Now to go into the matter point by point. I learned first of a wholly now emphasis on the WALK of the Christian. I learned that in our evangelical and rightful zeal to bring sinners to the crisis of the new birth, and to lead the saints on to further crises of separation, consecration, sanctification, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, or whatever might be the special emphasis of our various Christian communities, we have often made too much of the crises and to little of the WALK. But the Scriptures leave us in no doubt of their emphasis. In almost every Epistle the Holy Spirit leads us on through the crises, the way into Christ, to the WALK with Him. Thus in Romans we are taught the way of justification and sanctification from Chapter 1 through 7, then in 8 it says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who WALK not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." In Galatians there is the battle of justification by faith as against works, and the Paul says, "This I say then, WALK in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh." And later, "If we live (have come alive) in the Spirit, let us also WALK in the Spirit." In Ephesians he introduces us into our glorious union with the ascended Christ, and then says, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye WALK worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called;" and later, "WALK not as other Gentiles walk," "WALK in love ... WALK as children of light ...WALK circumspectly." In Colossians he says, "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so WALK in Him," In Thessalonians he rejoices in the saving power of the gospel in the lives of the young converts, and then says, "As ye have received of us how you ought to WALK and to please God, so ye would abound more and more." Finally, to mention only one more, John in his epistle takes us to the very heights when he says we are to "WALK as He walked," for "as He is, so are we in the world;" indeed John does not even discuss how to be born again or how to abide in Christ, but, taking these for granted, now talks about the walk and life which is the outcome. (See also 2_John and 3_John).
Now to walk is a step-by-step activity. Given the main destination, all that matters is the next step. Christian living is concerned, therefore, just with the implications of the present moment, not with past or future. But we tend to live in the past and thus to avoid the keen edge of the challenge of the immediate moment. Thus, as things arise in our hearts and lives which are not consistent with our Christian testimony, we say, or imply, "Well, I know these things are not right, but anyhow I have been born again, I have been cleansed in His blood, I have received eternal life, Christ lives in me." Thus I circle around the raw facts of my immediate condition by leaning back on my past crises. We make too much of the past crises, but too little of the present walk. Thank God we are born again, and have received other impartations of grace, but now let us forget those, as it were; let us remember that all we are asked to do is to "WALK WITH JESUS," and that means simple concentration on things as they are with me just this moment, then the next, then the next, and so on.
There is something else also that much affects our Christian experience when we get confused between looking back to crises and just living moment by moment. One of Satan's favorite weapons is false condemnation. He loves to make us look back at our past failures, or into the future at our probably equal failures (so he says), and then puts us into a tail-spin of despair or depression. "Look at your pride, coldness, sensuality, worldliness, fruitlessness. You say you were born again or sanctified. Look at yourself! And if you have been that in the past, believe me, you will be exactly the same in the future!" In other words, Satan likes to talk in long-term generalities, based indeed on an element of truth, but built up into a huge lie; for God does not look on His children in a general sense as proud, cold, fruitless, and so on. He sees them in Christ, being conformed to the image of His Son. The difference between Satan's condemnations and God's convictions is that where Satan uses generalities pointing back to the past or forward to the future, God sees past and future in Christ and just deals with the present, and deals specifically. We WALK moment by moment, step by step with Him, the past under the blood, the future in His keeping. We are in Jesus and He in us. Now then, if our walk it this moment is beclouded with the rising up of some motion of sin in us, then God just points to that. "There," He says, "look at that, just that. Just get that right under the blood and then walk again with Me" So simple, so free from these condemnations from the past (or excuses through leaning back on the past crises), and from those fears for the future.
So now we have the first point in continuous revival. We "walk with Jesus." We are concerned only with the step by step life. We live in the present; "Today, today, today," as it says five times in Hebrews 3. We do not excuse the present by leaning back on past spiritual crises, nor do we get under false condemnation or fear through looking back at the past or forward into the future.