Pr Joshua Yong
O For a Closer Walk with God
To be able to walk with God is a great privilege which God’s children can enjoy. Before the fall, Adam and Even enjoyed this blessing in the Garden of Eden. After the fall, man lost this privilege and became separated from God; when Adam and Eve heard the voice of God who was walking in the garden, they felt ashamed and hid themselves from God’s presence (Gen 3:8). Although sin once separated us from God, when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, saving us from sin, this relationship and privilege to walk with God is now restored unto us.
As we enjoy this wonderful privilege of walking with God, we must not grow complacent lest we become stagnant in our walk with God. As we grow and mature in the faith, we must keep on having a closer walk with God. Have you been walking closely with God? How can we enjoy a closer walk with God?
What Walking with God is Not
Walking right with God does not mean that we will not experience afflictions, trials or hardships. In fact, the Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:12, that “all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” We must also not think that just because one walks closely with the Lord, that he will not suffer trials. If a person suffers hardships, trials and afflictions for Christ’s sake, it does not mean that he is not walking closely with God.
Walking right with God also does not mean that we are expected to live a sinless and perfect life. It does not mean that we will not struggle against temptation and sin. David is known as a man after God’s own heart, but he fell into sin when he committed adultery with Bathsheba. Yet, what marked David as one who walked with God was his urgency and sincerity in his repentance of sins when Nathan exposed his sins. Someone who walks right with God is one who does not want to continue in sin after he falls into sin. He knows that sin will hinder his fellowship with God, and he will not allow anything to come between the fellowship with God which he enjoys.
A Close Walk with God is Communion with God
To walk with God is to share close fellowship and communion with God. It is where we commune with God in prayer. We hear His voice through His Word. Walking with God is to be in His company and to enjoy His presence. A close walk with God is manifested in enjoying God’s presence through prayer and the meditation of God’s Word. This was David’s testimony in Psalm 63:1-2 – “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.”
Even though at this time David was wandering in the wilderness of Judah, he could still experience wonderful communion and fellowship with the Lord as if he were in the sanctuary of the Lord. David constantly sought the Lord in crying out to Him and through meditation of God’s Word. We would do well to learn from the example of David. So many today are often busy with life and are rushing from one thing to another. As a result, these important and precious seasons of communion with God are tragically neglected.
Will you not set aside time each day to commune with the Lord in prayer and to seek His will and hear His voice through the meditation of God’s Word?
A Close Walk with God is to Please God
A close walk with God is manifested in the Christian’s desire to please God. The Bible tells us in Genesis 5:24 that Enoch was one who “walked with God.” Though the Bible does not tell us much concerning the life of Enoch, the Bible does give us an important detail regarding his life. In Hebrews 11:5, the Bible says, “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.” The testimony of Enoch who walked with God was that “he pleased God.” What can be said about the life of Enoch was simply that “he pleased God.” This means that in all things which he did, he made sure that they were well accepted by the Lord. When the works of Enoch were acceptable to God, Enoch pleased God!
This is how a close walk with God must also be manifested in our lives. To walk closely with God is to not seek our own desires or gains. Rather, our desire should be to please God in all things. Though this is a simple truth, yet it is most profound. Is your desire even in the little things in life to please God or to please self?
This truth also means that we will seek the approval of God and not man. When a person walks closely with God, he lives for an audience of One. As he meditates upon God’s Word, he knows what pleases God and he will seek to obey and do God’s will. Sadly we often go through life trying to please many people.
A Close Walk with God means to Walk Justly and Uprightly
Another example we see in the Bible of one who walks right with God is Noah. The Bible in Genesis 6:4 says, “…Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” Noah was identified as one who walked with God. How did Noah walk with God? The Bible says that he was a “just man and perfect in his generations.” This does not mean that Noah was without sin. The emphasis rather was on how Noah was an upright and righteous man.
Being just or upright describes someone who is lawful and who seeks to do that which is right; he abides by the law of God and does what is right in God’s sight. The word “perfect” means that he was blameless. Noah was without blame in his character and conduct in all relationships. A blameless person is one who will confess and repent of his sin whenever he does sin. He is not sinless, but he is holy. Someone who walks with God and who shares in fellowship with God must reflect the character and nature of God. Such a person may be regarded as one who is just and perfect because this is a reflection of God’s person. He will walk and live in a way which is consistent with the character of God.
This consciousness of walking in a manner consistent with God’s character is expressed in Micah 6:8 – “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Someone who walks closely with God will reflect humility in his walk. When one walks with God, there is a dependence upon God, and he knows who God is, that He is God almighty, thus one can only walk in humility with God. Humility also expresses the thought of reliance and trust upon God. He will not trust in his own wisdom or strength but he will trust in the Lord. He also readily submits to wherever the Lord leads him. He will not seek his own path but will follow the Lord’s direction.
A Close Walk with God is to Walk in the Spirit
Our meditation of walking closely with God will not be complete without seeing how such a walk will be manifested in relation to the fruit of the Spirit. One who walks closely with the Lord will walk in the Spirit. Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:16: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” When one walks in the Spirit he will bear forth the fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” The fruit of the Spirit stands in contrast with the works of the flesh. Notice the fruit of the Spirit not only describes our fellowship with God, but also our relationship with our fellow man. Therefore, we may conclude that a right walk with God will also be manifested in how we relate to our fellow man. For example, one who walks closely with God will manifest patience in relation to others; he will not be easily provoked and will be able to respond in love even to those who may treat him unkindly. He also bears the virtue of gentleness. This describes the kindness and generosity and helpfulness that he shows to others. Notice that as this is the fruit of the Spirit, these are virtues that are the outcome of one who walks in the Spirit. These virtues are not artificially created or forced.
Walking with God is a great privilege that the child of God can enjoy. When the child of God walks closely with God, it will be manifested in his relationship with God and with man. With God, it will be reflected in the submission to and enjoyment of God’s presence through the study and meditation of God’s Word; with man, it will be manifested in his love for his fellow man. When one does not walk rightly with God, it will impact and affect every area of his life, including his relationship with man. When one walks rightly with God, he will be able to experience sweet fellowship and communion with God; his testimony will also be a blessing to those around him. In this new year, let us seek to walk closer with the Lord.
O for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame,
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!
Where is the blessedness I knew,
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul refreshing view
Of Jesus, and His Word?
What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void
The world can never fill.
Return, O holy Dove, return,
Sweet messenger of rest;
I hate the sins that made Thee mourn
And drove Thee from my breast.
The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be
Help me to tear it from Thy throne,
And worship only Thee.
So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame;
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.
- William Cowper