September 12, 2008
The idea is that when we walk with God, we always experience a spiritual or emotional high. But that is not always the case. We can experience God on the mountaintops but, we can walk with Him in Life’s valleys. In walks through the valley, we may be walking with the Lord and not be aware of it.
The two disciples on the road to Emmaus illustrate this point. In their sadness, the disciples’ thoughts were on the recent events in Jerusalem: Jesus’ crucifixion and reported resurrection. In fact, both acts were valid. But, in their walk, from Jerusalem to Emmaus, they were unaware that the man walking with them was the Lord Himself. Their hopes dashed. “We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel,” they lamented. (Luke 24:21a) Their theology was wrong, and their eyes were blind, but their hearts were right. They did not realize the one who had come to redeem with His life was now present and walking with them.
Just as the Lord did not reveal Himself to those two disciples until after they completed their walk, He may delay in revealing Himself to us. If there is a stay, we should not grow weary and lose focus. Scripture shows that God’s measure of time and mankind’s measure of time is not the same. One day to Him is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. Our assignment is to be ready when He does reveal Himself—whether early or late in the walk.
Walking With God in Distressing Times
People are often surprised to discover that God walks with them even in times of sickness, trials, and hardships. It’s hard to experience communion with God when engulfed in pain and hurt. Physical or mental abnormality interferes with our sense of closeness to God. Sickness, death, and misery often create barriers that raise questions regarding the credibility of walking with God. We ask, “How can God allow this to happen to me?” “Where is God when I need Him?” God is where He has always been, by your side. The Psalmist points this out, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil: for Thou art with me” (Psalms 23:4).
By focusing on you and your needs, you can’t see God. When you focus on God and seek His presence, you will see Him walking step-in-step with you. When you hurt and experience pain, God hurts and experiences your pain. “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,” Paul wrote, “but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). The Lord knows our weaknesses. He identifies with our hurts.
As the Lord walked the road to Emmaus, He walks your road today. Open your eyes, listen to His voice and be open to His presence. Commit to being God’s companion and then do what you have to do is a beautiful way to set into motion the forces that will collaborate with you to make your dream come true. “First, say to yourself what you would be,” second-century Greek philosopher, Epictetus wrote, “and then do what you have to do.” Set your goal to walk with God and do the things He requires.
The Believer’s Priority
Ken Blanchard, the co-author of The One Minute Manager, states emphatically, “The things that worked on first tend to get fixed first.” Walking with God is the Believers number one priority. The question is what needs fixing in your spiritual life? Invest time and energy in what is most important to you.