29. WILL YOU WALK CLOSELY WITH GOD?
(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 2)
No matter what may be going on in the world or how increasingly crazy and godless things may get from day to day, even where there is a falling away by many in the Churches and those who once upheld right seem to be intoxicated, distracted, have lost their zeal for Christ, become cold or lukewarm and are seemingly losing their senses, in the mad rush of the world’s system and the aggressiveness of the enemy’s unrelenting agenda, IT IS STILL POSSIBLE for you, if you are a believer in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and have confessed with your mouth that he is Lord, to SWIM AGAINST THE TIDE, to DEFY THE CULTURAL NORM, to REFUSE TO ACCEPT WHAT HAS BECOME ACCEPTABLE and like Enoch and Noah, despite what is going on around you, to resolve within yourself, that you will walk with God.
In Genesis 5:21-24, it reads of ENOCH, a man who had obviously made a commitment to serve God and to have intimate fellowship with him despite what everybody else around him may have chosen to do:
- “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: AND ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: AND ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD; and he was not; for God took him.
Indeed, this man walked so closely with God and was so loved by him, that God did not allow him to even see death as was the course for mankind but took him. This was also the case with Elijah the Prophet, who God took up into heaven by a whirlwind (2 Kings 2).
In Hebrews 11:5, it states that: “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”
Also, in Genesis 6:5-9 and 11, it reads in relation to NOAH, a man who had also resolved to serve God despite the great level of wickedness, corruption and violence all around him:
- “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. BUT NOAH FOUND GRACE IN THE EYES OF THE LORD. These are the generations of Noah: NOAH WAS A JUST MAN AND PERFECT IN HIS GENERATIONS, and NOAH WALKED WITH GOD…The earth also was corrupt before God and the earth was filled with violence.”
Enoch and Noah remind us that a close, intimate walk with God is still possible, even in the face of a cold, godless, sinful world. It is still possible to have a testimony that pleases God even where many professers of Christ today have become cold or lukewarm because they have lost their fire for Christ or because they have become intoxicated and distracted by the world, willing to compromise so as to just fit in, to look normal, to not be ostracized, so that they can live the good life (which everybody else seems to be living) and to not have to take up their cross and bear reproach and suffer, outside the camp.
Indeed, this commitment to walk closely with God in spirit and in truth no matter what, (not for show, not for name, not for man’s honour, not in pretense, not for jest, not for self-serving reasons and without being deluded or self-deceived) can be made, not just at the individual level but also at the family level.
This is exactly what JOSHUA resolved to do. In Joshua 24:14-15, he told the Israelites:
- “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.”
The choice you and I have to make in this generation therefore is whether we will truly walk with God , not with a semblance of religiosity where we appear to have a form of godliness but deny the power of God in how we live and the decisions we make from day to day but a real, intimate, close walk and fellowship with God, irrespective of the cost, irrespective of how people may think of us, how unpopular we may be, how much criticism we may attract and what we may have to give up to truly pursue after him.
God is not far from any one of us. In Acts 17:27, Paul stated of humanity in general, which was God’s creation: “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being… For we are also his offspring.”
If we resolve to draw near to God, to really draw near to him irrespective of the cost to our selves and our prized possessions, if we resolve to serve him in spirit and in truth, so much so that even when no man is looking, we will do the right thing and submit to what we know is the will of God because we know that God sees us, if we adopt the mindset that we must increasingly decrease and Jesus must increasingly increase in our lives and resolve to not just read and study the Word and hide it in our heads but in our hearts, where transformation takes place, if we put away rebellion which is our own way of living and truly submit to God’s way of life, not just in some areas but in all things and if we resolve that we will allow Jesus Christ our Lord to truly assert his Lordship over our lives and to have the preeminence, irrespective of the cost, God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, will draw near to us, even as he did with Enoch and Noah.
James 4:8 states: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…”. Indeed, this close walk and fellowship is what God craves in his children. He does not just want us to read about him in his Word but to also experience him in our own lives for ourselves. He wants to get us to a place where we think like he thinks, want what he wants, can feel his presence with us are sensitive to his leading and will and where we can metaphorically hear his very heartbeat.
This is not possible if all we resolve to do is to regularly attend services, make sure we appear spiritual to others, contribute in some way to Ministry activities, read the Bible regularly and pray. The Lord wants to get us to the place where we go further, by completely surrendering our will to his and living a life truly submitted to his Lordship. Such a life requires us to truly live a life of faith, not in word only but in action, so much so that we abandon our own agenda, the way we thought that life would work out, what we want to do and even things that we love, in pursuit of a close experiential walk with our Master and Lord.
In Luke 9:23, Jesus stated: “…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
In John 14:23, he also stated: “…If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
(Written on 05th August, 2020)
Dear Reader, if you found this Note to be beneficial or interesting, I recommend that you also read the following:
- Note 30 – ‘The Price Tag Of Success’
ADDENDUM (Further Note):
After I wrote the above Article on walking closely with God on the 5th August, 2020, on the 12th August, 2020 (seven days later), a sermon was preached at a Wednesday night service at my Church by C. Jack and his topic was on the man Enoch and how he walked closely with God!
In a nutshell, the Preacher identified a list of characteristics or traits that Enoch possessed, which are all implied in the fact that he walked closely with God. Of course I am sure that there are many other traits that can be used to describe Enoch and what it meant by him walking closely with God but I thought I’d share what was preached in the sermon here, given that it is the perfect complement to the Note I wrote a week earlier, above.
The Preacher said that Enoch was:
- CONSECRATED (Separated) to God;
- COMMITTED to God;
- A person who had COMMUNION (Fellowship) with God;
- A COMPANION (Friend) of God;
- CONSENTING (Agreeing) with God;
- CONTINUING (Consistent) with God;
- SURRENDERED to God (His life, His will, His way);
- SAFE (Protected) with God;
- SATISFIED (Content) with God;
- SETTLED (Grounded) with God;
- A person who had a FEAR of God;
- FOCUSED on God;
- A person with FAITH in God.