Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What does it mean to walk with God?

I want to walk with God. . . .

Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. --Genesis 5:24

The same is said of Noah. What does it mean to walk with God? This is a metaphor for living by faith. Commentator Marcus Dods unpacks the richness of the picture and, in so doing, shows us how to handle the Bible's many metaphors . . . .

In the seventh generation, contemporaneous with the culmination of Cain’s line in the family of Lamech, we come upon the simple but anything but mechanical statement: “Enoch walked with God and he was not; for God took him.”

The phrase is full of meaning. Enoch walked with God because he was His friend and liked His company, because he was going in the same direction as God, and had no desire for anything but what lay in God’s path. We walk with God when He is in all our thoughts; not because we consciously think of Him at all times, but because He is naturally suggested to us by all we think of; as when any person or plan or idea has become important to us, no matter what we think of, our thought is always found recurring to this favorite object, so with the godly man everything has a connection with God and must be ruled by that connection. When some change in his circumstances is thought of, he has first of all the determine how the proposed change will affect his connection with God - will his conscience be equally clear, will he be able to live on the same friendly terms with God and so forth. When he falls into sin he cannot rest till he has resumed his place at God’s side and walks again with Him. This is the general nature of walking with God; it is a persistent endeavor to hold all our life open to God’s inspection and in conformity to His will; a readiness to give up what we find does cause any misunderstanding between us and God; a feeling of loneliness if we have not some satisfaction in our efforts at holding fellowship with God, a cold and desolate feeling when we are conscious of doing something that displeases Him.

This walking with God necessarily tells on the whole life and character. As you instinctively avoid subjects which you know will jar upon the feelings of your friend, as you naturally endeavor to suit yourself to your company, so when the consciousness of God’s presence begins to have some weight with you, you are found instinctively endeavoring to please Him, repressing the thoughts you know He disapproves, and endeavoring to educate such dispositions as reflect His own nature.

It is easy then to understand how we may practically walk with God - it is to open to Him all our purposes and hopes, to seek His judgment on our scheme of life and idea of happiness – it is to be on thoroughly friendly terms with God….Things were not made easy to Enoch. In evil days, with much to mislead him, with everything to oppose him, he had by faith and diligent seeking, as the Epistle to the Hebrews says, to cleave to the path on which God walked, often left in darkness, often thrown off the track often listening but unable to hear the footfall of God or to hear his own name called upon, receiving no sign, but still diligently seeking the God he knew would lead him only to good.


Tammy said...

I love this post. It was beautiful, convicting, and provoked a longing in my heart for more and deeper and richer and purer fellowship with the living God. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Truly inspiring, thank you!