What does it mean to “walk with Jesus”? It is a phrase thrown around in many devotionals or small groups, but many of us struggle daily with how to really align our steps with His. Here are 11 verses to help us do so.
#1 Begin with an Earnest Desire
Psalm 63:1-2 says, “O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding Your power and glory.”
Our walk with Jesus should begin with a deep yearning. It has been said that each of us has a God-shaped hole in our hearts; we instinctively know that something is missing from our lives, and only Jesus’ love can fill it. Recognize that your heart yearns for something beyond itself, and turn to Jesus for the answer.
#2 Follow in His Footsteps
John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus told His disciples – and, by extension, each of us – to follow in His footsteps. He is to be our model for service and selflessness and love lived out in our daily lives. We are to give love to those around us in the same way that He Himself loved others. Study His Word carefully to see how He did it, then be fervent in your prayers to find ways to do so yourself.
#3 Obey His Commandments
1 John 2:3-6 says, “And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. Whoever says ‘I know Him’ but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”
Jesus commanded us to love God and love our neighbors. This will look different for every individual, but if we are not faithful to do this then we cannot claim to be guided by His love and His heart. Obedience to what He has told us through His direct commands and through the Bible is the only way we can prove that we are walking with Him.
#4 We Should Delight in His Word
Psalm 1:1-2 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.”
We could be obedient to His commands, but it is the posture of our heart that is even more important. It does no good to mark items off a list if we do not truly believe that it is the right thing to do; the Pharisees were legalists in the best and worst sense. Instead, we should find true delight in His words, and focus on them throughout our entire lives as guideposts for our actions.
#5 Walk in the Light
1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
We could choose to walk down our own paths, but that often leads to dark and sinful places. Walking in His light is the only way to ensure that we are not placing ourselves in harm’s way, and that we will have the best chance of withstanding temptation.
#6 Recognize That God Wants Us to Walk with Jesus
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Jesus is our source of life, and He is also the source of the plans that God has for our lives. When we give our lives to Christ, we implicitly acknowledge that God has a purpose for us, and we yield our will to His. We determine that our steps will be guided by Jesus, and we can believe that He will always walk with us.
#7 He Is Ours from the Beginning
Colossians 2:6 says, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”
As soon as we become believers, Jesus begins to walk alongside us. This is obedience in its simplest form: walk with Jesus wherever He leads. He called His disciples by saying, “Follow me.” He is saying the same thing to you.
#8 Cultivate a Love for Jesus
Psalm 119:132 says, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is Your way with those who love Your Name.”
As we walk with Him, our love for Him will grow. A growing love for God is a sure sign that you are modeling your life after His precepts and growing closer to His heart. Be deliberate in the way you seek Him out – if we are faithful to follow Him, He will always make Himself known.
#9 Seek Him Wholeheartedly and Believe That You Will Find Him
Deuteronomy 4:29 says, “But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find Him, if you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Moses stated several times that the Hebrews should seek after God with every part of their being: with what they said and did (body, or strength), with their thoughts (mind), with their emotions (heart), and with the deepest parts of themselves (soul). When we seek Jesus out with this kind of single-minded attention, we can have every assurance that we will find Him.
#10 See His Example and Follow It
1 Peter 2:21 says, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.”
The whole reason Jesus calls us to follow Him is so that we can take His example to heart. He lived the only sinless human life, and although we will never reach that kind of perfection we are instructed to give our best effort to this cause, surrendering everything to His grace and choosing His plans over ours.
#11 Know That Walking with Jesus Grants Us the Desires of Our Hearts
John 15:7 says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
Jesus is not our fairy godmother here to grant our wishes, but we will receive whatever we ask of Him if we faithfully walk with Him. The trick to understanding that mystery is this: as we grow closer to Him, our wants and desires will align more closely with His. When this happens, we are really asking for what Jesus wants. And He will always answer those yearnings.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.