“Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24)
I am so grateful for the daily spiritual messages being provided by the Kingsport Times-News in these difficult Covid-19 days. We need God’s hope and direction.
It is very encouraging to know that our need for social distancing does not apply to our relationship with the Lord. In that spirit, I offer this article I wrote about a decade ago.
We are told at Colossians 3:16 the word of God can dwell in us richly as we sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Unfortunately, we often sing the truth better than we live it.
Consider these lines from “He Lives”, the great Easter hymn: “Christ Jesus lives today! He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.”
Then consider this verse from “In the Garden”: “And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own.”
Now ask yourself – how frequently during this last week was I consciously aware of my Lord’s presence with me? How many times did I hear Him speak to me? How often was my heart touched with the wondrous truth I am His beloved?
More and more Christians are awakening to the fact Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. But for almost all of us, the day-to-day experience of that relationship remains elusive.
We have our moments of prayer when we talk to God. We have those times when good things happen and we thank Him for His blessings. Some experience His presence in congregational praise and worship, and most are stirred at least occasionally by a sunrise or a baby’s smile.
At the other end of life’s spectrum, walking through the dark valleys, we reach out to God because we need strength, comfort or hope. Those of us who never turned to God before will do so when we have nowhere else to turn. And He is always faithful to respond even if it is not in the way we might choose.
But what I am talking about, and what those hymns are talking about, is so much more than just an awareness of God at the high and low points of life. Walking with God is about a life in constant companionship and partnership with God. It is a life continually aware of God’s incredible love for you, profound purpose for you and powerful presence with you.
Just imagine what such a life would be like! Attitudes, thought patterns and behaviors would improve dramatically. God’s wisdom and assurance would always be right there for you. Depression, loneliness and fear would have no place to latch on. And your ongoing awareness of His love would make it much easier for you to love God back, and to love everyone He loves.
Well, friends, the “Good News” is this life of loving companionship and partnership with God is exactly what He wants for each of us. Most churches are not teaching it, but Jesus Christ prayed we would walk in “oneness” with Him just like He walked the earth in oneness with the Father. (John 17) He promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20). Through the Holy Spirit, He is faithful to that promise. (John 16:12-15) He lives in us and we live in Him. (John 15)
Even the Old Testament reveals God’s desire that we walk with Him. (Micah 6:8) And a guy named Enoch, six generations out from Adam, did just that. Enoch’s trusting companionship with God pleased God so much He didn’t let death touch Enoch. (Hebrews 11:5)
If Enoch can walk with God, how much more empowered are we to walk with God, having received Christ as Lord and God’s Holy Spirit within us?
Frankly, there is only one obstacle that stands between me and such a wondrous God-filled life – “me”. If I don’t believe I can receive it, I won’t. If I believe, but don’t seek it with my whole heart, I won’t find it. (Jeremiah 29:13)
King David, a man after God’s own heart, provides the key focus: “I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8) God is constantly aware of us. David resolved to be constantly aware of Him.
Let’s resolve together to discipline our daily lives against the distractions the world throws at us. Like Brother Lawrence’s great devotional book written centuries ago, we should be “Practicing the Presence of God” all the time.
As you and I learn to set the Lord constantly before us, He will walk with us and talk with us. We will bask in His love. Spiritually awakened, we will be empowered to awaken others. More than our lives will change. The church will change, and this world will change.
God bless you, and God bless our community.