At no time Has God left man in the dark to figure out how He can be pleased. He said to Adam, don’t partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He also gave the children of Israel laws to follow. In the New Testament, Jesus said “if you want to come to the Father, come through me.” And when Jesus was about to leave the scene, He gave us the Holy Spirit. These examples are to show us that God has never at any point in time left man in the dark on the acceptable way to please and walk with Him. The Scripture below also gave u an insight. Prophet Micah said:
“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you Except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), and to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?
(Micah 6:8, AMP)
There is a way to walk with God, and there is a way not to walk with Him. Those whom we have read about that pleased God in the Scriptures discovered some of these principles earlier in their walk with God and they conformed their lives to it. From Enoch, to Noah, to Abraham; these men walked with God to God’s own satisfaction because God testified of them. Walking with God is beyond a routine activity, rather, it is a lifestyle for as many that professes God as their creator. I want to share these four principles which I have discovered is key in having a smooth walk with God.
The Principle of Obedience (Abraham)
Abraham was a man who was born and grew up in a pagan family. Prior to the time that God called him out of his family and kindred, he has not so much have heard about the God of heaven. How do I know this? In Joshua 24:2, the Bible says “And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods.” It was from this experience that God called out Abraham, and he obeyed God completely.
In walking with God, obedience is a very fundamental key and principle that we must never joke with. Abraham’s obedience before God was total, and it showed in his willingness and readiness to do anything that God asked him to do. It began when God asked him to live his family and follow Him to see a land He would show him. He obeyed and followed without any iota of doubt in his heart.
In fact, it got to a time that he almost sacrificed his only son simply because God told him to do so. It was this singular experience that transformed his relationship with God completely that God needed to refer to Abraham as His friend. Isaiah 41:8 tells us “But you, Israel, are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham my friend.” The question is: At what point did Abraham, a former pagan worshipper become the friend of God? At the point where he chose God over Isaac in obedience.
Genesis 22:1-2, the Bible says “Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Now, God knew Abraham loved Isaac so much, because he was a child of his old age and a child of promise as well. And God said to him, “go offer the lad as a burnt offering to me.” What? Burnt offering? There are certain things I want to point out to us in that passage. Number one, it means Abraham would stand and watch his son roast to ashes. Number two, there is no possibility that he would ever have a child again if Isaac had been offered! But he still chose to obey God rather than asked Isaac to run away. How many of us can do this? How many of us can choose to part ways with the things we mostly love in our lives on God’s instruction? Think about that for a second.
The Principle of Faith (Enoch)
In Genesis 5:24, the Bible tells us “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” Now, the question that comes to the heart of many people who reads this verse and who wants to please God is: How did Enoch do this? The Bible says he walked with God and pleased Him before he was finally taken. This almost looked like an impossible fete, isn’t it?
Hebrews 11:5-6 shows us how he was able to do it. It says “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” That tells us something, that Enoch walked with God by faith. No wonder the verse that follows quickly spelt it out to us; it says “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
For us to be able to adequately walk with God and please Him, the place of faith cannot be relegated. The challenge many people have today in pleasing God is simply nothing, but the lack of faith. God cannot be followed and pleased with our own human understanding. God is Spirit, and faith is a spiritual force we can deploy in pleasing God. Trying to relate with God from the realm of the physical will short-circuit our walk with Him.
The Principle of Righteousness (Noah)
Now, it was impossible for righteousness to be attained through the law. The Bible made it clear in Isaiah 64:6 that all our righteousness are as filthy rags; talking about the righteousness we struggle to attain through pleasing God in the flesh. But isn’t it interesting, that thousands of years before the law came into operation, people like Noah were found to be righteous in their generation by God. In Genesis 6:9, the Bible says “This is the genealogy of Noah, Noah was a just man, perfect in his generation. Noah walked with God.” And in Genesis 7:1, the Bible says “Then the Lord said to Noah, “come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.” Notice it was God Himself who testified of Noah’s righteousness. This was even at a time when it was extremely difficult to stay righteous.
The world at the time was a crazy world full of all manner of immoralities and sins against God. It was at a time when there was no fear of God in the hearts of men that God Himself had created. It was at this period God said he regretted ever making man. In Genesis 6:5-6, the Bible says “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” Did we see that? It was in this dispensation that Noah lived and yet, God found him to be righteous before Him.
Now, we don’t live in that period, we live in a time where Christ’s finished work has redeemed us from the errors that man committed against God, and we have been imputed with righteousness because of the finished works of Jesus on the cross. What does that tell us? It tells us that walking with God should be seamless for us because we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Therefore, we don’t struggle to walk with God, we walk with God from the abundance of Christ’s finished work; Halleluyah!
The Principle of Worship (New Testament Believers)
If there is something God does not joke with, it is worship. He said to the children of Israel in Exodus 20:3-5 “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me.” If there is anything to take away from this passage above, it is in the fact that God does not joke with His worship.
Now, how do we worship God? The Bible says it is in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). We must get to a point in our walk with God where all our dealings and relating with Him is borne out of our worship of Him, this is the level we must aspire to daily. Our faith in Him must be borne out of our worship, our obedience to His will must be borne out of our worship of Him. Let us look at Abraham again as we begin to tidy up everything. In Genesis 22:5, the Bible says “And Abraham said to his young men, “stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”
Even though the whole truth was that Abraham was going yonder to sacrifice his son whom he may never see again, he still consider the act as an act of worship unto God. Abraham captured what was about to go down as worship and nothing else. We must get to that point where fulfilling God’s instructions, no matter how grievous and difficult they may sound; as an act of worship. This is very important.
I believe we have been blessed.
[Centre for New Dimension Leadership]