I have been meditating on this passage, and the concept of "walking with God" for quite some time.
What does it mean to "walk with God"?
In the past three months, I have gained a greater awareness of how real God is, how magnificent and present His live, His love is for us. God's presence, His grace in our lives is no contingent on us. He is ever-present, regardless of how we are thinking or what we are feeling.
Now, let's look at this phrase "walking with God", and I will share with you what God has revealed to me in His Word. This is a wonderful revelation, and I hope that it blesses you immensely.
First, I want to explore the word "walk" in the Original Hebrew.
The word is "halak", and it is made up of three letters:
He -- grace
Lamed -- a picture of a shepherd's staff, a picture of Jesus, certainly, but also a picture of leading, or being lead.
Kaph -- which is an open hand, or a hand of blessing, like the hand of the priest blessing the people.
So, "to walk" indicates how God's grace leads us to blessing.
Strongs Concordance references "halak" with the nunber 1980, the same year that I was born. Another wow!
But now it gets really interesting.
The first mention of a word in the Bible often unfolds the spiritual insight which God wants us to receive about the word.
Where does "halak" first appear?
"And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates." (Genesis 2:14)
"Goes" is the word which translates "halak" in the above verse.
But a river does not merely "go" ... it flows!
Go with the flow, man!
Check out other translations of the above verse:
"The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates." (New American Standard Bible)
"The third river is named the Tigris— it flows to the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates." (International Standard Version)
A river does not "walk" in the sense of the word in English. A river flows!
So, consider this meaning in light of Genesis 5:22:
"Enoch flowed with God."
Another use of "Halak" in the Book of Genesis brings forth greater revelation!
"And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters." (Genesis 7:18)
"The ark went", the verse above reads. "Went" is the word "halak".
OK, sure, the Ark was going along the water. But what's another word, one that is just as precise?
The ark floated!
"The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water." (New International Version)
So, one could read Genesis 5:22 also as "Enoch floated in God".
Yes, I know these literalist readings are acquired, and the context argues against such uses, but still the first mention of "halak" is flow, not necessarily "movement by placing one foot in front of the other."
The Lord then showed me some incredible insight into this.
How do we walk with God?
The writer of Hebrews explains:
"5By 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."
So, Enoch pleased God. That's what it means to "walk with God". But we need more information.
The writer does not stop there:
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Do you see that? It's about faith! That makes sense, of course, since the entire context of Hebrews 11 is about faith. Faith is about receiving from God, believing that He is a rewarder. Just to affirm that it's about receiving from Him, I want to expand briefly on "diligently seek".
God is not far away, or somehow hiding from us. Even in the Old Testament, before Jesus' blood was shed for us, the Lord declares to His people:
"Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:" (Isaiah 59:1)
Jesus promises to those who believe on Him:
"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:20)
"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;" (John 14:16)
Above all, the writer of Hebrews affirms:
"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5)
So, what does "diligently seek" mean? In the original Greek, it is ἐκζητέω, or ekzeteo. "ek" implies intensity, and zeteo does mean "seek", but also "want" or "desire." In other words, those who want Him, who desire to receive Him.
It's not about going on a quest or a long journey. It's about wanting to receive from Him as much as possible, much like what Paul had prayed for the Ephesian Christians in particular and the church in general:
"14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 4:14-19)
The desire to know Jesus more, to receive from Him more, is as simply as asking Him--and that is what faith is all about! The reason I went into this extensive explanation is that many people have torturned or twisted "walking with God" to mean living an obedient life, following the Ten Commandments, following God's orders, rules, etc. They have turned into quite a work!
What the Lord has shown me, however, is that "walking with God" is all about letting God flow in and through you. It's about letting God
For years, ever since I heard about "walking with God", or when people would ask me "How is your walk with God? How is your walk with the Lord?", I always pictured myself literally walking with God, trying to keep up with Him, or making sure that I was going the way that He was going. Underlining this picture was the notion that I could be walking the wrong way, or going to the wrong place. A further underpinning of that initial idea of "walking with God" was this notion that He is separate, outside of me.
And yet throughout the New Testament, because of all that the New Covenant has enacted by Jesus' Finished Word, Jesus is not just outside of us holding everything together (Colossians 1:17), but He is within us, too!
Paul writes to the Colossians:
"Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27)
"Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." (Colossians 1:29)
How about these verses, too?
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)
Christ Jesus lives in us! He is not walking outside of us, and we are somehow trying to keep up with Him or maintain our stance, our standing, our location with Him!
OK, so then what does "walk with God" mean?
It means that as God is flowing in us, His Spirit is guiding us by peace (Colossians 3:15), we let Him carry us! We float in Him!
Consider what Paul writes to the Galatians:
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16)
Walk, or rather "flow in the Spirit", and you won't want to engage in, indulge lusts of the flesh in your body. We are regenerated in our spirits when we believe in Jesus, but our minds need to be renewed to the truth as we read God's Word (Romans 12:1-2), and we still have the flesh, although it has been condemned (Romans 8:3), and therefore holds no more condemnation over us. "Reckon yourselves dead to sin ..." (Romans 6:11)
The big revelation for me about "walking with God" is that it's not about what we do for or with Him, but rather letting Him work, do, flow in us!
The first criticism that will come up to this is "So, we just sit back and do nothing, then? We rest, and let God work through us, do all the work, right? Why don't I just sit and be lazy?"
That makes no sense at all! If you place a boat in a river, the river carries the boat where it is flowing. Consider mills along a river. The wheels that grind flour, which propel turbines are "working", right? Yet the power that propels them is in the water, not the wheels, not in the turbines. That's how God works in and through us, and how we in turn produce works.
Look back at Genesis 7:18. The Ark floated on the waters, right? An ark in the water isn't going to stay in one place, but move with the waters. The same holds true in the first mention of "halak" back in Genesis 2:14. A river does not stay anywhere, so to speak, but moves. So too, whatever is resting in the waters, will move with the waters.
Therefore, we who believe in Jesus, who rest in Him, who allow His Spirit to flow within us, will find ourselves guided by His peace, go places, say words, do works as He is guiding us.
There is a perfect example of God working in those who believe in Him in Acts 8:
"26And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. ... Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?" (Acts 8:26, 29-30).
Notice that Philip received guidance to go Gaza, and then to join with the Eunuch who served Queen Candace of Ethiopa. After Philip ministered to the eunuch, who then received the Gospel and believed in Jesus, and after Philip baptized the eunuch, look what happened afterwards:
"And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. 40But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea." (Acts 8:39-40)
Notice how the Spirit guided Philip to the right place and the right person to minister to, and then "caught him away" and took him to Azotus!
Now that's "walking with God"!
In the Body of Christ, we need to see that God is constantly flowing, moving, carrying us! He is providing everything for us, and all we have to do is receive from Him all things. All that our loving Father is asking us to do is to rest in Him, to let Him carry us by His Spirit, to guide us, to direct us! It's not about trying to keep up with God our Father, but rather allowing Him to keep us!
Now, we can try to go against the currents of His love and grace, we can strive in our own efforts to produce results or manage the outcomes, and we frustrate His grace. Paul counsels the Galatians about this:
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:20-21)
Notice that Paul lives by faith, and not just any faith, but the Christ's own faith. Our loving Savior lives in us, moves within us!
The promptings of God's Spirit, the will, the desires He creates us our guiding us! We do not have to stress ourselves out by trying to keep in step with God, as though He is outside of us.
With this revelation in mind, let's look another mention of the phrase "walk with God":
"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?" (Micah 6:8)
"Do justly" is better rendered "do judgment" or act based on Wisdom. "Love mercy" is also "love grace" since the original "chesed" speaks of God's loving kindness and favor. Then we come to "walk humbly".
The first mention of the Hebrew word for "humbly" appears here:
"When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2)
Walking humbly speaks of dependence, not merely looking down on the ground while striving to keep pace with God.
In fact, where else do we read being humble, and the rewards that come with it?
"Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly." (Proverbs 3:34) James repeats this promise in his epistle, too:
"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." (James 4:6)
Walking humbly with God, walking with God, is all about receiving from Him, depending on Him for everything, letting His Spirit carry you and move you!
After all, did not Jesus say:
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
Jesus is our life and He is the WAY. Do we not understand that He is preparing our path, that He knows where He wants to take us, and that He is prepared to take us there? Consider that He declares Himself "The Life".
Look at the question Jesus was answering in that passage:
"And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
"Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" (John 14:5-6)
Just as today people often wonder "How do I walk with God? Where is He going? I want to make sure that I am in step with Him", so too Thomas was already doubting, as if to say "How can we go where you are going?"
Jesus made it very clear: "I am the Way."
We need to understand, therefore, that walking with God, with Jesus is all about resting in Him, letting Him flow through us, carry us, guide us! He is the Way, the Truth, the Life. He knows where to take us, He is taking to a place filled with His grace and truth, and He is our Life, the power that moves us where He wants us to go.
This revelation was beyond profound. It was so staggering for me, that I shared it with a number of my friends. I am now compelled to share it with you in this post. Now I understand why pastors today are telling us "Get a bigger revelation of Jesus" as the answer to everything that we face. I recognize now how alive, vibrant, active He is. I no longer worry myself with questions like "How will I face this problem?" or "God, where are you?"
I recognize that He is fully carrying me, guiding me, causing me to flow with Him. I don't have to work, strive, or stress out to make sure that I am going the right way, doing the right thing. It's all about resting in Him, receiving from Him!
It's not a rhetorical nicety or a personal sentiment. It's the truth! Jesus is our Life. Let's just let Him flow through us! Let's receive from Him, and let's believe for all things from Him! That's what it means to "walk with God".