It was a year ago this week that I last laced up a new pair of running shoes. That is until earlier today.
On July 9th of 2009, I made a blog entry about running shoes and the bible being two pieces of fitness equipment that I most frequently use. The Nike Air Max shoes I blogged about then and that I have enjoyed using for a little less than a year blew a tire so to speak. Two of the ‘air bubbles’ burst and this resulted in reduced cushioning. My daughter urged me to return them to Nike with a request for a replacement pair. The replacement shoes arrived this morning. The runner in me felt compelled to lace them up and take them for a spin… a slow four mile run along my favorite rural route. So, I then grabbed my iPod and headed out the door.
As usual, my thoughts wandered to many topics while I was running. One thing I thought about was walking. I wondered how many years of running I still had in my knees and ankles. I turn 60 later this year and have been running since I was 16. Thankfully, I made a conscious decision about 15 years ago to pull way back on my running in hopes that I’d be able to keep at it longer than I would otherwise. Who knows, God willing I’ll be able to run throughout my 60’s into my 70’s!
I’ve been meaning to blog about walking with God for a while and on the run, I was inspired to do it today.
The Bible tells us that Noah and Enoch both walked with God. It doesn’t say they ran with God… but walked with him. It’s interesting isn’t it? The picture we imagine in our minds of walking with God is certainly different than of running with God. Running suggests a quicker, more hurried pace. Walking suggests a slower, more relaxed and intentional pace.
David gives his account of walking with God in Psalm 56:13.
“For you have rescued me from death;
you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God,
in your life-giving light.” Psalm 56:13
What does it meant to walk with God? There are two spiritual exercises that come to mind. One is that we will obey him. The other is that we will be in his presence.
Noah was obedient to God when he built the ark. By his obedience, his family was saved and the entire human was was able to continue here on earth. (See Genesis 6:8-9) Talk about the importance of following God! If you want to be reminded of the value of God’s commandments and of following them, read Psalm 119. In almost every verse in the chapter, we are reminded of why God’s instructions to us are important.
When we are walking with God, when we are obeying his guidelines, we are also living a Holy life.
“And a great road will go through that once deserted land.
It will be named the Highway of Holiness.
Evil-minded people will never travel on it.
It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways;
fools will never walk there.” Isaiah 35:8
To walk with God is to be obedient to him and his ways.
When we know that we are in God’s presence, we are in a special place spiritually. Lingering in God’s presence while reading the Bible, or praying, or listening to inspiring music, or by walking outside in nature is a great place to be in. The more I sense his presence, the stronger I feel spiritually. Being in God’s presence enables me to better handle the difficult times and bumpy roads that come my way. As David writes in the Psalm above, walking in God’s presence gives us life.
Another image I have when I think of walking is a path, not unlike the picture I have added in this post. A path is a way we take to get from one place to another. This reminds me that there is one path, one way, to God in heaven – to be assured of an eternal life. Jesus tells us what path to take in John 16:6 – “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It’s pretty clear here that the only way to be connected with God the Father is through his Son, Jesus.
Finally, the last book of the Bible tells us of an outcome of “walking in God’s way” on earth. We will walk with God in heaven.
“Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.” Revelation 3:4-5
I don’t know about you, but I want to be walking with God in as many ways as I can. There sure are numerous benefits while we are on earth. And, I want to be dressed in white walking with God in heaven some day. 🙂
Questions to Reflect On:
Are you walking with God?
Are you running such a fast-paced life that you don’t leave time for personal time with God?
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