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Friday, June 17, 2011

What does it Mean to Walk with God?

In Genesis six it describes Noah someone who “found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (6:8) and as “a just man, perfect in his generations,” and then it continues, “Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). So grace, justness and perfection (i.e. spiritual maturity and fruitfulness) are associated with walking with God.

In the Bible walking with God is also connected and described as walking in agreement with God (Amos 3:3). This implies a relationship characterized by communication and agreement, cooperation. From this and the above we see that walking is another way of referring to the way of life we live or the direction in life that we go.

In the New Testament we are instructed to not walk in the way the world walks seeking only to fulfill the lusts of their flesh (Ephesians 4:17; Philippians 3:17-21). Rather we are to walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7) and to walk in the light of God’s revelation or word (Ephesians 5:5; 1 John 1:7a). When we do this it leads us into pure fellowship with God (1 John 1:7b). Ultimately we are called to follow in the steps of Jesus (1 Peter 2:21) and to walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). Jesus is the pattern of walk or way of life to be followed. This is not something we do in our own strength (i.e. our flesh). The only way we can walk as Jesus walked is to “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). And to walk in the Spirit is the means to overcome the sinful nature or flesh (Galatians 5:16).

The New Testament sheds further light on Enoch when it states:

Hebrews 11:5-6 - 5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Enoch walked with God and walking with God is described in Hebrews 11:5 as “he pleased God.” Then in Hebrews it explains to please God you have to have faith, not just any old faith or faith in “faith” like the world seems to propose, but faith in God, “that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” That’s what it means to “walk with God” and that is the example that Enoch gives to us. And most importantly, that is the solution to the sinful nature, to walk with God.

Jesus spoke about abiding in Him. To abide means to cling to, to depend on, to live for, to see Jesus as our life and indispensable reason to live and our necessary source of eternal life (John 15). To abide in Jesus is to walk with Him. To walk with Jesus pleases God. Why does it please God when we walk with Jesus? Because when we walk with Jesus, when we come close to Him, when we abide in Him, we follow in His holy steps. The closer you are to Jesus, the more clearly you can identify sin and the more power you will have over sin. To walk with Jesus steers you away from sin and toward the holiness of God. That pleases God.

In light of this who we walk with impacts our lives. Who we walk with determines our character. Walk with God and we are humble and prone to live holy. Walk with someone else and we wander toward the world and waver when tempted by sin. Look at your life. Who are you walking with? God wants you to walk with Him.

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