Christians enjoy the inestimable privilege of walking with God. As we proceed through life, we do so in fellowship with the Creator and Sustainer of all that is. We enjoy a relationship of true familiarity and intimacy. God pleads with us to tell him our cares and to make known to him our concerns, and he carries those burdens on our behalf. We, in turn, plead for his wisdom and guidance and he graciously gives it to us. There is no better way to live.
The Christian’s walk is one of close fellowship with God and earnest obedience to God. Here are some of the joys we receive in this walk.
Walking with God pleases God. The person who walks with God declares to the world whose company he loves most. His fellowship with the Father brings glory to the Father. He, like Enoch, will be “commended as having pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5).
Walking with God has evangelistic appeal. Peter tells wives to walk closely with God so their ungodly husbands may be “won without a word” (1 Peter 3:1). Many Christians can attest that the first appeal of the Christian faith was not the message of the gospel but another Christian’s fellowship with God through the gospel.
Walking with God silences adversaries. Peter insists that the good works we do will “silence the ignorance of foolish people” (1 Peter 2:15). Religious hypocrisy makes a mockery of the gospel but holy living makes the gospel shine bright. It is a joy when the only charge an unbeliever can bring against a Christian is his holiness.
Walking with God is a pleasant way to live. Solomon says of wisdom that “her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17). We experience the supernatural pleasantness of communion with God when we walk closely with him.
Walking with God is honorable. A commoner feels blessed that he walks with the king; a Christian feels blessed that he walks with God. There is no greater dignity a mortal man can experience than fellowship with God himself. It is the most honorable way to live.
Walking with God leads to rest. People who walk in their sin experience no rest in this life or the life to come. Yet to those who flee their sin, Jesus promises “you will find rest for your souls” for “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30). In Christ we find rest now and in eternity.
Walking with God is safe. Walking in the way of sin is like walking along the edge of a cliff. The unrepentant sinner is always standing on the brink of a bottomless pit, and the smallest nudge from death will send him tumbling. Yet those who walk in godliness and wisdom receive this promise: “Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble” (Proverbs 3:23).
Walking with God makes death sweet. There is nothing that will ease death like a close walk with God. Walking with God never harms us but only helps us. No Christian will come to the grave regretting that he has prayed too much, been too holy, or walked with God too closely. To the contrary, he will regret that he has not spent more time with God, grown to greater holiness, and prayed with greater frequency and fervency.
Walking with God teaches us the mind of God. Friends who walk together share their secrets with one another. Noah walked with God and learned of God’s plan to destroy the world; Abraham walked with God and learned of his plan to make him into a great nation. God reveals himself and his will to those who spend time with him. It is what friends do!
Walking with God keeps us from being abandoned by God. Those who walk with God will never be left by him. God may withdraw a sense of his presence for a time to teach us to cry out for him, but he will never leave altogether or for too long. As God said to Isaiah, “‘In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,’ says the LORD, your Redeemer” (Isaiah 54:8).
Truly, this close communion with God is the Christian’s great privilege. There is no better way to live.
This article was drawn from The Godly Man’s Picture which I’ve been reading with a whole crowd of people as part of my ongoing Reading Classics Together effort.
For those who are reading with me, please continue reading. In fact, finish up the book. Then check back a week from today and I’ll have a final article drawn from it.