Friday, January 30, 2009

Walking With God

“And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Gen. 5:22-24).

“Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God” (Gen. 6:9).

What a simple but profound statement about two men: Enoch and Noah “walked with God.” As I read this in my quiet time this week, I began to meditate on what it means to walk with God. Here are my thoughts.

Walking with God means:
1. You have a relationship with God.
You don’t walk with someone unless you have some kind of relationship with that person. Walking with God involves, first of all, receiving Christ as the Forgiver and Leader of our life. Jesus said we must open the door of our life and welcome Him in, and then He will come in to dine with us (Rev. 3:20). Have you received Christ? If so, you have the amazing privilege of walking with God.

2. You converse with God along the way.
Walking with someone involves conversation. Seldom would you walk with another person and never say a word to each other. Walking with God involves spending time with Him, talking to Him in prayer, and listening to His voice through the Word and prayer. Are you spending time with God in the Word and prayer? Do you converse with God throughout the day?

3. You make progress.
When you go on a walk, you do not remain stagnant. You go somewhere. You make progress. Walking with God means we don’t remain complacent and stagnant in our relationship with Him. We are always seeking, growing, and becoming more mature. Like walks we take around a track, we may feel at times that we are going in circles, but even then we are making progress because we are still burning spiritual calories! Are you maturing in your walk with God? Are the fruits of the Spirit (see Gal. 5) more evident in your life this year than last year?

4. You go at His pace.
Walking with God involves what Gal. 5:25 says: “keep in step with the Spirit.” We are not to get ahead of the Lord out of impatience. Nor are we to get behind the Lord out of laziness and disobedience. Rather, we are to walk alongside of God allowing Him to set the pace and direct the course. Are you seeking to stay in step with the Spirit in your life? Are you allowing Him to call the shots?

5. You obey when He says it is time to go in a different direction.
Sometimes God tells us it is time for a change in direction. This may involve a career change, a relationship adjustment, or an area of sin we must deal with. I experienced a change of direction when God told me I was to leave a very fruitful and comfortable ministry in Wisconsin and move to Georgia. This has not been easy in the least, but I have no doubt it is what God told me to do. When Jesus is our Lord, He calls the shots. We are responsible to obey and follow Him. Are you following Him?

6. You stop and rest along the journey.
We all need rest at times – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. God knew this when He gave us the Sabbath. I believe the main reason God gave us the Sabbath principle is to remind us that He is in control and we are not ultimately necessary for the world to continue functioning. God understands pace. He is not a driver that requires His children to go 90 miles an hour. I love the phrase, “walk with God.” It does not say “run with God.” His will is “good, acceptable, and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). Right now I am in a season of rest from formal ministry, and it has been good for me. We all need to take time to rest, lest we burn out. Are you doing life at a sustainable pace? Is it your pace or God’s pace?

Walking with God – what a powerful phrase. What a privilege to walk with God. Are you walking with God? If so, how close are you walking with God? Do you allow Him to be part of every area of your life, or do you go off on your own at times? Are there some adjustments you need to make in your walk with God? Most of all, seek to enjoy walking with God! Let me know in the comments section what you have learned about walking with God.