Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. (Isaiah 30:21 NASB)
The Christian life can be described as a walk with God. The closer we walk with Him, the more we experience His presence, and the better life will be. By listening carefully for His direction, we can always know which way to turn.
The problem is that we don’t always walk with Him. Something happens, and suddenly we’re walking alone. What goes wrong? Let’s examine the lives of some famous Bible characters to find out.
Gideon dragged his feet. (Judges 6-7)
Gideon had some trust issues. He knew that God was speaking, but he just couldn’t pull the trigger of faith.
First, he asked the angel why there weren’t any miracles from God. Wake up, man! You’re talking with an angel! Isn’t that enough of a miracle for you?
Then he asked God to give him a sign. So He did. The dew was on the fleece only. But that wasn’t good enough, so he asked for the opposite sign. Just to be sure, you know?
Have you ever “put out a fleece”? Asking for a sign isn’t the strongest act of faith.
Gideon walked with God, but he moved reeeaaal sloooow. Fortunately, God was patient, Gideon’s faith grew over time, and the result was victory.
Solomon just walked away. (1 Kings 9-11)
Solomon had the dream job. His father David had won victory after victory, and now there was peace all around. God had promised that Solomon would reign in peace so he could complete the temple. And he did an outstanding job.
God advised him numerous times to keep obeying and enjoying God’s protection and provision. He also warned Solomon that if he turned aside, the results would be bad.
Solomon just couldn’t resist the world’s enticements. He married hundreds of foreign women and had hundreds more concubines. All these women worshiped other gods, and they turned Solomon’s heart away from the true God. He built worship places for these idols, and this idolatry brought division to Israel.
Solomon just walked away from God. He didn’t start out that way, but his heart didn’t stay fully in it, and he simply moved in his own selfish direction.
Jonah ran the other direction. (Jonah 1-4)
God called Jonah to proclaim His word in Nineveh—the enemy’s capital city. Jonah knew that God was giving them the chance to repent, and he didn’t like that idea at all. After all, the Assyrians were known for extreme brutality against their enemies. Why should they experience God’s grace?
So Jonah didn’t like where God was headed and ran away. He didn’t get far, of course, and God provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, saving his life and spitting him back out on the land. After a good bath, Jonah finally obeyed God and grudgingly proclaimed His message. The Ninevites repented and God relented. Jonah was angry, of course, but at least he learned something about God’s true nature.
How to stay on the right path.
What can we learn from these men?
- First, act on what God tells you. Don’t keep asking for a sign, hesitating to take the action God gives you. Learn what pace He’s walking and match His stride.
- Don’t flirt with the world’s pleasures. When you seek to become familiar with the world, the world will draw you away from God.
- Acknowledge and accept that God’s purposes and plans are better and more important than yours. Even if you don’t see how His path is good, walk with Him anyway, and you’ll understand sooner or later.
What other ways do we walk away from God?
Photo by Lisa Williams
Tags: Walking with God