The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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      Perhaps you have seen verbiage on a church sign that encourages readers to “Exercise Daily: Walk with God.” Through the years, my doctor(s) have encouraged me to exercise more frequently and more intentionally. Having recently had a birthday, I am now heeding my doctor’s counsel and have begun walking nearly every day. I have discovered that these exercise sessions have provided a period of solitude during which I can think, pray, and consider scripture.     
      As I was walking one evening not long ago, I began to recall a few verses that focused on “walking.” For instance, Christians are to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), to “walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8), to “walk in the light as he is in the light” (1 John 1:7), and to “walk in love” (2 John, v. 6). One of my favorite “walking” verses is recorded in Genesis 5:24 where “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”
      As I walked along on that recent evening, several aspects of “walking with God” occurred to me. Specifically, walking with God implies Direction. Walking with God means to stay focused on God and follow his guidance rather than swerving off the narrow path in a self-guided route. In other words, to walk with God means to trust that his direction is best (Proverbs 3:5-6). In “other, other” words, walking with God means to pursue God’s will even though criticism may arise or your popularity with peers decreases.     
      One of my favorite discipleship studies is “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God.” Several “realities” of experiencing God include: (1) God is always at work around you, (2) He invites you to join him in his work; (3) God’s invitation may lead to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action; (4) You cannot stay where you are and go with God. In simple terms, walking with God and doing the will of God means to travel in the direction that he is going.
      Distance is another aspect of walking with God. I often check the health app on my cell phone to see how many steps I walked throughout the day. Both my daily and average distance are also calculated. Progress is a function of distance. When you walk with God, you make progress in your spiritual life. When you walk with God, you make progress in your relationship with him. When you walk with God, you are able to commune with him and he with you. I am reminded of the words to a song:
The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows;
The more that I love Him more love He bestows.
Each day is like Heaven, my heart overflows.        
The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows.
      The longer you serve him, the greater distance that you walk with God. This distance correlates with the progress made toward going where God is going each and every day.  Why? Because you cannot stay where you are and go with God.
      Devotion is yet another aspect of walking with God. Devotion implies relationship. Devotion includes fellowship. Devotion involves intimacy. The prophet Amos presented a rhetorical question “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” When I see a man and woman walking hand-in-hand, I often think of this verse in Amos. In order for two people to walk together, they must be in agreement regarding the direction, the distance, and the pace. Being devoted to each other, these two people spend time with each other, speak to each other, and share their lives with each other. Similarly, being devoted to God involves spending time with him, speaking with him, and sharing life with him.
      Destination is a final aspect of walking with God. Concerning Enoch’s walk with God, “he was not, for God took him.” Of interest is the fact that the account of Enoch does not conclude with the familiar phrase “and he died” that permeates the 5th chapter of Genesis. Having walked with God for a lifetime, Enoch arrived at God’s destination. Enoch did not die, he received a new address!     
      During lunch one Sunday, a young girl was asked by her parents what she had learned in Sunday School. The little girl responded that the Bible story was about a man named Enoch. She proceeded to tell her parents that after walking with God for a long time one day, God said to Enoch “since you are such a long way from home, you should just come in my house and stay with me.”

      The question that everyone must ask and answer is “Am I walking with God?” Or, put another way, “Am I walking with God in terms of direction, distance, devotion, and destination?” Enoch walked by faith (Hebrews 11:5-6) and I pray that the record of my life will be registered in similar fashion.  Until that time comes, however, may you and I be challenged by the words penned by Thomas Ken:


I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus, keep me from all wrong;

I’ll be satisfied as long as I walk, let me walk close to Thee.           


Just a closer walk with Thee, grant it, Jesus, is my plea,

Daily walking close to Thee, let it be, dear Lord, let it be.


Dear Heavenly Father, May my life be marked with a daily pattern of walking with you. May I walk in your direction and go the distance you have for me. May my life be filled with devotion to you as I grow and share life with you. I look forward to the destination you have promised and prepared for those who have placed their faith in you. May my walk with you encourage others to begin and continue their walk with you. Amen.