Thursday, 1 January 2015

Walking with God

Enoch walked with God.  Genesis 5:22.

It's not a bad way to go down in history, is it? - he walked with God

Could that, I wonder, be engraved on your tombstone - he/she walked with God? As we embark on 2015 I find these very simple words both comforting and challenging.

The Bible often speaks of walking as a way of describing our relationship with God. Much the same is said of Noah (Genesis 6:9) and Abraham (Genesis 17:1). Micah the prophet tells us to "walk humbly with our God" (Micah 6:8). And Paul tells us to "walk by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16, where the NIV’s “live” is literally “walk”).

Think of walking with God as a parcel - what comes tumbling out if we unpack it?

First, companionship. To walk with someone suggests friendship, conversation; it is an act of sharing. I suspect some of the most precious moments in our relationships with other people have occurred while we have been walking. Well, never let anything - sin, carelessness, laziness, distractions - jeopardise your minute-by-minute companionship with God.

Second, progress. People who are walking are moving. Genesis doesn't say Enoch sat in an armchair next to God, pleasant though that would no doubt have been. And the Christian life is a journey: as the song puts it, "from the old unto the new, keep me travelling along with you". 

Are any of us stagnating a bit? Have we decided we have reached the limit of our potential? Have we stopped exploring, growing, learning, developing? Don’t forget, each new day, however routine and ordinary, can be seen as an adventure in moving on with God.

Third, protection. There's safety in numbers, goes the saying. As Jesus' story of the man who fell among robbers shows, the lone traveller is especially vulnerable. (This, incidentally is one of the reasons why Jesus draws his people into churches, communities. Are you faithful in getting into fellowship with your fellow-Christians? Is the beginning of the new year a prod for you to get back into this discipline?)

Well, if we walk with God how can we be anything but safe? Of course, that doesn't mean bad things can't happen to God's people. They do. But in the ultimate sense we have perfect security in the hands of our loving heavenly Father.

Fourth, effort. Even a pleasant stroll involves an element of exertion. And if you decide on a ten-mile hill walk, well, you're going to know you've done it. 

In the Christian life the way is sometimes relatively easy - you have good health, a positive work situation, a happy family life. But at other times the going is tough - sickness, disappointments, set-backs, even heartbreaks. That's when we need to cling especially tightly to God's hand. "Walking with God" is a beautiful image - but let no-one imagine that it means the Christian life is always a doddle!

Fifth, a destination. We walk in order to get somewhere. That's why it's all the more satisfying when, after quite a tough time, we can take it easy and put our feet up. 

I don't want to give the impression that in heaven we are just going to lounge around. But the fact is that we are promised rest when our earthly work is done. Jesus said, "I am going to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). The writer to the Hebrews tells us that there is to be a “sabbath-rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9-11), by which he means enjoying the fulfilment of God’s purposes after the return of Jesus in glory.  

In short, this world in which we presently live is not all there is. There is something above and beyond us which is infinitely, unimaginably greater. And that's where we're headed.

2015 is here. So... Keep walking!

Dear Father in heaven, please help me to walk with you minute by minute and day by day, until that day comes when my walk is done and I enter my heavenly rest. Amen.


  1. Have a happy & blessed 2015 Colin & keep Him travelling along with you! :)

  2. Thanks, Karen! God bless you too.