1) A popular commitment: Writer Marvin Williams wrote that he was greatly impressed by his wife’s commitment to walk two to four times a week for at least one hour each time. He said that his wife layers up or down depending on the weather, put on her headphone and set off walking in their neighborhood in rain or shine, snow or sleet, non-stop. I am sure Mrs. Williams is not the only diehard believer of walking. Millions of Americans, including many in this church, had made that same commitment and putting it into faithful practice.
2) A lonely commitment: Genesis chapter 5 is the only chapter in the Bible that records most funerals. From the death of Adam to the death of Lamech, a total of 8 time “and then he died” to end the lives of many early human ancestors. The only man in this chapter who did not die to end his life on earth was Enoch and the reason was: Enoch walked with God; then he was no more because God took him away.” (Gen. 5:24) While many people today choose to walk for their physical life, Enoch chose to walk with God for his spiritual life.
WALKING WITH GOD: What does it mean?
1) Making God your companion: Some people love to walk with companion so they can talk, share thoughts even sing together to make their walk more enjoyable. Making God a companion of life is a great choice but not a popular choice. How many people, including you and me, want to have God walk with us everywhere we go? Many Christians rather have God as a distant advisor or a guardian angel watching for our safety from distance. If you truly want to walk with God, you need to keep God as a companion of your life.
2) Making God your communion: Have you seen couples eating at restaurants without any communion: they seldom talk to each other except placing orders of food. Walking with God means more than keeping God beside you, it means communicating with Him in words and thoughts. A communion is a relationship that binds two persons in some common interests. If you want to walk with God, you have to build a close relationship with God in sharing some common interests.
3) Making God your direction: No one may walk with God by choosing his own direction and ask God to follow him. If you want to walk with God, you must be obedient to God and trust his direction. This is a very difficult choice many have failed to follow. We all want to choose our own path, our own way of life, desires of our heart, handling things our way and direction where we want to go. But if you truly want to walk with God, you have to give up your rights and privileges of your own and let God makes all decisions for you.
4) Making God your purpose: Choosing the purpose of life is very important to everyone. It has to do with your value of existence and the ultimate accomplishment of life. Some may have higher purposes than others, but almost all purposes were decided for personal goal and satisfaction. But that is impossible if you want to walk with God. If you want to walk with God, you have to choose His purpose as your purpose, His value your value and His satisfaction your satisfaction. Total surrender of self is the key to walk with God. Half hearted walk will never work.
WHY WALK WITH GOD?
1) He is the best choice: Everyone lives his life by following, or walking, with some values, purposes, direction or inspiration. Most of us do not create our own values, purposes, direction or inspiration. We choose to follow patterns set by others: parents, teachers, role models, personal heroes, etc. While these people may be worthy of our devotion to follow, but none of them may come close to the values, purposes, direction and inspiration offered by God or our Lord Jesus Christ. If you are serious in choosing a role model, no one is better than choosing God.
2) He knows the best way: No one is human history had achieved their goal or purpose of life without wasting time and energy in many wrong turns, setbacks, mistakes and painful consequence. But if we closely walk with God, His knowledge of the future, the challenges, pitfalls and all other wrong turns may keep us from making unwarranted mistakes and saves us from the pain and suffering. Why do many Christians spend years of self seeking and searching and falling until they put their trust in God and His direction? When you travel to a foreign land, you will trust the guide to lead your way. You can trust God as your guide to walk through your life in this world.
3) He has your best interest: In our real life we have to trust many people one way or another. We trust the pilot when we board a plane. We trust the carmaker when we drive a car. We trust the pharmacist when we take medication and we trust the financial advisor when we invest our life money. But who do you think he has your best interest in mind when they work for you? When you walk with God, He always has your best interest in mind and He always looking out to protect your wellbeing. God has never failed anyone in the past and He will not fail you in the future.
4) He brings the best results: Few lives may claim much value if there is little result. While there are many results people pursue, most of them either are self-interested or short live. Most self-interested results do not benefit anyone except the individual who pursues it. Even results that benefit more than self are short live and most human achievements are of temporary values. Jesus promised His disciples the double layers of results if they are faithful: “(He) will not fail to receive many times in this life and in the life to come, eternal life.” (Luke 18:30) It is never a loss to walk with God.
HOW TO WALK WITH GOD?
1) First, you have to know Him: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understand.” (Proverbs 9:10) These are the words of the wisest man in human history: you have to know God to receive wisdom and understanding from God. You will not walk with someone you don’t know. In order to walk with God, you have to get to know God: your creator, Savior and Lord. Knowing God is the beginning step to walk with Him.
2) Next, you have to trust God: “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good things.” (Ps. 34:10)These are words of experience of King David. God had provided him all the good things for him and his kingdom. You have to trust God to be blessed by God. You need to trust His wisdom, His love, His decision and His good will toward you. There will be paths He chooses to take you don’t like. There will be things He allowed to happen you wish they never happened. But you have to trust God to walk with you.
3) Then, you need to obey Him: “Does the Lord delight in burn offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed (his word) is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)One of the most important attitudes of walking with God is to obey God: obey His word, His will and His command. Obedience to His Father God is very important in the life of Jesus. He obeyed God’s will even to be crucified on the cross. If you can’t obey God, you just can’t walk with Him. Trusting God is in our will and faith. Obeying God is in our attitude and action. Without trust, you won’t obey. Without obedience, there is no true trust.
4) Finally, you have to keep walking: “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize.” (Phil. 3:13-14)Paul’s attitude should be our attitude when we walk with God as he did: keep walking and going until we reach the goal. To walk with God halfway or three-quarters of the way is the same as never walked with Him. The journey of Christian life is a lifelong commitment. It is never meant to try and stop or on and off. We have to be persistent and determined: keep walking.
1) Choose your walk: Everyone has to choose his/her walk of life. If you don’t choose, the world or the devil will choose for you: to walk with them. So, it is your right and responsibility to choose with whom you want to walk or to spend the rest of life: God or someone else. Make the move and pick your choice. It is never too late to choose God as your life companion. He is calling and waiting for you to come to Him and walk by Him.
2) Stay on the walk: Walking with God is never meant to be rosy or easy or always the way you want it to. But it is always right, good and beneficial to your ultimate value and purpose. So keep walking with Him. Do not get distracted by all the wrong signal and temptation. Trust God and His power to carry your though. If you are sliding backward, turn around and come back to Him. His plans for your life are much better in this world and the world to come. Do not ignore the calling. Do not drift away any longer. When you walk with God, life will become better and days are shorter.
3) Never too late to start: If you have never tried walking with God before, you certainly can start it now. God is always there to walk with you. All you need to do is asking Him to enter into your heart, turn over your life and all the problems to Him and He will show you a better way and brighter future. Why don’t you start the walk with Him now? He certainly will lead you to a higher ground you have never dreamed possible. Do not hesitate to make the call.