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How can we walk in God’s ways (Psalm 128:1)?

walk in God’s ways

The Bible promises blessings for all people who walk in God’s ways: “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!” (Psalm 128:1, ESV). Essentially, the message of this passage is the central theme of the entire book of Psalms. God favors those who reverence and honor Him and live in daily obedience to His Word, will, and ways (Psalm 1:1; 94:12; 112:1; 119:1–2).

What does it mean to walk in God’s ways? Practically speaking, how can we accomplish this? In the original Hebrew, the word translated as “walk” in Psalm 128:1 means “to live or behave in a specific manner.” Reverence for God expresses itself in actions and behaviors (Ecclesiastes 12:13; 2 Corinthians 7:1). Those who genuinely worship and serve the Lord God Almighty will devote their lives to Him not only with words but also by obeying His commands.

The Israelites were called to “walk in obedience,” “watch how they live,” and “walk faithfully” before the Lord in truth and integrity (Deuteronomy 5:33; 1 Kings 2:3–4; 2 Chronicles 7:17). Moses made the concept of walking in God’s ways clear to the people in the wilderness: “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good” (Deuteronomy 10:12–13, NLT).

The Bible is the definitive roadmap for walking in God’s ways (Psalm 119:105). The Scriptures illuminate the path for our feet to walk, guiding our way in this world (Proverbs 6:23). To walk in God’s ways describes a lifestyle of daily seeking to know God and living in obedience to His will. It means delighting oneself in the Lord, meditating on His Word, and discovering His will (Psalm 1:1–2; 40:8).

Those who walk in God’s ways choose behaviors that are pleasing to Him. They “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7, ESV). They “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10, ESV). They desire to know the Lord’s heart and earnestly and continually pursue an ever-deepening relationship with God.

Jesus walked in God’s ways as a perfect example for us (Matthew 26:39; John 14:31; Philippians 2:8). He showed us that obedience and love go hand in hand: “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3, NLT; see also John 14:15). The apostle John cites obedience as the proof of our love for God expressed through living for Him: “But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him” (1 John 2:5, NLT).

Walking in God’s ways is a metaphor for following God and living for Him. Jesus told His disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23, NLT). There is a cost to walking in God’s ways—that cost is giving up our own way. It involves death to self. In Jesus’ day, the cross represented death. When Jesus said, “Take up your cross,” the disciples understood what He meant—that they had to be willing to die to follow Him. It meant relinquishing self-will and selfish ambition. Jesus explained, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it” (Luke 9:24, NLT).

We walk in God’s ways when we do what He wants us to do. We surrender our lives to the Lord because of all He has done for us; we offer our bodies “as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God,” and this is our “true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1). The apostle Paul urges believers to “walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2).

Believers are able to walk in God’s ways because they “walk in the light” of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the light (1 John 1:7). God’s Spirit empowers them to “walk by the Spirit,” obey His Word, and live in a way that honors and pleases the Him (Galatians 5:16; Ezekiel 36:27; Romans 8:4–5). In the future kingdom of heaven, all believers will walk by the light of God’s glory and the light of the Lamb (Revelation 21:23–24).

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How can we walk in God’s ways (Psalm 128:1)?
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This page last updated: February 9, 2023