"Walking With God Is The Best Choice!"
GENESIS 5: 22-24
22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
Two brothers and their wives lived in St. Louis
during the days when many were joining wagon trains
and setting out for new homes in the West.
George Campbell and his brother Ned
decided that Oregon was the place for them.
After making that decision...
the two brothers went home to their wives
to tell them the good news.
George’s wife...Martha...was thrilled with the idea.
She immediately began packing their belongings.
But Ned’s wife...Nancy...was furious when she heard the news.
“I don’t want to leave St. Louis...this is my home”
“I have no desire to leave the lifestyle I’m accustomed to”.
But Ned Campbell told his wife she was going
whether she wanted to or not.
So the 2 Campbell brothers and their wives...
bought covered wagons and teams of horses.
They signed on with a Wagon Train...
and set out on the Oregon Trail.
So...George & Martha Campbell
were in agreement about the trip.
The husband wanted to go...and his wife agreed.
But Ned and Nancy Campbell were in conflict.
The husband wanted to go...but his wife hated the idea.
The first wife shared her husband’s dream of a new life.
The second wife had no desire to start a new life.
The first wife walked with her husband willingly.
The second wife drug her heels, kicking all the way.
When it comes to walking with God,
we are like one... or the other of those 2 wives.
Like Martha Campbell.....We go humbly and willingly.
Or like Nancy Campbell....we fight Him all the way.
In the Bible text today from Genesis Chapter 5
we read about a man who walked with God.
That sounds like a pleasant and safe thing to do.
But walking with God isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
The devil’s influences are all around us.
They slow us down and lead our steps away from God.
Some people choose not to walk with God
because they are afraid of what people might say.
They are afraid people will laugh at them...
maybe even call them “goody 2 shoes”.
They are afraid they’ll be shunned by their friends.
Some choose to “walk with man” rather than God.
It’s the more popular thing to do.
As this church faces a New Year...
we need some leaders who will follow Enoch’s example.
We need some men..and women...
who choose to walk with God...
and stop walking in the ways of man.
Some people might say, "Well, Enoch had it easy.
For him, walking with God
was a like a stroll through the park."
Enoch lived in the middle of moral decay
just as we do today.
Enoch lived in the midst of violence just as we do;
Enoch was surrounded by corruption just as we are.
The people around Enoch were so wicked...
that God was preparing a flood to destroy the godless.
But in the midst of that corrupt and depraved society,
look at what God’s Word says about Enoch:
“He walked with God.”
We are now well into Y2K - a new year, a new millennium.
For the year 2,000,
let’s take a page from Enoch’s book:
Walk With God!
Do I have anybody here today who is serious about
“walking with God”?
WHAT DOES WALKING WITH GOD REQUIRE?
#1 Walking with God requires faith in Him:
"And 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 seek Him."
God is not some force or energy or power.
He is no a myth or fictional character.
He is, was, and always will be.
He is alive, He creates, He intervenes,
He wills. He is.
Walking with God requires you to believe that!
Do you believe God will reward you...
IF you seek Him?
#2 Walking with God requires being aware
of His presence in our lives:
"My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest."
God is faithful and dependable.
"The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?"
We are never out of His sight.
We may be out of His will,
but never out of His care.
2 Chronicles 16:9
"For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. ...
1 Peter 3:12.
"The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry."
"For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He watches all his paths."
Do you believe that?
God is watching over you 24 hours a day!
He is there ready to help us in time of need.
When you pray...He hears it!
The Lord sees everything we do.
He knows when we’ve been good.
He knows when we are bad.
Do you believe that?
Do you walk each day
knowing God is watching you?.
#3 Walking with God requires
agreement with His will, way and purpose.
"Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them."
Moses declared he would walk in God’s ways
"If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways
so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. ..."
A Scottish churchman named Chalmers
understood what “walking with God” means.
"When I walk by the wayside, He is along with me. When I enter into company amid all my forgetfulness of Him, He never forgets me. In the silent watches of the night, when my eyelids are closed my spirit has sunk into unconsciousness, the observant eye of Him who never slumbers is upon me. I cannot flee from His presence. Go where I will, He leads me, and watches me, and cares for me. The same Being who is now at work in the remotest domains of nature and of providence is also at my hand to make more full every moment of my being, and to uphold me in the exercise of all my feelings."
Well...let’s check in on our 2 couples headed for Oregon.
Martha Campbell was “Walking with her husband George
because she loved him
and she had made a commitment to him.
But for the second wife...Nancy Campbell...
walking with her husband Ned
did not come natural.
She had to be forced and threatened.
Enoch walked with God
but it wasn’t because he was forced to do so.
His walk with God depended on his faith.
WHAT DOES WALKING WITH GOD
Walking with God
doesn’t depend upon our circumstances!
Many would be glad to walk with God
if He made it easy to do...
if He blessed them enough.
Others would walk with God
if they felt they needed to.
But many have chosen to walk with God
in spite of bad circumstances.
Job experienced many misfortunes of life.
Yet he said,
Job 1:21 - 22.
"’Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’ In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing."
Paul knew the ups and downs of life
’I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."
Those in God’s Hall of Fame,Hebrews 11,
experienced tragic circumstances.
But they didn’t fail God.
Here’s what God’s Word says about them:
Hebrews 11:35 - 39.
"Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned ; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated - the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised."
Walking with God
does not depend upon other people!
Philippians 2:14 - 15.
"Do all things without grumbling or disputing; that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,"
Moses instructed the nation,
"You shall not follow a multitude in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice;"
Enoch, Moses, Lot and others
were surrounded by evil doers
and they still walked with God.
No matter what others do, or don’t do,
you walk with God.
Walking with God depends upon our own choice!
Joshua 24:14 - 15.
"Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
People are choosers.
Many choices are insignificant in the long haul,
But no decision is as critical as this:
Walk with God.
Choices made are one thing.
Choices followed through are another.
Choose....and then walk with God.
When God gave Zerubbabel
the task of rebuilding the temple,
He reminded him:
"Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts."
He is the helper of all who seek Him.
He is able to keep all who walk with Him
from falling and making bad choices.
Jude 24, 25.
"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen."
This could be the year when we do some building.
We have appointed a Building Committee...
to oversee this project.
The people on this committee
must be people who “walk with God”.
And we must support them...
because we believe that God is leading them...
in the choices they make.
If new construction is to be done...
it must be done by the leading of God’s Spirit...
and not by our power and might.
Well...back to our Oregon Trail story.
The Campbells encountered problems along the way.
Friends on the Wagon Train died of cholera.
They ran into miserable weather.
They were harrassed by Indians.
George & Martha Campbell got to Oregon
and settled in to realize their dream.
If we faithfully, humbly and obediently walk with God,
though there be difficulties along the way,
we will ultimately realize all He intends
for those who walk with Him.
CONSIDER WHAT WALKING WITH GOD
DOES FOR US:
What are some of the benefits?
He promises to give us wisdom for living.
He promises to provide our daily needs.
He promises to help us in times of trouble.
He promises to give us rest and peace.
Walking with God makes us better Christians
It makes us better husbands and wives.
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh."
Galatians 5:22 - 25.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."
Walking with God gives us assurance of eternal life.
1 John 5:12 - 13.
"He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life."
It is knowing that if we abide in Christ,
faithful unto death,
we are the possessors and inheritors of life
that never ends.
So what happened to the second wife..Nancy Campbell?
About half-way along the Trail,
she refused to go another step.
Her husband, Ned. argued with her
and then he said, "All right; stay here then!"
And he rode off.
Looking back, he saw her burning their wagon.
Infuriated, he rode back,
picked her up bodily and threw her on the horse behind him.
Ned & Nancy Campbell got to Oregon,
but their life was a nightmare.
Isn’t that sad?
Wouldn’t things have been so much better
if they had walked together in peace?
We can walk with God
and get to our destination in peace.
Or we can rebel against His will
and we will miss the blessings of His love and care.
Adam and Eve walked in intimate fellowship with God
until sin entered their lives.
Sin will always hinder our walk with God.
What sin in your life needs to be dealt with?
Enoch walked with God
and God took him
because Enoch pleased Him.
When God looks at your life, is He pleased?
Does He find us walking in step with Him, willingly?
Or do we fight Him like the second wife Nancy Campbell?
Jesus left us an example.
We ought to walk in His footsteps.
Jesus set the example of doing God’s will
even if it means suffering.
Jesus leads us in the path of service,
the path of humility
and the path of obedience to God.
God offers you the privilege of walking with Him today.
He has made the offer.
He has extended the invitation.
But the choice is yours.
You can rebel and go your own way
and in the end regret it.
Or you can walk with God...and be blessed.
Let the hymn we sing
be your answer to God’s call to come walk with Him.