Shortly after having my third baby in 3 years, I realized I was no longer walking with God. I went to church, read my Bible, and was still a Christian. But actually walking with God was not an adjective that could be used to describe my daily life. A believer in God was probably a better definition.
I was tired of the well meaning but poor advice from women telling me to just enjoy my season of life. Their advice seemed to be that it’s just hard to walk with God with so many young children. I was to simply use this season to learn to pray in the shower and simply be content with that.
But I wasn’t.
I envied David’s words in Psalm 42 and more than once found myself asking God if David’s words “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” is even possible in modern day Christianity? Does anyone’s soul actually pant after God? And if so, how do I get that?
What Does Walking With God Look Like in the Bible?
If you open up your Bible to Genesis 5 and read the genealogy, you’ll notice one man never died. I know. Weird right?!! But Genesis states that Enoch did not die because God took him up before his death. The only explanation given for this is because he walked with God.
We see this same example in Genesis 6 with Noah. Every inclination of the hearts of man was evil BUT Noah. God said He was going to destroy all flesh BUT Noah. Why was Noah able to find life in the midst of destruction and death? Genesis 6:9 tells us it was simply because “Noah walked with God”.
Somehow, in the midst of their world, these two men figured out how to walk with God. If we look closely at their lives, we can get some good hints at starting to unpack a working definition of what it means to “walk with God”.
How to Walk With God
Walking with God does not rely on certain activities or behaviors.
Both men lived before the 10 commandments were written, before church existed, and before there were good moral standards in place. But yet they were still described as “walking with God”. This means walking with God is not solely a behavior you can do to earn this credential.
Walking with God begins with Your Thought Life
Genesis 6 tells us “every intention of the thoughts of his heart was evil only…..But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord”. Noah was different. And I love how the words “thoughts of the heart” exemplify what must have been different about Noah. His thought life, how he processed situations, how he solved problems, and how he reacted to life must have been different than those around him. Walking with God must have something to do with your thought life as well then.
Walking with God Requires you to Practice Your Beliefs
Noah believed God is who He says He is EVEN WHEN life got messy. He put the lens of God’s character over the circumstances of his life, and made every decision based on the truth of God instead of the truth of his emotions or situations. Noah didn’t listen to his own thoughts or intelligence telling him God might be wrong. Instead he practiced his beliefs instead of just stating his beliefs. This practicing of his beliefs was credited to him as righteousness.
Learning this Discipline Took Time
as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7
Notice how Colossians states the progression in your relationship with the LordYou receive and THEN walk, and as you continue to walk, you’re rooted and established.
That clause “rooted and built up” is extremely important. You can’t jump to the rooted and established (which we all want!) if you aren’t walking. Both Noah and Enoch walked with God which allowed them to be rooted and built up in their faith.
How Do We Become Like Noah and Enoch?
So how do we move from knowing about God to walking with God? Here’s just one suggestion that may help.
Read through various Psalms and begin listing the attributes or characteristics of God that you notice.
Trustworthy? Clothed in majesty? Holy? Make a good long list.
Pick one of those attributes and write it in visible places
Every time you go to make a decision or respond to a situation, ask yourself if you are letting that attribute of God rule in that moment This will help you begin to practice your faith by relying on the truth of Scripture instead of your own intelligence or understanding.
Living it Out
Walking with God requires sacrifice on your part. It requires you to slow down and retrain your thoughts. It requires a little bit of work, and a whole lot of you deciding if you believe what the Bible says about God to be true or not.
So today, pick one area in your life where you can begin walking with God. Work on that one area for the next 3 months and see how rooted and built up in your faith you can become. I promise the life you’ll find as you learn to “live by faith and not by sight” will be worth the sacrifice of retraining yourself.
For help on How to Read Your Bible, check out this resource.