Monday, July 22, 2013

Enoch Walked With God

In my quiet time I've been studying the great men of the Bible and guess what I've discovered? It wasn't the men themselves who were great. It was their relationship with God. They lived for God; they walked with Him.

Genesis 5:22-24  And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. 

This sounds strange, doesn't it? He suddenly ceased to exist? Just like that? "And he was not; for God took him." This means God translated Enoch; he didn't die, and he may be one of the witnesses, along with Elijah, during the end times. 

Elijah, one of the greatest men in the Bible, was just like us. He was subject to like passions (James 5:17 AV). One of Elijah's greatest miracles was the altar fire on Mt. Carmel in 1 Kings 18: 

And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

Jezebel, Ahab's evil wife, was angry that all her false prophets were killed after this Mt. Carmel incident. She reacts wildly and threatens Elijah’s life. Fearful, Elijah runs down to Beersheba in the desert. Leaving his servant, he continues his journey further and finally, under a tree in deep depression, he asks God to let him die. "It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!"

How could Elijah experience so little faith, after all the miracles he'd performed in his life? Essentially, he was just like us--subject to our same passions. He was flawed.

But he walked with God, enabling God to do great things through Elijah. 

Elijah, like Enoch, didn't die. This is how God took Elijah:

2 Kings 2:11-12 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

Enoch and Elijah were obviously very special to God, but why? 

Just this: They walked with him. They lived the truth of these scriptures:

Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:1)

Be filled with the spirit (Ephesians 5:18)

He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being (Ephesians 3:16)

God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).

And lastly, Noah? He also walked with God. Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.

These stories aren't new to you or to me, but have you ever thought about these special relationships? This walking with God? Here's the beautiful thing: We can all be like Enoch, Elijah and Noah. We can walk with God. We can make our lives about Him and live in obedience to His will. We can! 

Did you see what Ann Voskamp wrote today?

Breathe in: Lord, I receive what you give.Breathe out: Lord, I give thanks for what you give.
It’s the syllables of sanctuary, a surrender to His sovereignty.

To walk with God means to surrender to His sovereignty and to live by faith in His love. We merely have to k e e p  on  w a l k i n g, giving thanks, staying right there with Him, enabling Him to do great things through us.

When our time is up we probably won't be "translated". But let it be said on our headstone: She walked with God.

Prayer Time: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the examples of Enoch, Elijah, Noah, Daniel, and Paul the Apostle. You've made it clear, God: their greatness was in their relationship with you, not in themselves. Help us to remember how they walked with you, God, so we too, can walk faithfully with you all of our days. We want to live in the strength of your love and grace, and be filled with the Spirit. We want to do big and small miracles in your name, everyday. And we can. Thank you that we can, Lord. 

In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Giving Thanks:

~ For a wonderful Vacation Bible School week.

~ For a house newly clean after 14 days of busy.

~ For little Beth's healed tonsils and adenoids. Deep breath there; she's way too skinny again, but time will heal that.

~ For no arthritis flare resulting from her Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis medication break (20 days off for surgery). Yeah, joints look good!

~ For grace during ADHD flare-ups.

~ For new friendships through children's ministry at church.

~ For Elijah and Enoch and Noah, teaching us we only have to make our lives about Him, instead of about us.

~ For morning glories climbing the fence.

~ For a pumpkin in the garden.

~ For the will to keep going when God asks something new.

What are you thankful for today, my friend?

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