Written and preached by David P. Nolte

GENESIS 5:22-24

Two couples set out on the Oregon Trail. One of the couples was in harmony about the trip. The husband wanted to go and the wife agreed. The other couple was in contention. The husband wanted to go but the wife loathed the idea. The first wife shared her husband's dream of a new life, the second wife fought the prospect. 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 two wives. We go humbly and willingly, or we fight Him all the way. In the text we read of a man who walked with God. Sounds like a pleasant and safe thing to do. But walking with God isn't always the easiest thing to do. Anti-Christ influences all around us hinder and deflect our steps. Fear of taunt or terror daunts many. Delight in the favor of man sidetracks others. It would do us well to follow Enoch's example and walk with God. Some may protest, "Well, Enoch had it easy. For him, walking with God was a promenade through the park." Not so. Enoch lived in the midst of moral decay as we do; Enoch lived in the midst of violence as we do; Enoch was surrounded by corruption as we are. Wickedness was so rampant that God was preparing a flood to destroy the godless. But in the midst of that corrupt and depraved milieu, Enoch had this testimony: He walked with God. We are now well into Y2K - a new year, a new millennium. For this opportunity, let's take a page from Enoch's book: Walk With God!
    1. Walking with God implies faith in his reality: "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." Hebrews 11:6.
      1. God is not some abstract force or energy or impersonal power.
      2. He is no myth or fictional character.
      3. He is, was, and always will be. He is alive, He creates, He intervenes, He wills. He is.
    2. Walking with God implies consciousness of His presence in our lives: He said, "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest." Exodus 33:14.
      1. He is faithful, steadfast, and dependable and we can join the writer of Hebrews saying, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?" Hebrews 13:6.
      2. He is aware of us at all times, we are never outside of His sight. We may be out of His will, but never out of His care. 
        1. "For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. ...2 Chronicles 16:9
        2. "The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry." 1 Peter 3:12.
        3. "For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He watches all his paths." Proverbs 5:21.
      3. That causes mixed emotions!
        1. To the disobedient, that ought to bring some trepidation! When I was a boy I got into the apartment Dad had fixed up in the garage. I didn't like the color of the walls, so I decided to repaint them. After slapping on a few brush strokes, I tired of it and decided to quit. I pushed a chair in front of the spot on the wall and then hid out because I knew Dad was due home from work soon. I dreaded his knowing what I had done.
        2. To those who love His appearing, this means comfort and security. I wasn't always dreadful of my dad's awareness! We were at a lake once and I fell off an inner tube. As I sank beneath the surface, I decided I was going to drown. Suddenly I was swishing up to the surface - in the arms of my dad who had been watching, though unbeknownst to me. I was mighty glad he knew what I was doing.
    3. Walking with God implies 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." Hosea 14:9.
      1. Amos the prophet propounded a good question: "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3.
      2. Moses declared his intent to 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. ..." Exodus 33:13.
    4. A Scottish churchman named Chalmers knew the implications of walking with God and wrote, "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." 
Walking with her husband for the first wife depended on love and commitment, for the second wife it depended on force and coercion. Enoch walked with God but it wasn't because he was compelled to do so. His walk with God depended on his faith.
    1. Walking with God doesn't depend upon our circumstances!
      1. Many would be glad to walk with God if He made an easy way before them; if He blessed them enough.
      2. Others would walk with God if they felt they needed to.
      3. It has been the experience and example of many to walk with God in adverse and trying circumstances.
        1. Job surely knew the exigencies of life Yet he said, "'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." Job 1:21 - 22.
        2. Paul knew the ups and downs of circumstances and wrote: '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." Philippians 4:12.
        3. Many worthy of inclusion in God's Hall of Fame,Hebrews 11, experienced tragic circumstances, but didn't fail God: After listing those whose faith delivered them, we read "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." Hebrews 11:35 - 39.
    1. Walking with God does not depend upon other people! "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," Philippians 2:14 - 15.
      1. 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;" Exodus 23:2.
      2. Enoch, Moses, Lot and others were surrounded by evil doers and still walked with God.
      3. No matter what others do, or don't do, walk with God.
    2. Walking with God depends upon our own choice! "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." Joshua 24:14 - 15.
      1. People are choosers; many choices are insignificant in the long haul, but no decision is as critical as this: walk with God.
      2. Choices made are one thing, choices followed through are another; choose, and then walk with God.
    3. Walking with God depends upon His Spirit, Grace and Help! 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." Zechariah 4:6.
      1. He is the helper of all who seek Him.
      2. He is able to keep all who walk with Him from falling. "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." Jude 24, 25.
Both couples encountered adversity along the way. Friends died of cholera, bad weather and other afflictions plagued them. The first couple 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.
    1. It holds great benefit for this life. What are some of the benefits?
      1. He promises to give us wisdom for living. 
      2. He promises provision for our daily needs.
      3. He promises to deliver and help us in times of trouble.
      4. He promises to rest us and give us peace.
    2. Walking with God benefits our character.
      1. "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." Galatians 5:16.
      2. "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." Galatians 5:22 - 25.
    3. Walking with God benefits society as a whole.
      1. Where the Bible is read, believed and lived, life and property are safe.
      2. Where the Bible is rejected, disbelieved, and scorned, nothing is safe.
    4. Walking with God gives us assurance of eternal life.
      1. "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." 1 John 5:12 - 13.
      2. This is not "unconditional eternal security" or "once in grace, always in grace." It is, however, a glad knowledge 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? About half-way along the Trail, she refused to go another step. Her husband argued with her and then 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. They got to Oregon, but their life was a nightmare. How much better if they'd walked together in peace. We can walk with God and get to our destination in peace, or we can rebel and all our life and eternity will be one nightmare. 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,Hebrews 11:5. When God looks at your life, and my life, is He pleased? Does He find us walking in step with Him, willingly? Or do we fight Him like the second wife? Peter tells us that Jesus left us an example and that we ought to walk in His footsteps. Jesus set the example of doing God's will even if it means suffering. He 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; 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.
Story from unknown source.

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