all played follow the leader as children. Part of the fun is not knowing where the game will end up. Being lead to repentance by the goodness of God brings us to grace, again and again. It is the only outcome worthy of His name.
The author of Hebrews indicates that the first step of a believer is “to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy in out time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 The Knights of the Round Table don’t grovel into Camelot. They enter in regal stride, graciously bestowed as befits the purpose of the King.
If the longest journey begins with a single step, it is the second step that determines momentum and direction. The apostle Peter, who was even willing to step out of the boat into a stormy sea to undertake his journey, advises us to “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt us in due time, casting all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us’. 1 Peter 5:6-7
We are not puppets on a string, yet we trust Him to work out the details of our walk. Boldly-humble. The believer’s two-step.
If we calm down and listen we can hear it; the orchestra of infinite fellowship tuning their instruments. This is it. It’s time to take His pierced hands and dance to the music of our souls.