By Maggie Cooper, Crosswalk.com
Have you ever stopped and reflected on your “walk” with the Lord? Maybe how it started, how long you’ve been on it, or what the path has been like? Well, I did that recently. And let me tell you that mine looked more like tripping, falling behind, running ahead, or missing a turn and straying down the wrong path on many occasions. It wasn’t smooth like I hoped it would be. And it got me thinking more about a Bible hero of the faith named Enoch.
Enoch is mentioned in Genesis 5 and Hebrews 11. We learn that he came from the line of Seth, seven generations from Adam, and was the great-grandfather of Noah. His name means “dedicated,” which is very fitting because we are told that he pleased God, so much so that he is only one of two people we know of who were "taken" to Heaven without dying. So what was it about Enoch that allowed him to find such favor? And what can we learn from him?
In Hebrews 11:5-6, we find a few things out right away: Enoch pleased God because of his faith, believed that God existed, and believed that God rewards those who sincerely seek him. So, how did he live this out? Genesis 5:21-24 tells us this:
"When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God for 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away."
Enoch walked faithfully with God. Scripture tells us not once but twice! Whenever Scripture repeats itself, I believe it is an intentional reminder to look, listen, remember, and root these words in our hearts. So, what does walking faithfully with God look like? And how can we do the same?
Here are a few lessons we can learn from Enoch's walk with the Lord:
1. What's most important isn't when you start your walk, but that you start.
"When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God for 300 years..." Gen.5:22
Did you catch that? After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God. Does that mean he wasn't following God faithfully for the first 65 years of his life? We don’t know for sure, but it appears that way. And that gives me so much hope! When I see these men and women of faith mentioned in the Bible, their status can seem unattainable at times. And yet, God in His mercy, shows us over and over again that no one, besides Jesus, ever was or ever will be perfect. Enoch didn't follow God from his first year on Earth. It wasn't even year 10 or 20 or 30. And yet, God chose to include him in Scripture as an example for us to follow as a man of great faith! So be encouraged that it doesn't matter when you choose to begin walking with the Lord, but that you do!
2. To walk with God, we have to choose: please God or please man.
"...he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith." Heb.11:5
One of the greatest desires of my heart is to be known as someone who pleases the Lord. But unfortunately, I know my own tendency to be a "people-pleaser" at times. Not wanting to disappoint or embarrass or be thought badly of by others. But if we truly want to walk with God, we have to put Him first. To intentionally think about pleasing Him more than others. To choose Him and the things of Heaven more than the things of Earth. And it's not easy. It takes courage and strength that only He can give. Our faith in Him must be greater than our faith in the people and things of this world. It's a choice we all have to make, sometimes week by week, day by day, or even minute by minute.
3. To walk with the Lord, you have to be on the same road.
"Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him." Heb.11:6
He rewards those who sincerely seek Him. I've thought about those words many times over the years. What "sincerely seeks Him" means. What it really looks like. And this is what the Lord laid on my heart. It means we look for him in every situation. We call on His name when we are in need. We listen for His voice above all others and wait expectantly to hear Him. We stay close enough to do all of those things by spending time in His Word and prayer. We choose Him and His ways over ourselves and our own. And we do it because the ultimate cry of our hearts is to know Him more. Not for anything we would receive but because we truly want to be with Him more than anyone else. We stay on the road with Him. But I can’t say I do these things many days, even when I sincerely want to.
Sincerely seeking Jesus is hard. But thank goodness, the Lord knows our hearts. He knows the sincerity within them. And He loves us so very much that though we may run ahead or fall behind or even choose a different road some days, we can always get back in step with Him.
One version of Scripture says that Enoch walked "steadily" with God, and I love that illustration. To be steady, you walk in a controlled, unwavering manner. Unchanging. We don't change our speed or tempo...we simply stay beside Jesus. Step by step. Day by day. Week by week. Year by year. That's what Enoch did, and I pray for the Lord to help us all do the same.
Thank you Lord. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for mercy. Thank you that when the desire of my heart is to walk with you, but I get out of step for a time, you are always willing to allow me to walk with you again. Oh Lord, “my flesh and my heart may fail, but you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Ps.73:26).” Please give me the strength to block out the distractions of this world, listen for your voice, and walk faithfully with you all the days of my life.
In Your Mighty Name,
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/SeventyFour
Maggie Meadows Cooper is a wife, mom, educator, author, and blogger with a longing for women to grow a heart for Jesus and others. She is the author of the children’s book “Bumper” and blogs at The Little Moments about what the Lord is teaching her through her children and everyday life. She contributes to Blogs by Christian Women, Devotional Diva, She Disciples, and Connecting Ministries. An educator with an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University (War Eagle!), she has twenty years of experience working with young children. She loves all things chocolate, real Coca-Cola, and lives with her husband, three children, and two rambunctious dogs in Opelika, Alabama.
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