In the previous post we looked at the Old Testament phrase of “Walking with God” as an image of those who belonged to and lived for God. My favorite person cited as walking with God is Enoch who is mentioned only in Genesis 5:21-24, but is twice said in those four verses to have “walked faithfully with God.”
In that discussion I suggested the beginning point in walking with God is realizing and accepting His love. And with that foundation in place, walking with God is about cultivating and living with a childlike trust in Him. Of course there is more to walking with God than knowing He loves us and trusting Him as His children, but what a great reminder and starting point!
Walking with God is a picture of relationship and fellowship, and like all relationships, walking with God is not automatic or without challenges. And those who have given themselves to walking with God know that is true. In this post I want to underscore three specific things that hurt our walk with God.
Pride can damage a person’s walk with God. As a matter of fact, pride is often the stumbling block to beginning a walk with God. Micah 6:8 tells us that one of the things God requires of us is “to walk humbly with” Him. Jesus’ intended audience of His Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector is so telling: “To those who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on others” (Luke 18:9). Read the story in Luke 18:10-14 if you don’t remember it. Pride causes us to think more highly of ourselves than we should and to look down on and be critical of others to the neglect of our own shortcomings (See Matthew 7:1). Ouch!
Worldly-mindedness also hurts our walk with God. Obviously we could say sin hurts our walk, but I think this idea of worldly-mindedness is more focused. Remember the Apostle Paul’s call in Romans 12:2 “not to conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing” of our minds. And consider the relevance of the Apostle John’s challenge: “Do not love the world or anything in the world” (I John 2:15). In verse 16 John specifies “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” come from the world.
Finally, laziness hurts our walk with God. This takes us back to what we noted in the first post that walking as an image suggests effort. It takes effort to walk with the Lord, we have a part in it. It’s hard to imagine how a person could be spiritually lazy and at the same time have a fulfilling and fruitful walk with God. (In the final post I will suggest some things that help our walk with God.)
I welcome comments and questions below.
(The inspiration and some ideas for this post, the previous one, and the one that is to follow comes from a live presentation by J.I. Packer I heard over 25 years ago.)
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