Walking with God is an important subject in Christianity that must be explained because some people have twisted the truth about walking with God.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WALK WITH GOD?
To “walk with God” is a description used by some of the great men of faith in scripture.
Enoch “walked with God” (Gen. 5:22).
Noah “walked with God” (Gen. 6:9).
Every believer, in fact, is commanded to “walk humbly with thy God” (Mic. 6:8). It is important for every Christian to walk
with God, and therefore we must know what it means to walk with God.
Some think that walking with God means literally walking hand in hand with God.
Now there is nothing wrong with taking a long walk, and there is certainly nothing wrong with spending such a walk in quiet meditation, prayer, and communion with the Lord. But the truth,
biblical meaning of “walking with God” goes far deeper than the simple idea of a prayerful stroll in the park.
What does it mean to “walk”?
Let us first consider the meaning of the word “walk,” in this context. Biblically, “walk” is often used not literally, but figuratively, as a metaphor to describe one’s life. The picture is that of life as a journey; to “walk” is then to progress along the pathway of life’s journey.
With this understanding we can make sense of descriptions such as that of Omri, king of the northern kingdom of Israel and father of Ahab: “he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat” ‒ he “walked” in the way of Jeroboam, meaning that he lived after the same manner as Jeroboam.
Omri’s life was characterized by the same sin and wickedness that characterized Jeroboam’s life (specifically, causing the people of Israel to sin against God by idolatry).
Again, we can make sense of the description of Jehu, that he “took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart” ‒ he did not “walk” in the law of God, meaning that he did not live according to that law.
In the journey of his life, the path he was treading was not the
one marked out by the signposts and fences of God’s law.
To “walk,” then, in this context, describes the whole life of a person, and the way it is lived from
day to day.
What does it mean to walk “with” someone?
Next, let us consider the meaning of the word “with,” in this context. In our familiar, everyday understanding of walking, there are certain implications when we say we are walking “with”
In the first place, it implies that both parties are going in the same direction ‒ if a colleague of mine says he is walking across the road to buy lunch, and I say, “I’ll walk with you,” the obvious implication is that I am also intending to go to the same place.
Secondly, to walk “with” someone implies a certain level of familiarity and friendship ‒ if I am walking along and a total
a stranger comes up next to me, falls in step with me, and walks with me, I will not be comfortable!
The biblical picture of walking “with” someone is somewhat similar but goes further. The idea of going in the same direction, and the idea of friendship or companionship, can be summed up in the concept of “agreement.”
Biblically, to walk “with” someone implies agreement ‒ hence the
prophet Amos asks, rhetorically, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
The word “agreed” here has the idea of meeting or assembling by appointment; the same word is used in Job 2:11 to describe the agreement of Job’s three friends to meet together to mourn with Job and to comfort him.
To walk “with” someone, therefore, in the biblical sense of the term, implies an agreement or
compact ‒ a willing, agreed relationship that exists between the two parties.
It is a close relationship; a close communion. And since the idea of “walking” in this context extends to all of life, the relationship implied here is far more than just a casual or superficial relationship ‒ to walk “with” someone in this biblical context implies a relationship that impacts and influences every aspect of one’s life.
What does it mean to walk with “God”?
Finally, let us consider the implications of the word “God” in this context. We are dealing not with an agreement or relationship between two creatures, but a relationship between a man and his God ‒ between creature and Creator. Two men can “walk together,” if they are “agreed,” and they can walk together as equals: but no man can walk with God as His equal!
The relationship is thus not one of mutual agreement and companionship but is necessarily one of obedience and submission. There can be no mutual agreement with God! He is God, and we must agree with Him, not the other way around.
The Bible Exposition on Mark 5:1-15
Putting all this together, we can see that to “walk with God” simply means to live day by day in obedient submission to God’s will, seeking constantly to conform every aspect of our lives to His law, and enjoying communion with Him that He created us to have.
Walking with God is a command, not an option: every one of us is commanded to “walk humbly with thy God.”
At the same time, walking with God is also a great privilege. As fallen sinners, while we were lost
and dead in our sins we could not hope to walk with God. But in His great love and mercy He has
sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and rise again from the dead ‒ so that by believing in Him, we can have life, and spend that life in walking with God.