Do you want to walk with Jesus, or do you want Jesus to walk with you?
This thought came to me after I was reading My Utmost for His Highest on March 9 where Oswald Chambers discusses John 6:67. Jesus had explained that no one could come to Him unless it was granted by the Father, and from that point on, many stopped following Him. Jesus turned to the twelve and asks if they wanted to go away as well.
After reading this, I thought about whether I was walking with Jesus, or if I was expecting Jesus to walk with me. I do sometimes ask Jesus to walk with me, or be with me, when I think I'm going to have a difficult day. I want to feel His presence and I want things to go smoothly. Louie Giglio's Prayer: Remix series has challenged me in this, and I try not to ask God to be with me anymore, because He is already with me, and living in me.
There's a difference between me wanting to walk with Jesus and wanting Jesus to walk with me. You see, when someone invites me to go for a walk with them, it's usually understood that I will walk where they want to walk. Unless we come to a mutual agreement and we both know where we're going and how to get there, one of us is always leading, even if we're walking side by side.
However, if I get up in the morning and ask Jesus to walk with me, what I'm actually saying is that I'm leading the way and I just want His company. I want His God stamp on what I do, His blessings, and His encouragement on the uphill climbs. I have a rough road ahead of me and I'm scared to go alone.
The problem is, Jesus doesn't follow. The only one He follows is the Father. (The Bible doesn't say it exactly that way, but Jesus made it clear that He always did the will of the Father.) He didn't walk with His disciples. His disciples walked with Him. They went where He went, served where He served, ate with the people He ate with, not the other way around. He led the way, even if they were walking side by side.
Perhaps when you ask Jesus to walk with you, you really do have it in your heart to follow Him. Then we perhaps need to change the way we say it. Instead of saying "Jesus, would you walk with me today?", say "Jesus, I want to walk with You today. I can't walk this road alone, so I want to follow You. Where do You want to go? Where do you want to take me?" The scenario changes. Now it's clear who's leading and who's following. It's clear that it's about you wanting to do what God wants, not just wanting God's rubber stamper on your plans, as Louie Giglio would put it.
Where are you at in your life? Are you walking with Jesus, or are you expecting Him to walk with you?