The last two years I have been travelling to Africa and hiking in the mountains to remote villages to help people attain clean water sources and to share the gospel. As a result, I have learned a great deal about hiking: What to wear, what to bring, what to do/not do, how to sterilize water, etc. I have come to really enjoy hiking, not so much because of the beautiful scenery that I do enjoy, but because of the fellowship. I have had the privilege of going on these hiking trips with some very godly men. For days, we would walk together and talk about everything: our relationship with the Lord, doctrine, sports, entertainment, you name it. What a rewarding experience to walk alongside men who sharpened me as a Christian, husband, father, pastor, teacher, and friend.
Little wonder that the Bible often uses the metaphor of walking to represent our relationship to God. When we walk with God, we find the fellowship with Him transformative. Every day, I need to willingly and consistently spend time with God through Bible study and prayer and then actively and passionately obey what He tells me. So, how do we walk with God? Enoch walked with God so closely that he never died (Gen. 5:21-24). God just took him up to heaven. Imagine being so close to the Lord that He decided to transfer you to be with Him. For Enoch, the inference is that the transfer wasn’t even an interruption. Yes, he had a drastic change of scenery, but his focus, priorities, and passion didn’t change. How can we walk so close with God that if we were to be taken to heaven the way we live wouldn’t change?
Amos 3:3 states, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to meet?” Kent Hughes, writing on the life of Enoch, shares an outline of three points about the things in which we must agree with God in order to walk with Him. I want to share those and elaborate on each.
We have to agree on the place. Husbands and wives find it difficult to shop together when one wants to go to Macy’s and the other to Bass Pro! If the destination is not agreed upon, you will be walking alone. We must learn what God’s destination is for us and walk to that place. When deciding where to go (shop, eat, etc.) we usually decide based upon what’s most important to us. If you ask me where I want to eat, I will usually respond Mexican food because that’s what is most important to me when it comes to food! If we were to ask God, “What is most important to You?” I think He would respond with a twofold answer: His glory and His kingdom. Jesus indicated this in the first part of the model prayer (Matt. 6: 9-10). God is jealous for His glory and He desires that we employ our lives, not building a kingdom for ourselves, but for Him. Each of us needs to ask, “Is God being glorified in what I do, say, and watch? Is there evidence of God’s kingdom (His rule in my life) when others in my family, work, or school observe me?” The place God wants to take you is to glorify Himself and to encourage others to follow Him. Is that true of your life?
We have to agree on the path. Remember those old Family Circus cartoons where one of the children would go from point A to point B through some long, convoluted path marked by a dashed line? It’s not the path the parents intended! Many of us would love to glorify God in our lives, but we often want to follow our own path, not God’s path. How can I make sure the path I am walking is God’s path? I encourage you to read Ephesians chapters 4-6. Paul speaks a great deal about how we should walk on a path of truth, love, and light among others. If the characteristics of God characterize our life, then we are on the right path. Micah 6:8- “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
We have to agree on the pace. Sometimes we lag behind God in our lives. We have been a Christian long enough to be off of the milk of the Word and on to the meat (Heb. 5:12-14). At other times, we can get ahead of God. Some can get into burdensome debt because they got ahead of God’s will in their finances. Some can be in bad relationships because they got ahead of God’s plan. We need to be sure that we are being still before God, listening to what He says to us and where he leads us.
The amazing thing about Enoch is that he lived to be 365 years old. He walked with God for 300 years in a time of the world that was so depraved God was about to destroy it with a flood. Enoch is a great encouragement for us. He never grew tired of walking with God. He never got discouraged by a sinful world to the point that he gave up on God. I hope the same will always be true for you and me as well. How’s your walk with God? Give it your very best and you will find it a truly rewarding experience.