This article is about walking with God.

Source: Christian Renewal, 2005. 2 pages.

Walking: Not so Much about the Destination

My wife and I try to go for a walk first thing every morning. In this fast-paced and hurried age it is not high on everyone's list of favored activities. Yet walking offers things to see that might otherwise be missed from the window of a moving car. In the summer season especially one can take time to smell the roses in someone's garden, see a squirrel rushing up a tree, or a robin pulling a worm from the ground. Majestic oak trees tower above you, their branches waving in the wind, while ground cover pansies seem to smile at you. "All nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres."

Walking is not necessarily about a spe­cific destination. You make your rounds and return to the place from which you started. When I think about walking I am reminded of how often the Bible mentions the verb "to walk" in connec­tion with Christian living. To walk with God is to lead a life of faith in covenant obedience. It is in all our ways, actions, and duties, to have a continual love for God, having faith in Him, depending on Him, in submission to Him. It makes life meaningful, filled with pur­pose, giving a spring in one's step.

The Christian walk has a destination. The believer is always on the way, on a journey. God's people Israel left Egypt's house of bondage, crossed the Red Sea, travelled through the harsh wilderness - on the way to the promised land. The believer's life is a pilgrimage, "a longing for a better country - a heavenly one" (Hebrews 11:16). But the Bible also speaks of our walk on earth. Life on earth is a gift from God. He is a companion who strengthens feeble knees. It is He who guides us in our journey of life. We don't have to anxiously anticipate what is to come. We may enjoy each day as a gift from the Lord. We may cherish life and play, while keeping one thing in mind: We always walk before the Lord. We are accountable to Him. In the deepest sense it is our relationship to Him that counts. That's why our life is both a walk and a pilgrimage.

We are responsible for the choices we make along the way. Our walk is to be along a straight path (Galatians 2:14), leav­ing a clear way for others to follow. A walk that is not with the Lord is a walk against the Lord. It is to walk in the ways of sinners (Psalm 1:1), in the way of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15).

It is remarkable that the Bible often uses the word walk with a preposition. This is already the case in the Old Testament. Enoch walked with God (Genesis 5:22; Hebrews 11:5). He must have been at peace with God for two cannot walk together unless they agree (Amos 3:3). Enoch enjoyed close communion with God. His life was one of steady progress. As he walked with God, he took each step with eyes fixed on his heavenly Companion.

The Old Testament also speaks of walking in the way of way of the Lord (2 Kings 21:22; Deuteronomy 10:12). It refers to the instruction which God has given and particularly to the commandments of the law. Similarly, there are expressions such as to walk in truth (Isaiah 38:3), in honesty (Psalm 15:2), in righteousness (Isaiah 33:15), in peace (Malachi 2:6), in integrity (Psalm 26:1). Abraham walked before the Lord (Genesis 17:1). The psalmist prayed that he "may walk before the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm 116:9).

The New Testament refers to a leader who goes before his people. The good shepherd leads his sheep, and they fol­low him because they know his voice. The Christian walks in the newness of life (Romans 6:4), after the spirit (8:4), in honesty (13:13). And negatively, not after the flesh (Romans 8:4), not in a dis­orderly way (2 Thessalonians 3:6). The Christian walks in love (Ephesians 5:2), in the light (1 John 1:7). He is known by his walk. The ungodly man walks in dark­ness. He does not know where he is going (John 12:35). In Colossians 2:6 Paul speaks of walking in Him (Christ Jesus), a walk well pleasing unto the Lord, for His pleasure.

The apostle says that we are to walk with God in holy obedience (2 Peter 3:11, 14). In other words: Live as Christians, and walk with the Lord, in the light of His Word since this is our Father's world.

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