When I hear of Hollywood couples who get together and then divorce rather quickly, I have to wonder what people are looking for in marriage.
Do they understand that it’s a commitment? Do they understand that feelings will come and go, and that you must get on with the very real business of loving a person and all that it means?
The same can be said of a relationship with God. There are times when you feel great joy, passion, and excitement about being a Christian. And there are times when you don’t feel it. But that doesn’t mean you say, “Well, that’s it. I’m not going to follow Christ anymore.”
The Bible doesn’t say, “The just shall live by feelings.” Rather, it says, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17 nkjv).
Feelings change, but walking with God takes faith. It takes commitment. And it takes consistency.
The Bible tells us about a man who walked with God for many years. His name was Enoch, and I want to look at some secrets from his life that we can apply in our lives as well.
In the whole of the Bible, only five passages refer to Enoch, two of which are genealogies. Although we don’t find a lot written about Enoch, what we do have is significant.
Genesis tells us, “Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:21-24 nkjv).
Enoch lived during a unique time in human history, just before God’s judgment of the world by the flood. Against this very dark backdrop was a man who walked with God and was spared death. Enoch is a prototype of the last-days believer, showing us how to live as we await the Lord’s return.
So what set Enoch apart? How was he able to live a godly life in an ungodly world, in a time that was characterized by sexual perversion and uncontrolled violence? We find three important principles at work in Enoch’s life that we can apply in our own lives today.
Principle one: Enoch walked with God. The analogy of walking and the Christian life is used throughout Scripture. But what does it mean to walk with God? It is not merely living by rules and regulations or making daily resolutions that we quickly break. It is much more than that.
The prophet Amos revealed an important truth about what it means to walk with God when he asked, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3 nkjv). The word he used for “together” gives the idea of two people moving in rhythm together, as in riding a tandem bicycle. But it is not about getting God into rhythm with us; it is getting ourselves into rhythm with Him. That is what it means to walk with God.
Principle two: Enoch was well-pleasing to God. Hebrews 11:5 says, “He had this testimony, that he pleased God” (nkjv). Sometimes we have the mistaken notion that God is very hard to please. Yet God knows our weaknesses and frailties better than anyone, and He is not as hard to please as we might think.
So how do we please God? God is pleased when, in spite of the fact that we are in the right, we patiently endure when misunderstood (see 1 Peter 2:19-20). When you do what is right and patiently endure suffering for it, that is called meekness, and it pleases God.
God is also pleased when children obey their parents (see Colossians 3:20); when we worship Him and help others (see Hebrews 13:15-16); and when we give financially to the work of the kingdom (see Philippians 4:17-18).
Principle three: Enoch was a witness for God. Enoch walked with God, he was well-pleasing to God, and lastly, he was a witness for God. As Enoch walked with God and pleased Him, he had a testimony and a witness.
Every Christian has a testimony. People are watching us. They are observing us. And we should give a lot of thought to that. Before we can effectively witness for God, we must first walk with Him.Because Enoch walked with God, he saw this world for what it was. Do you?
The story of Johnny Cash’s life and spiritual struggles offers hope to anyone who has had trouble staying on the straight and narrow path—and reminds us that God redeems broken lives and makes them whole again. My new book, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon is a fascinating look at a unique and talented musician and follower of Christ!