A child wants to be near the one he loves. If at all possible, he wants to do what the one he loves does. It is not uncommon to see a small child walking with the same gait, swagger or swinging of the arms as the one he loves. He wants to go where the loved one goes and will follow with confidence, the steps of the object of his affection. How important it is that we in turn do the same with our God. The closeness; at the activities; to walk to the place where God is or do what He does is where I want to be and what I want to do. I want to follow Him to where He meets with His people. I want to follow Him to where He saves souls. I want to follow Him to where He draws near to the needy. I want to follow Him to those out-of-the-way places where God shows up unexpectedly to those who feel disenfranchised. I want to be there to see the light in the eyes of those who are conscious of the presence of God. I want to feel the heat of the fire when God shows up.
But I see there are some defining qualifications that go along with such a close fellowship. “Walk in love” doesn’t seem so daunting until I read the next words, “As Christ also hath loved us.” That will mean…
I will touch the leper;
I will eat with the outcasts;
I will go the extra mile;
I will give away my favorite coat;
I will pray in the dark of the night;
I will go without sleep sometimes;
I will get up early to talk to the Father;
I will make room for interrupting people;
I will listen and talk with children;
I will cry with the bereaved;
I will find joy in the well-being of others;
I will have compassion on the lost;
I will go to the next town;
I will sit and listen to the talk of self-important people without interrupting them;
I will keep my mouth shut when false accusations come at me;
I will not talk back when I am reviled;
I will not threaten others when they cause me to suffer;
I will love the unlovable, even my enemies;
I will assume responsibility for the wrongs of others;
I will die for them if that need arises;
I will commit everything in and of my life to my heavenly Father without reservation.
O my soul, am I willing to do this? Is this asking too much? Is this all beyond me? Do I have to go so far in order to walk in love? Can I honestly say, “I am willing,” in order to be a sweet-smelling savor?