During certain seasons, I am more acutely aware of the fact that God desires to be with us. When I take the time to really sit and think about this profound truth, I am awe-struck. The reality that God wants to spend time with me is overwhelming and awesome. But what does it mean to walk with God?
I once heard a sermon where the pastor shared how God was speaking to her while she was walking her dog one day. Her dog was either lagging way behind or running ahead and pulling her. While she was going through this process with her dog, she felt the Lord speak to her about how she walked with God. Sometimes she lags behind, not wanting to follow his direction, though she loves him whole-heartedly. Other times she gets impatient and wants to run ahead of God, getting frustrated at his pace.
I still think about that sermon often because I find myself in the same boat. I wonder what my walk with God currently feels like for him.
Currently, I’m probably lagging behind—in fact, I know he’s dragging me forward. I want to run in another direction. When I follow the path of least resistance, I pull toward where I want to go, though I know that’s not where I should be. But, at the same time, I want my walk to be in lockstep with him. Right now, I’m being pulled between two competing desires: running away and staying in step, both of which I want.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 (NIV)
Walking with God is the culmination of this whole verse. If we’re not walking with him, we can’t be humble, love mercy, or do true justice. A deep relationship and constant dialogue is necessary if we want to live out a life of faith. But do you ever find yourself wondering or questioning what that looks like?
I often fall into the trap of overanalyzing how I’m doing things. I can suffer from analysis paralysis and not end up doing anything. I can get so focused on questioning if I’m walking with God correctly, following the rules, being humble enough, etc. that I can choose to not move. But that’s operating based on an incorrect view of God. He isn’t standing aloof, judging my walk and giving me a score for each move I make, he just wants to go for a walk with me—sometimes we’re training for a marathon, other times it’s a leisurely stroll, and sometimes we’re taking a break off the beaten path to get a rest. But the point is that he wants me to walk with him. He doesn’t relish being right or watching how poorly I do sometimes, but celebrates those times when I choose to walk with him when I could go a thousand other routes.
Walking humbly with God isn’t pressure-filled. It is embracing who he has called and empowered us to be.
Walking with God is a precious and beautiful experience that we are welcomed into, if only we will accept his invitation. If you’ve been running ahead or lagging behind, I encourage you to take a few moments and rejoin him—that’s what I’m doing today.
I know that I will often get out of pace with the Lord, but I hope that the longer that I walk with him, the more I will submit and choose to go at his pace instead of running at my own. I pray that I will continue to lay down my own will, wants, and desires, and pick up his instead, knowing that his way is always better than my own. And, over the course of a lifetime of sweet walks, I will continue to grow closer and closer to him and who he has called me to be.
How do you define walking with God?
Do you ever find yourself lagging behind or running ahead of him?
To go Deeper: Read Returning to Base, We’re Not Stopping For Anything!