Learning to Walk With God…Not Run Ahead of Him

If you have found this blog by way of the devotion I have running on Proverbs 31,  welcome!! If you haven’t read the devotion, you can get caught up with the rest of us by viewing it here.

Enoch walked with God. Wow. Wouldn’t that be an awesome thing to have said about you? Imagine future generations wandering by your tombstone and seeing these words emblazoned across its cold stone front:

She walked with God.

I am afraid I’m not the kind of gal that walks easily. In most anything, I’d rather run. I’m in a hurry, you know. Lots to do. Places to go. People to feed, clothe, shuffle, discipline and prod. Walking seems, well….slow. In my Type-A brain, activity is what scores points. I like a little action. Movement. Evidence some work is taking place.

Sistas, this does not make for a good walk with God. In fact, it almost renders it impossible.

To walk lock-step with someone takes concerted effort. You can’t just go at your own pace. You must keep your eyes riveted on their step; imitate their stride. And, most of all, you must let them set the pace.

In my own walk with God, I admit that more often it has been a race to set my own pace and then ask God to kindly keep up with me! And believe you me–it has gotten me into heaps of trouble.

So just what keeps us from walking with God and, more importantly, how can we learn to walk with Him?Well, I have lots of answers to the first part of the question. I’m counting on the rest of you to help me with the second part here in the comment section.

What hinders our walk? I’ll list just a few ideas…..

Impatience. In our fast paced society, we don’t like to wait for anything. Fast food restaurants certainly know this.  In fact, after waiting just 30 seconds for their order to be taken, most people become angered. Unfortunately, this impatience spills over into our walk with God. We don’t like to wait for answers. We don’t like to wait for direction. We don’t like to wait to see change. We just plain don’t like to wait!!!! But do you know that when we learn to wait, it doesn’t just benefit us, but it encourages other believers as well?

Psalm 40: 1-3

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.

  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, 
       out of the mud and mire; 
       he set my feet on a rock 
       and gave me a firm place to stand.

  He put a new song in my mouth, 
       a hymn of praise to our God. 
       Many will see and fear 
       and put their trust in the LORD.

Patience. We need it to walk with God.

Okay, obstacle #2. 

Fear.

We fear God won’t come through. Or that He won’t answer in the way we want Him to. Or maybe that He hasn’t thought of the same wonderful solution we’ve thought of. Or we fear He will forget us. Or that He’ll ask something of us that is simply too hard. Yes, fear rears its ugly head all over the map. But walking with God and walking in fear are incompatible. I know. When fear is ruling my life, I am not walking with God. And when I truly walk with Him, fear disappears!!!!

This is something I have been struggling with BIG TIME lately. My husband was laid off from General Motors on Christmas Eve and doesn’t expect to be called back due to low seniority. With a mortgage to pay and five mouths to feed, let me tell you fear knocks on my door every morning even before I get out of bed! Here is a new couple of verses I am working on memorizing to help kick out fear and worry:

Isaiah 41:9-10

I took you from the ends of the earth, 
       from its farthest corners I called you. 
       I said, ‘You are my servant’; 
       I have chosen you and have not rejected you.

 So do not fear, for I am with you; 
       do not be dismayed, for I am your God. 
       I will strengthen you and help you; 
       I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Fear. Let’s let faith get rid of it.

Next we have……

Control.

Any other card-carrying members of Control Freaks Anonymous out there? I’ll bet so. There isn’t much to say about this except that there can be only one boss. Hint, hint…….it isn’t you! Need proof God is God and you are not? How about this:

Psalm 40:4-6 

Blessed is the man 
       who makes the LORD his trust, 
       who does not look to the proud, 
       to those who turn aside to false gods. 

 Many, O LORD my God, 
       are the wonders you have done. 
       The things you planned for us 
       no one can recount to you; 
       were I to speak and tell of them, 
       they would be too many to declare.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t cause any ‘wonders’ to happen. Not even many ‘wonderful’ things. And even if I do, they are easy to count! Gods wonders are ceaseless. Too numerous to count!!! When, oh when, will we let Him take control and quit trying to run the show ourselves?

Now, on the flip side, what actions can we take that will help us begin to walk with God? Please hop on any time this weekend and jot a quick idea, or leave a lengthy comment. We can encourage each other to walk with our Creator. I’ll start us off with a few:

Memorize scripture and let its truth sink in deep. This is one of my current goals. It hit me hard one day not too long ago that I can memorize entire 15 minute monologues for drama, but in comparison, I memorize very little scripture. Surely hiding God’s word in my heart and speaking it from my lips strengthens my walk with God.

Have an accountability partner. My friend Mary is my lifeline. I have given her the right to speak truth to me, even when it isn’t pretty. Yes, sometimes it ticks me off, but I have grown so much as a follower of Christ by having her shoot straight with me. Usually her words are encouragement, but she also provides the oft’ needed ‘kick in the pants’ to get me back on track and headed in the right direction. Oh, and I have kicking rights to her too!!!! The Christian life wasn’t meant to be a solo flight. Find an accountability partner. Not a chatting buddy. Not someone who will give you a ‘poor baby’ and take your side everytime you and your hubby (or co-worker) have a spat. Find a godly truth-teller. Pray for each other and speak the truth in love.

Learn from saints of the past and present. As I mentioned in the devotion, we can learn much from faith-filled Christians of the past and present who walked with God. Go online or pick up a biography about George Mueller, Dwight L. Moody, Amy Carmichael or Jim Cymbala. Or brush up on stories about John Bunyan, John Wesley, Bill Bright or Billy Graham.

Okay, now it is your turn. What helps you in your walk with God? Or, what hinders you?

Sweet Step-takin’ Blessings,

Karen

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  • Hey Sweetpea, That was my all time favorite devotional ever and I am OLD! I loved the Word picture you painted there with Enoch walking for so long with God that they were closer to the Lord’s Home of Heaven than to this old earth’s home. Makes me long for that “twinkling of a an eye” moment some of us will be blessed with if we ARE walking with Him on His Way when He call His church home.

    My husband too lost his job over a year and a half ago and like yours it was in a profession that isn’t too likely to make him easily hired in another. Plus He is an old saint like I am. “But with God nothing is impossible.” Look at what God did with Abraham and Sarah.

    It has been loaves and fishes time here in the mountains of North Carolina too. I rest on His Word that reminds us that a man’s or woman’s life does not consist of the abundance of our possessions. Not even a house, as we both may be having to learn!

    Our Lord had no place to lay His head. Do you think this is going to be a chance to share in the fellowship of His suffering? I am trusting Him to prepare our hearts for whatever hardships may be coming our way, and may it help us to know Him better and love Him more. Look at the home He gave up to come down here as one of us. And we ARE going back to THAT home when He comes to take us to be with Him where He is.

    It IS hard to think that we may lose our homes since we have lost our jobs. We women are nesting wonders huh?

    There may be many more of us without our well lined nests in the days that are coming. It is a great opportunity for the church to minister to each other and the world.

    But God is faithful…. two of the BEST Words in His Word… But GOD,… if it wasn’t for that we would ALL be on sinking sand.

    After a year of asking the Lord for rescue and no rescue (that I envisioned) has come except for the undeserved mercy of daily care and bread and His presence. He is teaching me the secret of being content. AND Godliness with contentment is GREAT GAIN!

    ALSO what I REALLY wanted to share with you is what the Lord kept bringing me back to in His Word. Just so the enemy doesn’t set any of us up to an unbalanced expectation from God and His ways.
    The Lord kept bringing to my attention this odd thing.

    The story of John the Baptist…. After being puzzled for a good long time about this and asking Him “WHY Lord? John the Baptist??? What could this Possibly have to do with ME”????And how could it POSSIBLY apply to THIS situation we find ourselves in?

    He finally highlighted with heaven’s light the verse at “the end of the story”. Remember?….

    John had been faithful to walk the path that God had set him on since BIRTH ….John, being the one who had the honor of going before the Lord to say to Israel and the world “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”,… after John had been faithful and bold enough to speak the Truth to Herod about the lifestyle Herod was choosing to live in, the consequences of that right move landed John in prison waiting to get his head chopped off for the whim of a dancing girl and the pride of a king.

    Sooooo, here he is…. in a terrible place in life caused by someone elses actions,…. KNOWING enough of Jesus by the revelation of God to proclaim Him as GOD’S LAMB!!!!! and on a lifetime mission set out by God Himself,… BUT LOOK AT THIS PART !

    John is just like ME!!!!! This so shakes him to his core when he finds his God given mission take this SCARY turn he hadn’t anticipated, that it give him all kinds of doubts!!! Right down to who is this Jesus and am I crazy for believing in Him and His care of ME?
    Sooooo,…he sends his disciples to ask Jesus if what he had been told since birth BY GOD about Jesus…. WAS it all true or NOT?????? Is He the Messiah or should they wait for another to come????? Can the enemy plant doubts in the best of us or what!???

    And what did Jesus say back to him???? Did he say,.. hang on John , I am gonna rescue you from that terrible king Herod and what he has planned for your neck??? No…. I wish the Word had recorded John’s thinking process when THIS reply from the Lord came back to him while sitting there in the dungeon with all his doubts surrounding him.

    What the Lord says to John and then WROTE down for our example should be enough for us as well as it was for John when we find ourselves like John and not being “rescued” in a scary, hard situation.

    After all,… God is Good, and Kind, and Loving, and All Powerful ??? RIGHT? So He WILL rescue me from this, won’t He????

    Hmmmmm. So,…. WHAT DID JESUS SAY?

    Well, what He highlighted for me was HIS last sentence AFTER He tells John in a sense,…

    I am doing what I said I would do, “The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them ” ( I AM doing all the things the Messiah was prophesied to do)

    (now for what will forever be Words spoken for me) Jesus then says,

    “AND BLESSED IS HE WHO IS NOT OFFENDED IN ME.”

    WHAT????????!!!!!!!!!

    That said to me, …..happy ( the meaning of blessed) is she who CHOOSES to not be offended when I do not act in the way you expect Me to act , or in your timing , or if I choose for reasons unknown to you to not rescue you at all.

    Great is the mystery of Godliness.

    And THAT is where temptation from the enemy is laying a trap for me and for all of us!!!!

    What DO we do when God doesn’t act like WE think He should or would act?

    After all He IS GOD!!! Are we falling for the temptation of the enemy to doubt God’s goodness?( Just like Eve did?) Or doubt His ability to “fix” this to our “comfort ” level.

    Maybe it is OUR comfort level or our expectations that get us into trouble and doubts. We get so caught up in the “why is this happening to me….. IT HURTS!” part of situations that we fail to look at it from God’s perspective.

    As for John,…I know if we could talk to him now from THIS side of the beheading he would perhaps say to us
    ‘ the instant my head was chopped off the Lord was reaching down to the foot of His Throne to place it back on my shoulders just as quick as He put that ear back on when they came for Him at the Garden.’ And I HAD finished the work God had given for me to do as the forerunner to the Lamb of God.” I don’t envision him as a headless wonder wandering around heaven.

    I guess bottom line of THIS Word of God for me about choosing to not be “offended” is that it tests me to the point where I must know myself.

    “Do I love God for WHO HE IS or do I love Him FOR THE BLESSINGS HE GIVES?”

    Remember how many people followed him for the loaves and fishes?

    Can I say with Job,… “Yet though you slay me still will I trust in you”?

    The very Word of God is FULL of warnings that it is through MUCH tribulation that we enter the kingdom of God. Why am I always surprised at how rough the enemy plays?

    I KNOW that ANYTHING that comes into my life is there to conform me more perfectly in some way to the Image of Christ. It is a chiseling tool in God’s Hand. Even the hard things the things I don’t want for myself OR the ones I love. EXCEPT I have learned the wisdom of praying this prayer for myself and ALL those I love. Feel free to borrow it. It is a mama’s prayer for sure.

    ” Whatever it takes Lord,… but make me able to bear it.”

    The very thing I keep wanting to pray away because it is hard to bear or watch may be the very thing God is using to make them like His Son.

    It was hard for our Savior,… should we expect better treatment than He received. The Word says not.

    Get your armor on girls. It is a war down here…

    but PRAISE GOD! He has revealed the end of the story to us and HE WON and we are with Him in the victory!

    He may NOT always rescue us from trials or pain or sickness DOWN HERE but HE is WITH us IN IT ALL and that makes it all worth it, and He does rescue us totally in the ultimate sense. And He IS ALL GOOD, and ALL KIND, and ALL LOVING, and ALL POWERFUL.

    Look up the road. “For the joy set before Him He ENDURED the cross.”

    Lets be of those who are overcomers no matter what the enemy throws on the path marked out for each of us.

    The LORD is walking on it with us and it is quite an adventure.

    We have been on a pretty easy part of the path in America for a long when compared to the rest of the church in the world, and all those saints in the Word that are there for our example. Read again the faith stories in Hebrews 11 and 12.

    Somehow what I read of the New Testament church that is our example doesn’t look much like what we we have come to expect our lives as American Christians to look like.

    Our path may be getting to the rocky or thorny parts with some “cares,, riches, and pleasures” of the world strew about on it for us to fall over.

    The enemy deliberately plants them there and the Lord has allowed them to be there. HE is Sovereign. He has been on this part before,.. lets follow hard after Him. He knows the Way.

    Prayin you through. Just THINK!!!! HE will pray for you that your faith may not fail just like He did for Peter and all the rest of us. It is just that ol enemy of our souls askin to sift us like wheat….

    Ain’t skeered!

    The Lord tells us again and again to “Fear NOT”.

    Thanks for the encouragement. Love your blog. Love YOU! In Him <