Charlie Cleverly: Enoch walked with God

In the early part of the Bible we come across the mysterious sentence, ‘Enoch walked with God…’ (Gen. 5:24 ASV).  For the person of prayer, this is one of the most fascinating phrases in the whole Bible. It sounds more like a song from another country. It has an aroma about it that woos us into a different way of life that it is possible, perhaps, to enjoy today.  Enoch’s greatness was, it seems, not in education, business or artistic or sporting achievement.  He was great in the sight of God – he walked with God.

This is rare in the Old Testament: in Genesis 6:9 we are told that Noah ‘walked faithfully with God’ and in Malachi 2:6, we read that Levi walked with God ‘in peace and uprightness’, but these are the only three people of whom it is said.  Now, of course, through the atoning sacrifice of Christ, we can all come into a relationship with God and walk with him. But what does this look like in practice?  It means living one’s whole life with a consciousness of God’s presence — and in constant communion with him. It means having the thought: ‘God is beside me’. We read Enoch walked with God not in a few moments of exalted revelation such as some of us have perhaps known at times, but all through his life — hour by hour.

Is it possible to know this nearness and dearness of God in our daily life – to talk with him as with a friend and to hear him – perhaps in an inner silence that is more meaningful than any words can be? And if so, what will the effect of living like this be on our city?

Apparently, it is possible. Jesus calls us ‘friends’. He prays that we may ‘be with him where he is to behold his glory’.  The result of this presence can be a rediscovery of happiness — or joy even.  ‘In Your presence’, says the psalmist, ‘is fullness of joy’ (Ps. 16:11 NKJV).  Walking with God, according to the apostle Peter, can be ‘inexpressible and glorious joy’ (1 Pet. 1:8).

To draw us into this, one ancient practice gaining ground again today is to embrace a ‘Rule of Life’.

from ‘The Discipline of Intimacy: The Joy and Awe of Walking with God’ by Charlie Cleverly.

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