The essence of discipleship is remarkably simple, yet deeply profound – it is learning to walk with God by faith. Not some kind of weak hopefulness, but faith that has a solid and strong conviction and confidence that “God is and a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb.11:6). Faith rises when we know in our experience that God is love, holy, just, sufficient, everlasting, a keeper of covenant and much more besides! Hebrews 11:1-2 tells us that faith operates in the realm of “the unseen” and the “hoped for”. Conviction of “the unseen” - the glorious eternal realm of God, is the bedrock of confidence for things yet to come to pass. Spiritual growth ignites when we allow God to develop within us spiritual conviction and confidence. Walking with God, by the Word and the Spirit, the reality of God’s unseen heavenly realm - God’s spiritual realm – the realm of the Kingdom of God - the realm of the Holy Spirit – comes alive in us. We hear His voice. From my limited travels, Christians all over the world are longing for that sort of inner conviction, confidence and walk in life! Just think, when we pray “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” we invoke that glorious power of the“ unseen” realm into our earthly realm. It is a powerful prayer.
I am in Jerusalem bringing encouragement to God’s workers, watching this play out in and around my life. Wednesday morning my colleague Mintie Nel and I prayed for our day – a simple prayer, “Lord, lead us by Your Holy Spirit.” The debriefing appointment went very well and after lunch we said, “let’s take a walk in the direction of the Garden Tomb and catch a taxi for the part when Mintie’s legs would not go farther”. She has Rheumatoid Arthritis. Outside the King David Hotel, Mintie realised that she now needed a ride. A taxi was just there. As we got inside, Mintie felt the Holy Spirit touch her powerfully. Immediately, the driver said, “Are you believers in Yeshua (Jesus)? I am a Jewish believer (Messianic) Yeshua came to me!” Thoroughly taken aback at his open and forthright testimony, I said, “Yes, we are Christians – we are believers in Yeshua!” Exuberant praise came out of his mouth. He had sat for four hours, praying for someone to need his taxi – “Yeshua send someone, I need work” he prayed, and along we came. The taxi ride led to a visit to the beautiful Garden Tomb complex and was followed by another taxi ride with the radiant Jewish taxi driver. We met two of his friends and had a time of lively fellowship and mutual prayer. It was like the accounts of the early church in Jerusalem. Our Jewish brother could hardly keep his feet on the ground as he prayed for us in Hebrew – he was full of the Holy Spirit.
In 2000, Yeshua miraculously appeared to him in his room and revealed that He was the Jewish Messiah. For two more nights Yeshua appeared again, telling him more about Himself. He had no previous knowledge of anyone called Yeshua. Dramatically, he surrendered his life to the Lord, and is now on fire. His family disowned him, but in another extraordinary turn of events, his wife and children also received Yeshua. What happened there? We walked with God to His appointment.
Enoch walked with God (Genesis 5:24)and that precious walk of faith eventually translated him directly into the presence of God, without seeing death. He was taken up. It sounds so good. However, what does walking with God by faith mean? G Campbell Morgan, in his inspiring old book “Triumphs of Faith”, describes it this way:
- Walking under Divine direction
- Walking in perfect agreement with God
- Walking, trusting God about yourself
- Walking in step with God
Enoch walked with God. That means he lived under Divine direction. He had personal communication with God. God speaks with one who diligently seeks Him. It is interesting to note that God actually “walks”. However, where is He walking that we must accompany Him? It is a good question! This week, in one instance, we found out. But I think it means much more than walking with God into His appointments. Everything in this world is in transition – it is moving, and if God is standing in sovereign control behind it all, then He is involved. He is working out His purposes in and through world events. He is on the move in the nations. He wants all humankind to be reconciled to Him. God is manoeuvring and moving. So we need to watch and pray so that when He moves we move. Are we walking with Him as He moves? Are we watchful? Are we interceding for the matters on His heart? Are we walking with Him in uncompromising, unceasing and unabated hostility to sin? He marches to war against sin and His campaign is against all forms of evil. General William Booth caught that vision and formed the Salvation Army. Enoch walked with God in His divine purposes and plans.
Walking with God also means walking in perfect agreement with Him. This is much more than having a general doctrinal agreement with Him – a pally nod of agreement . It means having no opposition to Him or His will in our lives. It means the end of personal opinion. God’s word is His word and, therefore, the final word which we accept obediently. We may praise the Sermon on the Mount and even love it’s words, but not live it. We are not walking with God. Walking with God is the end of personal controversy with Him. For those who accompany Him it is His will and His way. Enoch walked with God.
Enoch trusted God, that is why he walked with Him. Have you ever tried following someone you don’t trust? Amazingly, God also trusted Enoch; He knew his heart of devotion and commitment. He trusted Enoch for 300 years. They moved in the same direction, in perfect agreement, trusting each other.
God can only share His heart with those who are close to Him. We are told that the Children of Israel had to wait to see what God would do, but Moses was told beforehand. Why? God trusted Moses. Walking with God is entrusting ourselves to Him. Enoch walked with God.
Enoch also kept in step with God. He didn’t move ahead with misplaced zeal, and he did not drag his feet in unbelief. Unfettered zeal can outrun faith; unbelief drops behind the pace. A disciple of Jesus neither runs ahead or lags behind. A disciple keeps in step with God all the way. Enoch walked with God.
We might think that Enoch’s day was easier than today, but it wasn’t. There was abuse and godlessness, and independence from control. As annoying as it is for believers, man was remarkably successful, in spite of rebellion against God. Sound familiar? Yet, even in the midst of that, Enoch walked with God. He stood out from the crowd by his position next to our holy God as He was walking.
Is it possible in our rebellious day, to move along under Divine direction, to be in agreement with God, to trust and know Him; going step by step, waiting for His movements and accompanying Him on His journey? Yes. This is the path of discipleship.