Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him. Colossians 2:6

Walk in Him.

Not with Him.

In Him. Not running alongside, panting to keep up —
or surging out in front, dragging Him along to our places and plans —
or walking beside, glancing over at Jesus occasionally like He’s an extra in the play.

Since we’ve received Him in our hearts — taken Him unto ourselves — called ourselves by His Name Above All Names — so we fix our position and move forward in Him.

We seek that every footstep might match His own, that every longing would be formed from His desires, that every thought would be transformed to mirror the mind of our Christ.

This is what the obedience we are called to looks like, a moment by moment life “in Him.”

And it all sounds beautiful and meaningful and ultimately, perhaps, impossible. Except for one, hopeful thing.

Repentance itself is an act of obedience.

Since sin entered the world, the Godward life has always included a way to make things right when our hearts go wrong — the sacrifice, the scapegoat, the blood on the doorpost — the final payment for transgression through Jesus Himself: Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2

Repentance is an essential part of obeying. Rescue from failure is a built-in necessity; daily response to our sin is part of the system.

We feel ashamed to stagger back the altar again, bowed low, pleading forgiveness.

But for God, it is a celebration: There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:7

Admitting we’re getting it wrong is getting it right.

Satan intends for our failures to strangle us, whether choked by our shame, or like the ninety-nine, suffocated by our blind pride that they aren’t really there — that we don’t need a Savior.

But repentance breaks the cords of sin, unraveling the tangled threads of iniquity and using them to tie us to God and His grace.

Repentance magnifies the kindness, patience and goodness of the holy God who has called us sons, daughters, friends.

Repentance is the beautiful bond Christ fashions from the ashes of sin.

When we confess our sins, we are confessing Jesus as our only and desperate answer for them. And that is why, though there are so many who want to define what walking in Christ — discipleship — entails, it really looks like one simple thing.

Discipleship looks like I need you, Jesus.

I long for you, Jesus. I crave you, Jesus. I can’t do this without you, Jesus. My soul thirsts for you, here in this dry and weary land where there is no water (Psalm 63:1).

I need to know You. I need to serve You. I need to talk to You. I’ve tasted of you, and I long to walk in You, because I know what it is to walk away, to run ahead or to just try to keep up, walking alongside.

Discipleship isn’t weight and duty, trying harder. It’s the outgrowth of daily repentance — seeing the death of our sin and needing, longing for, loving Christ and His grace. It is the path you can’t help but choose when you start each day at the altar and realize you are not forsaken — you are family.

You are not with Him, but in Him.

So, remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first (Revelation 2:5). Confess your sins and your hope in His love for You in spite of them daily. Seek first His righteousness instead of depending on your own.

That is the way we walk in Him, to the praise of His glorious grace.

Read the next post in The Colossians Project.