I want to discuss something that is very strong on my heart so far as 2020 is concerned. I started talking about it last week and I want to repeat some of the things I said. Today’s message is part of my message for the watchnight service. I want to speak on the topic, “Walking with the Lord.” I will read about two people: Enoch and Noah. We will pick some lessons from them and the continue.
Read Genesis 5.21-24 and Genesis 6.9.
Enoch walked with God
When you read through Genesis 5, you find that it traces the genealogy of human beings from Adam to Noah. The whole chapter talks about the number of years some of them lived and the children they had. The whole of the chapter talks about years but in verse 22 something unique is said about Enoch. It is something strange and unusual. It says Enoch walked with God; and verse 24 says Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him. My prayer is that in the coming year and in the years ahead we shall learn how to walk with the Lord. I am praying that PIWC, Atomic will come to a level where members will learn to walk with no human being but with the Lord. May this be a year where I walk hand in hand with him so that I walk in his steps—when he moves, I move.
What it means to walk with the Lord
I began to ask questions about what it means to walk with the Lord and I got the understanding that to walk with the Lord is to have a close fellowship with the Lord. It has to do with having a close fellowship and relationship with him. I like how the New Living Translation and Amplified Version put it.
To walk with the Lord means to walk in close fellowship with the Lord
The New Living Translation says Enoch lived in close fellowship with God. From there we get the understanding that to walk with the Lord is to walk in close fellowship with him. It is my prayer that we learn to walk in close fellowship with the Lord. Going into 2020 I refuse to be an ordinary Christian. My prayer is for me to walk closely with God—to have close fellowship with him.
To walk with the Lord means to walk in habitual fellowship with the Lord
The Amplified Version puts it in another interesting way. It says Enoch walked in habitual fellowship with God. It was not a one-day event but something that was characteristic of him. It was a typical thing of Enoch. When you saw him you saw him walking in close fellowship with God. May our fellowship with the Lord not be a one-time event but a continual one.
For some of us our Christianity is a hit and run Christianity: today we are with the Lord but tomorrow we are not with him. For some of us we take our devotions seriously for some time and them sit back but God wants our fellowship to be consistent. It should be typical of us so that day in and day out we shall be in fellowship with him. It should not be that after a week or a month we have not spoken to him. May God help us to walk in habitual fellowship. If your walk with him this year was not consistent, as we move into another year, may we receive repentance and change our attitude towards him and may we have a type of fellowship that is habitual and consistent.
The example of Noah
The Bible says Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Anytime I read this I am challenged. This is the testimony of the Holy Spirit about Noah. I pray that this can be said about us that there arose a man or woman called so and so who was righteous and blameless. But another thing is said about him. It is said that he walked with God. The generation of Noah was not an easy generation. It was a terrible generation. Sin and wickedness had taken over to the extent that God himself had regretted creating human beings. The intentions and thoughts of man had become evil continually. This was the generation in which Noah found himself. It was a generation in which sin and wickedness were reigning. Man had become so evil that God was grieved in his heart because everything about man was evil. But in the midst of all these, Noah was righteous and blameless and he walked with the Lord.
We do not have any excuse in our generation. We cannot say our generation is so bad that we cannot walk with the Lord. The days of Noah were equally evil yet Noah walked with the Lord and the corruption of the day could not overcome him; the thoughts of evil could not overcome him. No wonder he found favor in the eyes of the Lord. I have come to understand that one of the reasons Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord was that he waked in habitual fellowship with the Lord.
God’s interest has always been to have habitual fellowship with man
May our interest not be only money and material things. Our minds are full of what we will eat and drink but God wants us to walk in constant fellowship with him us just as Noah did. It is not about the position you occupy in church. What matters is your relationship with the Lord. This is my cry as we enter the new year. This is what is bubbling in my heart; that we would walk in close fellowship with the Lord. It should be something that is not a sudden event but habitual and consistent one. If you look at the scriptures and the original plan of God, I believe that one of the reasons God created man was to have fellowship with him. You find that one day at least, God came to the garden to have fellowship with his people but Adam and Eve run away. One of the things that break the fellowship with God is sin. In the case of Adam and Eve, sin got them out of the presence of God but God still cries for that fellowship. He wants to walk hand in hand with you just like he did with Enoch and Noah. God’s heart is still bleeding so the Bible says in Micah 6.8 that,
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (NLT)
The call to walk with the Lord is one of the highest calls you could ever have
God is still calling you and me to walk in close fellowship with him. This is one of the highest calls you could ever have. When some of us walk with important people in the world we brag about it but there is a higher calling. God is calling you to walk hand in hand with him. Anybody that comes to him he will not reject. And may this walk not be just an event but let it be habitual. We don’t need any special prophecy telling us the coming year will be difficult. All we need is to walk with the Lord. Even when times are hard, we know that the name of the Lord is a strong tower into which the righteous run and are safe.
I will make four statements and we will end.
1. As you walk with the Lord and develop constant fellowship with him, your will aligns with his
Until our will is completely aligned with his will, we cannot say we have a closer walk with him. As you walk with the Lord and develop habitual and consistent fellowship with him, he begins to change your will to realign it so that his will becomes yours and you follow him wherever he goes.
2. Walking closely with him has to do with focusing on him
When we have our focus on things other than him, it is an indication that we are not walking with him. That is why I like the song that says, “At the center of it all it is you that I see.” When he has not become your focus, it is an indication that you are not walking closely with him.
3. God desires that we be with him before he uses us
He wants to walk with us before he works through us. Working through us does not come before being with him but being with him comes first before he uses us. Mark 3.13-15 says,
And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he had desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. (ESV)
The sending out did not come first but the calling to be with him came first. This is how the Good News Bible puts it:
Then Jesus went up a hill and called to himself the men he wanted. They came to him, and he chose twelve, whom he named apostles. “I have chosen you to be with me,” he told them. “I will also send you out to preach, and you will have authority to drive out demons.”
The reason he called them was for them to be with him. God’s desire is to walk with you first before any other thing. Ministry does not come before walking with the Lord but the other way around.
He was with them for three years and even after that he said they should wait to receive the promised Holy Ghost before going out. When you are walking with him he transforms your life. How could Peter the coward rise to say, “You judge among yourselves whether it is better to obey you or to obey God.” When they saw the boldness of Peter and the other apostles, they wondered how these ones who had not been properly educated could speak so boldly. It was then that they took notice of them that they had been with Jesus. As you get closer to Jesus and walk hand in hand with him, your life will be transformed. In no time you begin to act the way he acts; so it is with our closer walk with God. He will transform our lives and in no time we will live our lives just as he does and we will speak, think, and act the way he does. Remember we are his ambassadors on earth but it comes by walking in close fellowship with him. You cannot create divisions in the church and say you are with him. It is not possible.
I have read that the moon has no light of its own but gets its light from the sun. That is, the moon’s light is actually a reflection of light from the sun. You have no power, glory, or strength of your own. The only strength you can reflect is that which comes from him. That is why when you walk with him you begin to reflect his glory. Christ in you the hope of glory. As we gaze on him, we are transformed from glory to glory. Some of us wake up in the morning and don’t talk to Jesus. We have too many excuses for not reading the Bible but the truth of the matter is that when you go out without gazing on him, there is no glory to reflect.
4. When you walk with him, sometimes he brings you to another dimension
This is a dimension that is so sweet and amazing. It is the dimension where you become his friend and he begins to reveal secrets to you. I remember Abraham about whom God wondered if he could do something without first informing him. Abraham could talk to God and reason with him. God had a similarly close relationship with Moses to the extent that he could ask God to change his mind about something he was about to do. God is not abstract. He is so real that we can have a closer fellowship with him.
How does this begin?
1. Consistent devotion
We must spend quality time with the Lord where we create time to be with the him. We must not be tired of his presence. It has to do with spending quality time with him—being alone with him and enjoying his presence.
Even Jesus who was fully God (and fully man) spent time praying. And when you read the scriptures, at one point in time he was praying at dawn. At another time he spent the whole night praying. We are talking about the kind of prayer that is about enjoying his presence. Some of us have a list we present to God whenever we go to him. If you are a married man and every time your wife comes to you she needs one thing or the other, what would you do? You want her to come just because she wants to spend time with you. God wants the church to spend quality time with him in prayer. You wake up and just start with your business but who gives you the strength to do what you are doing?
In 2020 we shall read the Bible from cover to cover
In 2020 we shall embark on a project where the entire church reads through the whole Bible from cover to cover.
2. Walking in light
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (1 John 1.5-6 ESV)
If we want to have fellowship with him, we must walk in the light. It has to do with obedience and righteousness.
Read Genesis 5.21-24, Genesis 6.9, Mark 3.13-16, 1 John 1.5-6