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The Unequal Yoke

(2 Corinthians 6:14 - 7:1; Ephesians 5:7-11)

Lesson 1 -- third quarter 1998
June 7, 1998

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1998, Christian Light Publications

"Let's go on a walk!" I agreed, ready for my wife's company and anxious for a break from my computer. We donned jackets and footgear and set off. We had a brisk, pleasant walk in the fall weather...together.

Walking together. A simple, routine activity loaded with plenty of hidden lessons. Walking together takes agreement; lots of agreement. Most of the time we don't even think about the level and scope of agreement required for so elementary an activity. Any two who wish to walk together must agree on certain basics: timing, pace, destination, direction and purpose.

TIMING. Walking together demands agreement in timing: when and how long shall we walk. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed" in timing? Of course not. All other factors being equal, if they start out even 30 seconds apart they cannot walk together. In a spiritual sense, will you walk by the world's schedule or by God's? In this life you never walk alone; timing often determines (or at least reveals) who your travel companion is.

PACE. Walking together requires agreement in pace: what shall be our rate of travel. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed" on the pace? Not for very long! Though they may start out together, a difference in pace will soon separate them. Spiritually we must keep our eyes on the Master or our pace shall become synchronized with that of the world. For the record, no one sets his own pace.

DESTINATION. Walking together supposes agreement in destination: where shall we go. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed" in destination? Not for the long term. Especially if the destinations are in opposite directions or at right angles to each other. Starting out with Jesus is not enough; to have walked together with Him you need to still be with Him at the walk's end.

DIRECTION. Walking together presumes agreement in direction: what route shall we take. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed" in direction? Hardly. Even if the course we chart differs only by half a degree, we shall eventually be walking separately. In the spiritual dimension, are you walking straight with the Lord or are you twisting, turning and backtracking with the world? And make certain that in carelessness or curiosity you do not steer a course that is different from the Lord's even by the minutest degree!

PURPOSE. Walking together hinges on agreement in purpose: why shall we do this. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed" in purpose? Never! You see, purpose governs the other areas of agreement we've noted here. When Ruby and I go on walks for the purpose of exercise -- we time them according to stiffness and achiness; we pace them for maximum mutual workout; we select challenging destinations; we use routes that require the most of us. When we go on walks mostly for leisure and relaxation...well, those are different. The spiritual application cannot be escaped: our purpose in life's walk both determines and reveals with whom we walk together.

There you have it. With whom are you walking? Then that's with whom you are in agreement. If the answer makes you at all uncomfortable, beware! Evaluate these five criteria in your own life, make the necessary corrections and modifications . . . and walk with the Lord!

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