Yesterday I discussed how we need to abandoned “accepting” Christ because you don’t accept Salvation, you surrender to it. We are called to become disciples — and devoted disciples, at that. Me? I am a disciple in process. lol. What I mean is that I have not reached perfect maturity yet. Hence, I am in process. Every day I must search my heart and continue seeking to understand and know my Father. In fact, I found in Genesis a brief mention of someone who found what I am seeking for my own life. There is a story in the 5th chapter of Genesis, verse 24, that describes it so well:
“In reverent fear and obedience, Enoch walked with God; and he was no longer found among men, because God took him away to be home with Him” (Genesis 5:24)
Now granted, I’m not anxious for the last part of that. I do love my family and all, but shoot, if He invites me . . . I don’t think I could say no! But I do love the testimony of Enoch: “In reverent fear and obedience, He walked with God!”
Wow! That’s what I want . . . Enoch enjoyed a close, intimate fellowship with his Lord and in fact, his communion was so intimate, the Lord translated him to glory long before his life on earth would have ended on its own. (Then again, 300 years was a chunk of years, don’t you think?). We get a better explanation of this in Hebrews:
“By faith that pleased God, Enoch was caught up and taken to heaven so that he would not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found because God had taken him home with Him; because even before he was taken to heaven, he received the testimony that is still on record, that he had walked with God and pleased Him’” Hebrews 11:5)
Why did the Lord take Enoch? The first part of that tells us. I was because of his faith. But then, in the closing phrase it tells us that Enoch’s faith pleased God. And all of us know this, but it might help to know that the Greek word for pleased here means fully united, wholly agreeable, in total oneness. Isn’t that a great testimony? Enoch had the closest possible communion with the Lord that any human being could enjoy. And this intimate fellowship put a smile on his God’s face!
For years I have claimed that Psalm 138:2 is my Psalm of Worship:
I will bow toward your holy temple.
I will give thanks to your name because of your mercy and truth.
You have made your name and your promise greater than everything (Psalm 138:2)
And I always end that Psalm my saying, “You have made your name and your promise greater than everything and have shown them all to me!”
Scriptures tell us that Enoch began walking with the Lord after his son, Methuselah was born. Now think about this: Enoch was sixty-five at the time and he then spent the next 300 years intimately fellowshipping with his God!
John Newton understood this when he wrote:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun
~Final verse of Amazing Grace
The author of the letter to the Hebrew church tells us that Enoch was so in touch with the Father, so intimate with Him, Yahweh decided to bring him home with himself. I imagine that the Lord looked at Enoch, shrugged His shoulders and said, “I can’t take you any further in the flesh. Why don’t you come along with me to my side of life.” So he took Enoch away to glory. Yahoo!
I am reminded of Reepicheep. I better explain that. Reepicheep is by far my absolutely favorite character in “The Chronicles of Narnia,” series!
In the “Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” there is a wonderful quote that demonstrates how Reepicheep would stop at nothing to get to Aslan’s country:
“What are we to do if half those fellows hang back?”
“Wait,” Caspian whispered back. “I’ve still a card to play.”
“Aren’t you going to say anything, Reep?” whispered Lucy.
“No. Why should your majesty expect it?” answered Reepicheep in a voice that most people heard. “My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Peepiceek will be head of the talking mice in Narnia!”
Reep was willing to press on at all costs, even if it meant his death! If I treat this as an allegory and apply it to my own spiritual walk with God, I see Reepicheep’s example and I am reminded how we are called in Scripture to pursue Christ at all costs and to press on toward the goal.
Matthew 16:24 says, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me [and I do!], let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” [And I will!]
Look at Paul’s attitude in this regard:
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I continue to do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the heavenly prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Or consider what he wrote to the church in Corinth:
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything to the glory of God!” (I Corinthians 10:31)
Is that too radical for you? Is it too “religious” sounding? Too fanatical? Well, according to what we just read in Hebrews, it was Enoch’s intimacy that pleased God. To our knowledge, Enoch never performed a miracle, never developed a profound theology, never did any great works worthy of being mentioned in Scripture — other than being God’s friend! And in my mind, that is the highest ideal! Enoch’s testimony tells us nothing more spectacular or outstanding other than that. Instead, we read this simple description of this man’s life: “Enoch walked with God.” So simple and so sincere.
Enoch had intimate communion with the Father, and his life is just another testimony of what it means to truly walk in faith. I don’t know about you, but I want to use that as another example to live a life of faith . . . Oh, also, it might be helpful to know that passage in Hebrews we just read, goes on to say, “It is impossible to please God apart from faith.” And why? “Because anyone who wants to approach God must first believe that He exists” [I got it covered] “and secondly, that he cares enough to respond to those who seek Him!” And that is where some of us get caught. We have no problem believing that Yahweh exists, but that He cares about me? That is a tough one for some of us. So I encourage you to resolve your concerns by pursuing Him. Spend time getting to know Him. Search for Him. And discover the wonder of His love for YOU . . .
Father, open our hearts and minds to know you, to understand you and to fellowship with you. We desire to be your friends and to walk with you, so help us to draw closer to you today. Give us the nourishment, the strength and increase the desire in our hearts.
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you—a to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.