A Real Walk with God

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

How Can We Walk With God?

It touches your heart that God is so keen for us to walk with Him. He revealed how keen He is in the experience of Enoch. What was it that pleased God? What is written here gives us the right appreciation of what was then re-written in Hebrews 11?

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.

Enoch walked with God. What happened? God said, you come and walk with me where I am. He took him because Enoch walked with God here on earth. In conclusion of that thought, we read that God took him. Why? He took Enoch because he walked with God but re-emphasising something very important here about God yearning to walk with us.

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

What pleases God? That we walk with Him. That is why He took Enoch because he pleased God in that he delighted to walk with God and God delights to walk with the human race. He demonstrated that in Jesus.

Enoch kept the Lord ever before him He made Christ his constant companion. {6BC 1097.7}

This is what pleased God; a delightful companionship with Enoch. We see in converse expression by Jesus that this is what lies at the centre of the heart of Jesus and of the Father in heaven that God’s people should engage in. It is a converse way of expressing it but here you can capture the thought of those words.

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

What is Jesus saying? Why are there people who are going to be shut out from heaven? I don’t know you. Sorry, I don’t know you. What does that mean? It means this:

To these Christ says, I know you not. You have not taken me as your counselor. You have not walked in the light of my word. You have not come under my yoke. Your light is darkness, because you have walked in the sparks of the fire of your own kindling. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity. {RH, October 31, 1899 par. 14}

It’s a disappointed expression from the heart of Jesus. We haven’t walked together; I don’t know you. How can you know somebody if you don’t walk together with him? The knowledge of relationship is found by inter-relationship, companionship. We get to know each other as we walk together. Jesus said, you haven’t walked with me, therefore depart from me. There is no dialogue with Him as the communication with the Word is only one-sided; reading the Word with one’s own individuality and not in connection with another individuality.

With this serious possibility, it is well for us to ensure how I and you and everyone else that is listening to this message, how to please God as Enoch pleased Him. This is what we need to learn because Enoch was a forerunner of those who will be among the 144,000 and translated from among the living. They have done what Enoch did and we need to livingly and realistically engage in that – a real walk with God.

To walk with Jesus/God; have you ever pondered about this? Children, how can you walk with someone that you can’t see? It’s not easy is it? To walk with someone that you cannot see, but He wants you to walk with Him. To walk with an invisible person? That is possible because as we think carefully and ascertain the following verse, who is Jesus? We know He is God, but what else is He?

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Who is He? He is the Word.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The disciples beheld the Word made flesh; they saw the human being and could walk with Him. When you approach the Word of God, the Bible, what are you doing? To read and study the Bible; it is the Word of God, therefore is it not a person because Jesus’ name was the Word. The Word is here in these pages of the Bible.

The life of Christ that gives life to the world is in His word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons; by His word He stilled the sea, and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God, as He had spoken through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament. {DA 390.3}

How can I walk with someone who is invisible?

The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ, and the Saviour desired to fix the faith of His followers on the word. When His visible presence should be withdrawn, the word must be their source of power. Like their Master, they were to live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. Ibid

How precious as you meditate and ascertain those thoughts. What are we appreciating here? It says that His visible presence was removed yet the word is still there. Through the word there is the manifestation of Christ; you can see Him through the Word. You do walk with God and you can walk with God, with Jesus, because He is there, visible in the Word. Observe how you can see Him in the Word:

How Can You See Him?

Let’s now examine how you can see Him. Children follow this carefully because you can already make an experience with Jesus by understanding the Word.

No man, woman, or youth can attain to Christian perfection and neglect the study of the Word of God. By carefully and closely searching His Word we shall obey the injunction of Christ, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39. This search {FLB 223.2}

This careful search.

…enables the student to observe closely the divine Model. Ibid.

What can you observe as you study carefully the Word? You will see the divine model.

The Pattern must be inspected often and closely in order to imitate it. As one becomes acquainted with the history of the Redeemer, he discovers in himself defects of character; his unlikeness to Christ is so great that he sees he cannot be a follower without a very great change in his life. Still he studies, with a desire to be like his great Exemplar; Ibid

As he studies, he studies the divine Model:

he catches the looks, the spirit, of his beloved Master; by beholding he becomes changed. Ibid

As we read the Word, what are we to do? How do we walk with the living Word? It is by carefully studying the Word to get the living picture of the invisible Jesus so that Jesus becomes somebody visible to you. That is how you can walk with an invisible person because He is not invisible anymore. As you carefully study the Word and observe closely the divine Model, you will catch the looks and the spirit of your beloved Master. You will see Him, even His looks. As you behold, you will follow and walk with Him and be changed.

… The soul dwelling in the pure atmosphere of holy thought is transformed by intercourse with God through the study of His Word. Truth is so large, so far-reaching, so deep, so broad, that self is lost sight of. The heart is softened and subdued into humility, kindness, and love. {FLB 223.3}

The soul dwelling in the pure atmosphere of holy thought is transformed by intercourse with God through the study of His Word. These are important little phrases to capture and make our own. You may have intercourse with God if you carefully study the Bible; you will see Him, you will experience Him because your thoughts are impacted. Holy thought is generated in the mind. Beholding Christ means to look at Jesus, to visualise Him.

Beholding Christ means studying His life as given in His Word. We are to dig for truth as for hidden treasure. We are to fix our eyes upon Christ. {6BC 1098.1}

You can see Him. You will catch His view, His looks; you will see His spirit; you will see what He is like.

When we take Him as our personal Saviour, this gives us boldness to approach the throne of grace. By beholding we become changed, Ibid

We look at this person, we study Him closely, we see Him and as we do that, you see the image of Christ

…The image of Christ is cherished, and it captivates the whole being (MS 148, 1897). {6BC 1098.1}

I’m trying to get the word to picture your understanding. There is a living harmonious companionship possible as we study that Word in the right way. That statement, dwelling in the atmosphere of holy thought, we have intercourse with God.

Thought…

How can you dwell and have intercourse with God through holy thought? What did we read?

We should carefully study the Bible, {DA 390.4}

That’s what we read before; carefully study the Bible.

…asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His word. We should take one verse, and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it becomes our own, and we know “what saith the Lord.” {DA 390.4}

We are to dwell in the atmosphere of holy thought and thus have intercourse with God. If I grasp hold of the practice of careful Bible study to take a scripture, a passage and ponder upon it until I can ascertain the thought, I will experience the holy atmosphere of that thought as I stop to meditate upon in. I grasp the thought, I meditate upon it until I make it my own. What happens when you have made it your own? You are having intercourse with God. You are walking with Him.

It’s so easy to say, yes we are to walk with God and we can walk in an imaginary communication while Jesus says, I don’t know you. He says, for you to know me, you need to walk with me by careful Bible study to ascertain my thought, to visualise in my thoughts, my person, because the Word was made flesh. The Word can become flesh in you. This is how it is done.

Our walk with God is a reality when we engage in that kind of Bible study. We say, I am finding it hard to gain the living reality of that. What was the statement? Our thoughts into exercise with God. In the following statement we have a wonderful assistance so that as we exercise that, God will make sure that we will see Him.

… Then learn how to study your Bibles. … Your own thoughts must be called into exercise before you can be really benefited by Bible study. {7BC 989.7}

What must happen? I must actually exercise my own thoughts the way it read in Desire of Ages to look at a text, to ascertain the thought in the text, and then meditate upon that thought until it is my own. Your own thoughts must be called into exercise before you can be really benefited by Bible study.

Spiritual sinew and muscle must be brought to bear upon the Word. The Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance the words of Christ. He will enlighten the mind, and guide the research (Letter 3, 1898). {7BC 989.7}

Do you think that you are on your own as you are doing it? No, as we exercise our minds on those thoughts, the Holy Spirit will be there to bring not only the thought clear to my understanding, but he will bring to remembrance the other things that we have read and we will experience a drawing near of God to me by the Holy Spirit as I draw near to Him. Does that remind you of a text? Here is the call, here is the “how” of walking with God as Enoch walked:

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God,…

What will God do? He is waiting for you and me to draw near to Him, He is yearning to dwell with us. If we will draw nigh to God, what will He do?

James 4:8…and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded.

When we come to the Word and we carefully study it, we will come to the point that we will see and experience God. As we do this, God will draw nigh to us. He will draw nigh to you.

The very first time I experienced that was as a youth. We went shopping every Friday before Sabbath. Friday we finished bricklaying early and then we went shopping. As I was walking the streets of the city, I remembered a statement from Sr White that as you walk through the busy paths of life, lift up your mind to God. I did that and the moment I did that, in came the sense of God’s presence. It nearly bowled me over. I said, Lord, you are so keen; just one look to you, just one meditation to you, and you came straight in. That just overwhelmed me and that stays with me all through from that time onwards. As we lift our mind and thoughts to the thoughts of God, God manifests Himself to us. Diligently study the Bible with that perspective in mind.

How to draw near to God in the study of the Word

…Keep your Bible with you. As you have opportunity, read it; fix the texts in your memory. {SC 90.2}

Do you remember how we were to do that? We are to ascertain the thought, meditate upon the thought, and make it your own. That is how it is fixed in the memory.

Even while you are walking the streets you may read a passage and meditate upon it, thus fixing it in the mind. Ibid

That is exactly what I did. Not so much in the reading, but I had read it before and then I meditated upon it in the street. I looked up between the buildings and the sense of God’s presence came in. It warmed my heart. I nearly broke out and wept for joy for what the Lord was doing there. This is what He wants us to do; to study carefully, to meditate upon the thought and He will draw near to us. As we do this consistently in our walk with Him, we will engage with Him so that what I have read in the past comes back to me and the new material that I am reading adds to it. It is an ever-growing, precious experience. The Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance the words of Jesus. He will remind you what you have read.

Many, even in their seasons of devotion, fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God. . {FLB 225.3}

Real walking with God. Many miss out on that. Why?

They are in too great haste. With hurried steps they press through the circle of Christ’s loving presence, pausing perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts, Ibid

Doesn’t this spell it out for you? As you read the Word and meditate, you are entering the sacred precincts of God’s presence, but these people do it very fleetingly. Perhaps a moment within the sacred precincts,

…but not waiting for counsel. They have no time to remain with the divine Teacher. With their burdens they return to their work. . Ibid

Not a pause for a moment in His presence, but personal contact with Christ, to sit down in companionship with Him–this is our need. {FLB 225.4}

When I go to the Bible, I don’t just read it and peruse over the information that is therepausing for a moment in the sacred precincts. We are to spend time there and exercise those thoughts that are ascertained from the Word making them our own and communing with the One who draws near to us as we do that. We must take the time and hold companionship with Him; this is our need.

Calmly, yet fervently, the soul is to reach out after God; and sweet and abiding will be the influence emanating from Him who sees in secret, {FLB 225.6}

This is your secret relationship with Him; this is what each one of us needs to take time doing. God sees in secret; He knows what is going on in the secret of our heart and when my heart goes out to Him, He comes straight there. “I am here, what do you want?”

…whose ear is open to the prayer arising from the heart. He who in simple faith holds communion with God will gather to himself divine rays of light to strengthen and sustain him in the conflict with Satan. {FLB 225.6}

We know the conflict with Satan, don’t we? But we need someone there to sustain and strengthen me, and this is the only way.

If we keep the Lord ever before us, {FLB 225.7}

He is there in front of me all the time.

…allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and praise to Him, we shall have a continual freshness in our religious life. Our prayers will take the form of a conversation with God as we would talk with a friend. Ibid

As you appreciate this and you take the thoughts arising from the texts, you say, Oh Lord, it’s you speaking! And you talk to Him – that is prayer; a conversation. This is what the Lord wants. We will talk as with a friend.

He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Ibid

I sometimes feel the cry of souls and they have talked to me after a Divine Service and say, He talks to you like that but He doesn’t talk to me like that. They feel a little bit envious. Why does He talk with you and not with me? There is the reason – we are talking and thinking about the other person instead of me quietly in my own secret place with God; that is where the problem comes. We will experience as we reach out for God in this careful Bible study, He will draw near to me speaking His mysteries to me personally. It won’t be another person, it will be me now and that is the only way you can find it.

Often there will come to us a sweet, joyful sense of the presence of Jesus. . . . Prayer turns aside the attacks of Satan. Ibid

This is the kind of prayer, the sense of the personal presence of Jesus. You will recall a while back I enlarged this one day that we must have what Moses had; the sense of the presence of God. I am showing you here from God’s beautiful word, the activity that is involved in this. We need to exercise our thoughts and minds in the way that we have contemplated. When I am so oriented in my mind with God, we will sometimes sense this and we need to keep this sense ever before us.

…If we come to Him in faith, {DA 668.4}

That is what faith is; faith is the hand that takes hold.

He will speak His mysteries to us personally. Our hearts will often burn within us as One draws nigh to commune with us as He did with Enoch. Ibid

Let me walk with Thee in lowly paths as Enoch walked with you. He will draw near to us as He drew near to Enoch. Our hearts will often burn within us. In my walk with the Lord, the heart burns so many times that the Lord had to step back a little bit because it was so overpowering to my physical heart, but He was still there. Then as my heart got more and more accustomed to it and strengthened up, it became more and more powerful. What I can cope with today I could never have coped with when I first started this appreciation. The Lord knows what our needs are and how He wants to walk with us and how to protect our physical nature. That heart burn is pretty strong. As we experience this, we then learn how we can come to Him with all our needs.

Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease God, will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue. Ibid

I don’t want to do anything that displeases, and as I learn to walk with God like that, there will be moments in which I don’t know what I need to do here, this is a problem standing before me; how do I deal with this. Lord, show me. As I am doing these things, the Holy Spirit will come and will communicate the things I have read. When I fail to do that, I may fall, but I will rise again. The Lord will keep on working to show us the way out of our morass. He will respond and after presenting our case before Him, we will know just what course to pursue.

And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength. Power for obedience, for service, will be imparted to them, as Christ has promised. …Ibid

How to ascertain the thoughts and gathering a repertoire of thoughts that come from making them my own in communion with God, in the study of the Word.

As our walk with God is so applied, like Enoch we will function continually in communion with Him. Indeed, we can dwell in heavenly places; that is exactly the scripture that we are to go by. We are to dwell with God in heavenly place through this kind of Bible study. If we don’t do it, we miss out. We need to learn this. That is why this message is given, so that He will not say to any of us, I never knew you.

The character of the one who comes to God in faith will bear witness that the Saviour has entered into his life, directing all, pervading all. Such a one is continually asking, “Is this thy will and way, O my Saviour?” {HP 189.2}

In constant communion, companionship. Is this thy way, Lord? I have this particular problem here in my daily life, in my home, whatever I am doing, what I’m impulsively going to do. He shows you how to deal with it.

Constantly he looks to Jesus. Ibid.

Constantly

The Scripture says continually instant in prayer. Constantly; continually instant; in every instant prayerful communion with a friend. Constantly he looks to Jesus.

He consults the will of his divine Friend in reference to all his actions, for he knows that in this confidence is his strength. He has made it a habit to lift up the heart to God in every perplexity, every uncertainty. {HP 189.2}

Remember as he lifts his heart, the Lord comes straight there. He will give you the words and the utterance and the actions that are needed for every given situation. As you study Jesus like that, you will see yourself, you will see your ugly characteristics; and as those ugly characteristics are displayed before you and He is talking with you, you will say, O Lord, this is terrible, I am so sorry. In communion with Him He will show you the way out. ‘

There is a given situation where you are going to blurt out something against another person, and He says, ah-ah! He is there; he does that. He has done it with me many, many times. There are certain times where I shamefully didn’t listen and that comes back to the point, to submit to what He is saying even though my strong self wants to push through what it wants to do. Submit; cut; He is speaking clearly to me. I know what I should be doing, and I must not brush Him off. There is danger in that. So it is that we will walk in consultation with Jesus all the time, constantly. As I do that as did Enoch, what is the final product?

The Final Product

Many of us know something of this experience [walking with God in a corrupt world.] We know that in sadness and grief we feel very frail, but we know that Jesus is right by our side to sympathize with us, and He will help us. We can commune with our best Friend. He is right by our side…. {9MR 256.2}

Is He invisible? No. As we study God’s word like this, He is right by my side and I know Him, I see His looks, I appreciate His Spirit, He looks upon me with understanding and sympathy; He is right by my side, He sympathises with me.

We need not go into the heavens to bring him down Ibid

That’s scriptural.

For he is right by us to help us. Ibid

As we walk in the streets with those who care not for God or heaven or heavenly things, we can talk to them of Jesus. … {9MR 256.3}

We can talk with Jesus as Enoch talked with God. He could tell his Lord all about his trials. Here was the way Enoch walked with God, and when the light shone out upon his pathway, he did not expect to say, “Why, what will my friends and relatives say of me if I take this course?” Ibid

Did you catch that? Many times God is speaking to us and He says, this is the way you are to walk. We say, but my friends and relatives! Enoch walked with God, and when the light shone out upon his pathway, he did not expect to say, “Why, what will my friends and relatives say of me if I take this course?”

No, he did that which was right whatever the consequence. Ibid

We frequently tell God, but Lord no this, but Lord no that. This is why we fall into disarray. Like Enoch, we walk with Him and obey and submit to His direction. As we do that, the final conclusion is exactly the same as with Enoch. By beholding we become changed from glory to glory.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

What will be the final glory?

The word of God is to be the daily meat and drink of all who love and serve him. That word, received into the heart, will cleanse the life and sanctify the entire being. {RH, July 8, 1909 par. 1}

To those who keep the mind stayed upon Christ, he will come as the rain, “as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” {RH, July 8, 1909 par. 2}

Isn’t that what we are experiencing at the moment? We are being flooded by the rain, we have been hearing message after message of how and why and even in the Sabbath School lesson in conjunction with the sermon, and this was not deliberately orchestrated by me. This has been the Lord, the Holy Spirit. He will come as the rain, “as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”

And by constantly looking to Christ and patterning after him, we shall grow up into him in all things. Ibid

This walk with Jesus, by the correct study of the Word, will bring us to grow up into Him in all things. Then the words of Jesus in Revelation chapter 3, verse 4 are the ultimate conclusion as it was with Enoch. This is to the people who were out of the Sardis church, which were the people who came into the Philadelphia church, which are the true people who came through into the Laodicean period. What is He saying to them?

Revelation 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

…they shall walk with me in white, because they have walked with Him on earth.

Revelation 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. …

They have learned to go with Him wherever He goes here on earth, and they will continue to do that; they will walk with Him in light, in white.

When God takes the members of His church to heaven, it will be because they have walked with Him here on this earth, receiving from above strength and wisdom which enables them to serve Him aright…. {ML 341.2}

They have walked with Him here, He will say to them, I know you.

1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

This is the appeal of the Holy Spirit to us in conclusion. We will not be ashamed because He will say, I know you; you have let me abide with you here on earth; I know you. Let us abide in Him so that we will not be ashamed at His coming, because there are going to be people there who will say, but haven’t we done this and haven’t we done that. That is not when He comes physically, this is at the close of probation, and this is very close now. They will say, why are we not experiencing you Lord? That is the time when He says, I know you not. God grant us not to be ashamed at His coming.

Amen.

 

Posted on June 7, 2013, in Divine Service Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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