BY RYAN COUCH
If you’ve been around the Church for any length of time you’ve most certainly heard or been asked the question…the dreaded question, the one we secretly hope no one will take the time to ask.
“How’s your walk with Jesus?”
When asked, we typically stammer and stutter our way through some balancing act of not wanting to sound like we have it all together while not admitting we’re actually pooping our spiritual pants on a regular basis. So we just talk about how “good” God is while throwing in a few innocuous sins. If the truth be told, our “walk with Jesus” sucks, at least if we’re defining it by how well we’re living and behaving.
Oh but there’s good news! That’s not how we define our walk with Jesus. The quality of our walk with Jesus is not predicated on anything we do, for the only thing we bring to our salvation is the sin that makes it necessary. This truth never changes for who we are in and of ourselves (our flesh or our old man) is 100% a sinner and no amount of Christian activity will change that. The only thing that changes is the presence of Christ. The one who puts our old man to death and gifts his perfect life to us. He comes into our life as Savior and friend; the One who walks with us despite how we look (terrible), how we smell (like death) and how much we ruin his reputation.
“How’s your walk with Jesus?” It’s actually fantastic, you’re walking with Jesus! We fall, he picks us up. We run off, he chases us down. We take him to places he should never have to go but he never leaves us alone. We’re company that he shouldn’t be seen with, but he proudly walks with us and never acts embarrassed of us in front of his other friends.
Our walk with Jesus isn’t dependent upon us, because in every way we fall, get sidetracked, roll around in the mud, head into dirty seedy places Jesus has already walked in perfection with us, and for us.
“And he walks with me and he talks with me
And he tells me I am his own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known” — Merle Haggard
Ryan is married to his college sweetheart, Andrea. They live with their two teenagers in beautiful Bend, OR. Ryan holds Master’s degrees from Knox Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary. He is also studying with Dr. Jim Nestigen and St. Paul Lutheran Seminary in pursuit of a Doctor of Ministry degree. Ryan enjoys good cigars and talking with people about theology and the radical message of the gospel. Ryan has planted two churches and is currently gathering with a core group of sinners in hopes to plant a law/gospel church in Bend.