Saturday, December 13, 2014

Be Careful How You Walk!

I remember some really good times when I would fish the jetties of Fernandina Beach with my 2 brothers-in-law, Jeff and Mark Hogan. On a good day we would rack up in just a couple of hours. What you caught depended on the time of the year, and at what stage the tide was. If the conditions were right you would fill up your croker sacks (burlap bags)!

It cost you something back then to fish those jetties: Not money, but energy and possibly some scratches, cuts, and bruises. You see, the jetties were large rocks that stretched far out into the ocean. They lined each side of the channel leading into the Amelia River, which led to Fernandina's marina and harbor. You had to do some climbing and some sliding! Waves frequently crashed against and over the rocks. These rocks were wet and very slippery; and they were covered with sharp barnacles. You certainly had to walk, climb, and slide with extreme care!

I remember one particular day we were heading back off the jetties. Jeff was crossing a low place in the rocks when a large wave came and washed him off the rocks! Fortunately at that point we were close enough to the beach that he could stand on the ocean floor and walk in. We were pretty good at timing the waves as they crashed over that particular area. However, if you slipped or slowed down you would be caught by a wave! Fortunately no one was hurt (or drowned) that day. If we were very careful how we walked on the jetties, we would come home with only a few cuts and scratches...and no bruises!

Likewise as followers of Jesus, we must be careful how we walk. "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:15-16) Why would Paul urge us to be careful how we walk? Because we live in evil times. If we don't walk carefully we can slip in our walk with Jesus. To walk carelessly is to walk powerlessly. It takes care and focus to walk with Jesus in these last days. To walk and to live as Jesus did means walking in His power. This is what changes people and situations.

Many who claim to be Christians are not followers of Jesus.They may say they are a Christian, but they look like the world. Why? Because they walk in the same manner as the world. There is no distinction from those who follow after the world. A true Christian however, is one who lives for Him 24 x 7. This person is obsessed with following the teachings and principles of Jesus. The life of a true follower of Jesus Christ sticks out like a sore thumb in today's world. Jesus was the same way. He didn't blend in. He stuck out, and He stirred things up: Not on purpose, but simply by the way He lived for His Father. He was intent on doing the will of the Father, which should be our passion as well.

In the verse above Paul says that to "be careful how we walk" includes "making the most of our time". In other words, the days are evil (more than ever), and we still have the same amount of time. We must make the most of every moment following after, and serving Jesus. In light of His soon return, and the condition of today's world, there's a lot to be done in a short length of time. 

According to Paul, to live a laid-back, passive life as a Christian (in this evil age) is to be very unwise. But to be careful or intent on how we walk, making the most of our time (in this evil age) is to be very wise. Let me encourage you to be very careful how you walk in this world. The way you walk determines how others walk. Time is short. You are here to make a difference. I'll go so far as to are here for such a time as this!

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