More and more I have been impressed with the need to Walk with God. Within my mind, I have been turned from the traditional and general “read your Bible and pray everyday” mentality to a more specific wording of “walking with God.”
I have grown up in a good Christian home and a good church. My life has been spent serving and I am glad when they say unto me “let us go into the house of the Lord.” I rejoice at the preaching of the Scriptures, and love to sing praises. And it is easy for me to make a list of priorities with prayer and Bible-time at the top, and just do it.
But, oh, how empty it is when I’m not really praying, but just talking. When I’m not really listening to God, but just reading. It is defeating, and it is scary. It is the sound of my own inadequacy. It is my desperate effort to please God on my own and not to lean on Him for everything. It is me, trying to fix myself with a formula I’ve had memorized for years.
The worst part is that I know that I need God. I know and so I return to my list rather than to Him. I struggle to walk next to Him. I struggle to talk to my Friend. I find my mind all over. I can’t pray for more than a couple minutes before I am distracted or my mind wanders. I don’t recall a single thing from the chapter I just finished and have to start over in defeat.
God doesn’t want this empty form. He doesn’t want to see me bowed on my knees and uttering words into the air without meaning. He doesn’t want me to read/quote Scripture as the Pharisees did. The OT law was not about the form and the sacrifices. He wanted the heart that should have been behind it; He wanted the heart that longed to serve Him from love in obedience. Today, He wants my heart, not the forms of godliness from my priority list.
Praise be to God, when I finally in my spirit cry to the Lord, I find that He is still there! He hasn’t left me, and I knew that as a truth, but now I know it personally, again. When I am athirst, He satisfies me. When I am hungry and my soul longs after Him, He is there. I know where He is. I know He hasn’t left. I just need to run to Him instead of the forms of worship.
Micah expresses this simply. God doesn’t want our rules and lists. He wants our hearts. He wants our faith. He wants our love. He wants us to walk with Him.
6 Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 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?
Empty worship is not worship (John 4:23). Empty religion is not pure (James 1:27). The form of godliness has no power in our lives (2 Timothy 3:5). But to walk with God is the greatest thing in the world. It is then that we have power, love, and a sound mind. It is then that we know Him. It is then that we are light and salt. It is then that we know the confidence that if He is for us, none can be against us.
Oh, that we might be like Enoch and be known for our walk with God.