Thursday, January 03, 2008

Walk It Out

Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
Genesis 5:24

Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
Genesis 6:9
In chapter five of Genesis, Moses gives us a record of several men and the great number of years that they lived. All of the men spoken of in this account are said to have died except for one, Enoch, of whom we read that "God took him." There are two things in the Genesis five account that separate Enoch from all the other men, one positive and one negative: he didn't die and he walked with God.

In chapter six of Genesis, Moses writes of the corruption of all men on earth being so great that God purposed to destroy His entire creation. And then, set in contrast to all this he tells us about Noah. Three things set Noah apart from all the other men in his generation: he was righteous, he was blameless, and he walked with God.

It cannot be a coincidence that the two men who stand out from everyone else in these two consecutive chapters had this one thing in common: they walked with God. That's it. We know absolutely nothing about the life of Enoch from Genesis five except that he walked with God. God could have told us more about what Enoch's life was like but He desired to tell us nothing more than that Enoch walked with Him. Being blameless and righteous describe the type of person that Noah was, but they don't describe how these characteristics manifested themselves in his day to day life. Just like Enoch, God tells us only one thing about Noah's actions: he walked with God and this was enough for him to find "favor in the eyes of the LORD" (Genesis 6:8).

It's interesting to note that after Adam and Eve had sinned against God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Moses tells us "that they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden" (Genesis 3:8, emphasis added). But they had hidden themselves. And when God calls to Adam asking him where he is, this seems to imply that God expected that they would be out walking with Him. Adam and Eve weren't walking with God the way they were supposed to be, the way God had planned from the beginning.

Enoch walked with God. Noah walked with God. Simple sentences. But there is so much to be learned in them. God just wants us to walk with Him. It's fitting that the Lord would impress this upon me as I begin anew walking through His Word from the beginning at the start of the year. There is a sense in which I just want to devour the Bible. I want it all at once and in eagerness to absorb it all, I am missing the point. God wants me to walk as I go.

Consider what it means to walk. There is a slow, constant, steady, patient rhythm of placing one foot in front of the other. When you walk, you aren't usually in a hurry. When you walk, you don't usually slow down and speed up. When you walk, you don't usually have to stop to take a break because you are so tired. When you walk, you learn to wait. You are moving in such a way that you aren't missing all the things around you but rather you can observe your surroundings. You can take things in.

God has designed us to walk with Him. The life rhythms of waking and sleeping, eating and drinking, and so on make much of our lives a repetition of the same activities. And yet, we don't want to walk. Walking is boring. We want to sprint because we feel like we are more productive that way. We want more excitement in our lives so we feel like we need to be out doing things. We are always looking for something new. We want adventure. We want novelty. We want "fun". But sooner or later in this life, walking is all that we will be able to do. We should learn to do it now so that we don't eventually find ourselves in a self-imposed misery, if not already.

Life with God isn't supposed to be complicated. But we make it to be. This year doesn't need to have magnificent aspirations for it to surpass last year and not be a failure. Our days don't have to be filled with significant events in which we deeply touch the life of another person. That would be sweet and we should want that. But much of our lives are just the ordinary, regular day to day functions that we are used to with little variation and we shouldn't see this as a disappointment. Rather, we should ask the Lord for grace just to continue to walk with Him and to give us eyes to see His glory in it all as having originated from Him. And we should receive it all as a gift while standing in awe of the fact that the eternal Lord of heaven and earth would walk with sinners such as us, and mere creatures of dust. If we were to do this, we might learn that it's easier to please God than we often think.

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.
Hebrews 11:5
Heavenly Father, thank You for the unimaginable privilege of walking with You. We sleep and we wake, and we are still walking with You. What wonder! Lord, help me to feel this more deeply so that it completely changes my experience of all of life, so that walking with you would be the joy of joys that makes it impossible for life to ever be boring. For surely, it is this kind of mentality that frees one to go and lay down their lives living as the hands and feet of Jesus amongst the poorest of the poor in the world. Lord, free us from the need for activity. Free us from the need for entertainment. Free us from the need for the latest new gadgets and gizmos. Free us from the need for exotic vacations. Free us from being like the rest of the world. And simply grant that we would walk more closely with You. May life be about nothing more than being in Your Word, communing with You in prayer, killing sin, loving Christ as we see more and more of His glory, and being transformed into His image so that we can love You and love people. May these be the regular rhythms of our lives that we never grow weary of day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year, until Christ comes or calls us home. We don't need new year's resolutions. We just need more of Christ. Please grant us to walk more closely with Him in 2008. In His awesome name, Amen.

1 comment:

Justin said...

Yea I feel that way too often where I'll be running or I'm stagnant. Oh how God needs to teach me to walk