What does it mean to "walk with God"? It means several things. First, that the prevailing power of enmity in a person's heart has been taken away by the blessed Spirit of God. Secondly, that the person has actually been reconciled to God the Father. Thirdly, that the person has an abiding communion and fellowship with God-what in Scripture is called "the Holy Ghost dwelling in us." Finally, walking with God implies our making progress in the divine life. Walking requires a progressive motion. But how does a Christian maintain such a walk with God?
Step One: Read the Scriptures
To begin with, believers maintain their walk with God by reading his Holy Word. "Search the Scriptures," says our blessed Lord, "for these are they that testify of me" (John 5:39). And the royal Psalmist tells us that God's Word was a "light unto his feet, and a lantern unto his paths" (Ps. 119:105). He makes it one characteristic of a good man that "his delight is in the law of the Lord, and that he exercises himself therein day and night" (Ps. 1:2). "Give thyself to reading," says Paul to Timothy (I Tim. 4:13). "And this book of the law," says God to Joshua, "shall not go out of thy mouth" (Josh. 1:8). For "whatsoever was written a foretime, was written for our learning" (Rom. 15:4). And the word of God is "profitable for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, and every way sufficient to make every true child of God thoroughly furnished unto every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16).
Step Two: Personal Prayer
Secondly, believers keep up their walk with God by private, personal prayer. The spirit of grace is always accompanied with the spirit of supplication. It is the very breath of the new creature, the fan of the divine life. By it, the spark of holy fire, kindled in the soul by God, is not only kept in, but raised into a flame. Neglect of private prayer has been frequently an inlet to many spiritual diseases, and has been attended with fatal consequences. Prayer is one of the most noble parts of the believer's spiritual armor. "Praying always," says the apostle, "with all manner of supplication" (Eph. 6:18).
Step Three: Meditation
Holy and frequent meditation is another blessed means of keeping up a believer's walk with God. "Prayer, reading, and meditation," says Luther, "makes a minister." And they also make and perfect a Christian. Meditation is to the soul what digestion is to the body. David found it so, and therefore he was frequently employed in meditation, even in the night season. We read also of Isaac's going out into the fields to meditate in the evening; or, as it is in the margin, to pray. For meditation is a kind of silent prayer, whereby the soul is frequently (so to speak) carried out of itself to God. Through meditation, the soul is, in a degree, made like unto those blessed Spirits, who by a kind of intuition always behold the face of our heavenly Father.
Step Four: Noting God's Providence
Believers keep up their walk with God also by watching and noting His providential dealings with them. If we believe the Scriptures, we must believe what our Lord hath declared therein, "that the very hairs of his disciples' heads are numbered; and that a sparrow does not fall to the ground, (either to pick up a grain of corn, or when shot by a fowler,) without the knowledge of our heavenly Father" (Matt. 10:29).
Step Five: Seek the Guidance of the Spirit
In order to walk closely with God, his children must not only watch the motions of God's providence around them, but they must also take note of the moving of his blessed Spirit within their hearts. "As many as are the sons of God, are led by the Spirit of God" (Rom. 8: 14). They give up themselves to be guided by the Holy Ghost, just as a little child gives its hand to be led by a nurse or parent.
Step Six: Obedience
Those who would maintain a holy walk with God must walk with him in His commandments as well as in His providences. It is recorded of Zacharias and Elizabeth, that "they walked in all God's ordinance, as well as commandments, blameless" (Luke 1:6). And all rightly informed Christians will look upon commandments, not as beggarly elements, but as so many conduit-pipes by which the infinitely condescending Jehovah conveys his grace to their souls. They will look upon them as children's bread, and as their highest privileges.
Step Seven: Godly Association
Finally, if you would walk with God, you will associate and keep company with others who walk with Him. "My delight," says David, "is in them that do excel in virtue" (Ps. 16:3). They were, in his sight, the excellent ones of the earth. And the primitive Christians, no doubt, kept up their vigor and first love by continuing in fellowship one with another. The apostle Paul knew this full well, and therefore exhorts the Christians to see to it that they did not forsake the assembling of themselves together (Heb. 10:25).
"And Enoch walked with God" (Gen. 5:24). If those same words can truly be said of you and me after our deaths, we shall have no reason to ever think that we have lived in vain.
Encouraging notes from JIL Canada local church Pastors and Coordinators!
Alness (North York)
Jesus Is Lord Church is a Philippine-based, Christ-centred Full-Gospel Christian Church that is doing ministry work since 1978. It is currently present in 55 countries around the world. In 1987 Jesus Is Lord Church started its ministry work in Canada and found a home in 8 of its provinces today - British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.