Mike Focht 10/27/2023
How is your walk with God? Phrases like that are something that we are very familiar with. The idea of a walk with God has almost become a Christian cliché. A part of me fears the language will soon fade from our everyday speech because it carries too many negative connotations culturally. The reason that worries me is that the phrase is wonderfully Biblical. I believe it is the most ancient and elemental way to speak of the very purpose of our lives—a true and living relationship with our Creator.
Let us think about this idea of walking with God. God Himself begins this idea by revealing that His pre-fallen relationship with man was like a relational walk. We are told in Genesis that Adam and Eve heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. That sound, which was to be the highest delight of their existence in a perfect world, became a fearful knell of impending doom once sin had twisted the purpose and intention.
Even so, after God drove man from the garden, Adam and Eve seem to have passed down something of their divine walks to successive generations. What do we know of their descendants' spiritual life with God? What are we told about the godliest men who lived in that ancient world? First, we meet Enoch, and we are told: Enoch walked with God three hundred years. . . And Enoch walked with God; and was not, for God took him. And what of the next godly man we see? What are we told of Noah, who found grace in God's sight? We are simply told that: Noah walked with God.
The most ancient description of a personal relationship with God the Creator is a walk with God. Of course, the use of the Biblical phrase does not end there. The same imagery and language of a walk with God fills the Old Testament and flows through the New Testament. Is anything sweeter, more beautiful, and instructive than following the Son of Man in the Gospels as He walks with men once again? God the Father wants us to see the disciples walking with God the Son, amazed yet becoming increasingly aware of the blessing they are living out.
We see then that the language of following Christ, being a disciple, and imitating Him are all tied to the reality that humans walked with God once again. The apostles continue to embrace the language of a walk. Paul, who was only in Thessalonica for a few short weeks, could say to them: Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God. The saying is always used so freely and with little to no explanation. Paul knew the phrase was elemental and intuitive enough that even baby Christians could understand. There is something to the reality of a personal walk with God that every genuinely born-again Christian knows.
A walk is an ancient and present embodiment of a relationship. A walk implies that someone has something to say to us. A walk implies fellowship and agreement. A walk implies a sweet and sought-after level of privacy and intimacy. I love the term because God the Father used it, God the Son lived it, and God the Holy Spirit illuminates it in our lives. I hope we never lose the phrase because we will never have another better one.
In 2 Corinthians 6:16, God says: I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Like the ancient days in the garden, God promises to walk with us. You and I can walk with God because of Christ's cross and the Holy Spirit's work. The cross of Christ invites us to join Him in walking together. So I ask you, my dear reader, in the fullest sense of wonder and blessing that the phrase can convey: Are you walking with God today?