What does it mean to walk in truth? We find the phrase in several places in the Bible, but what exactly does it mean; why is it important; and what can we change in our lives to more perfectly, “walk in truth?”
King David certainly thought it was important. For on his deathbed he speaks to his son, Solomon, the heir to the kingdom. The Bible tells us,
"Now the days of David drew night that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, 'I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; and keep the charge of The LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, and His commandments, and His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: that The LORD may continue His word which He spake concerning me, saying, 'If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.''"
We find the phrase in the New Testament writing of John as well. He says to “The Elect Lady,”
"I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from The Father."
Two wonderful men of God, weak men like us, subject to the same fleshly passions, whom God used for His glory: they both encourage us to “walk in truth.”
David explains more of what it mean to walk in truth in Psalms 26.
"Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth." [Psalms 26:1-3]
We see that David is requesting that God search his heart and his mind for sin. David desires purity, purity, as we shall see, which leads to greater fellowship with God. He gives us two reasons for this.
- Thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes
- The comprehension of God’s love, which surpasses knowledge, when viewed in single and pure devotion to Christ, will result in us desiring greater purity, to be more like our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who loves us deeply. Jesus, as well as the apostle John, speak of this, both referring to this as “doing truth.” Jesus says, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John compliments this, saying, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
- So we see that those who walk in truth seek to have their deeds manifest. They come to the light; that is, they walk in light, they practice truth, they walk in truth.
- I have walked in Thy truth
- David’s desire for purity is directly associated with him walking in truth.
In addition to asking God to purify his heart through trial, David tells God that he hates fellowship with evil. To borrow the words of Jesus, David doesn’t love darkness, nor does he desire to remain in darkness, but light.
"I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked."
In direct contrast to fellowship with evil, David desires fellowship with God above all. “LORD, I have loved the habitation of Thy house, and the place where Thine honour dwelleth.”
In summary so far, we have ascertained three points in defining what it means to walk in truth.
- Come to Jesus, The Light, The Light of Life, and who is Light – come to Jesus in order for Him to purify the heart, so that we might more perfectly manifest His life.
- Hate fellowship with evil.
- Love fellowship with Jesus. Desire above all else fellowship with Jesus.
Finally, to walk in truth is simply to obey God’s commandments. We saw this in 1 Kings 2:1-4. It is the obvious interpretation based on the words. But we see, from John, that obeying God’s commands requires two other things: to love God, and to love the brethren. All three of these are vital and necessary, and they cannot exist apart from each other. We see this explained plainly in 1 John 4:20-5:3.
To walk in truth is to love God, love the brethren, and obey God’s commandments. Further, it is to walk in light, to practice the truth: to come to Jesus in order to be purified so that we may more perfectly represent Jesus Christ in deed and truth; and finally, it is to hate fellowship with evil and love fellowship with Jesus.