“If anyone says that they love Jesus,” the catchy song in my daughter’s Christian cartoon goes, “they should walk as He walked too. Walk and talk and be just like Him, in everything you do.” Many of us are probably used to hearing advice along those lines, and maybe we take that to mean we’re supposed to live by a set of rules and regulations, or we make resolutions that we end up not keeping, and we get discouraged.
To me, though, maybe because walking isn’t in itself something I’m particularly fond of and I wouldn’t walk with just anyone, “walking with God” implies a lot more than simply obeying Him.
When God walked with Adam in the garden of Eden,1 He was making it clear from the very beginning that He wants a relationship with us that involves companionship, dialogue, and intimacy. God walked with Adam, and later with Enoch2, because they were His friends, and He longs to walk with each of us and for each of us to be His friend as well.
Walking with God isn’t a guarantee that things will always be easy. There are times when we feel great joy, passion, and excitement about being God’s friend, and other times when we don’t feel much at all, or we even feel distant from Him. Feelings change, but God doesn’t. He is close to us always, even when we don’t feel close to Him.
If we do our best to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, regardless of our moods and self-perceived inadequacies, we will discover the blessings that becoming more like Him provides. Then we will be able to say from experience, as King David did, “How good it is to be near God!”3