Life story of the modern day prodigal son.
I love walking. As we walk together we are in communion with one another. Both Enoch and Noah ‘walked with God’ (Genesis 5:24; 6:9). They didn’t just sit, kneel or stand with God (the kind of actions we would often associate with spending time with God), but they were also in communion with God when doing something else. While you are doing other things – working, eating, exercising or relaxing – you can be in communion with God at the same time.
The Bible has a great deal to say about walking with God. It is how we were intended to live. It was only Adam and Eve’s sin that made them hide when they ‘heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day’ (3:8).
God’s desire for you is that you walk humbly in a relationship with him (Micah 6:8). This is what Jesus has made possible – for you to walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:6). You may stumble from time to time, but one day you will walk with him ‘dressed in white’ (Revelation 3:4).
Lord, I pray for the year ahead that you would help me to walk with you daily in the way of peace, with my head held high, trusting you to supply all I need for the day ahead.
Experience the Holy Spirit and walk ‘in step with the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:25).
Get refined in the fire
John said that whereas he baptised with water, Jesus would baptise ‘with the Holy Spirit and fire’ (Matthew 3:11). The Holy Spirit will come like a refining fire to bring power and purity in your life. Knowing the refining fire of the Spirit in this life means that you can be free from the fear of the fire of judgment when Jesus returns (v.12).
Be filled with peace
When Jesus was baptised and came out of the water, ‘heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him’ (v.16). The dove is a symbol of peace that the Holy Spirit brings to your life. The ‘fruit of the Spirit is… peace’ (Galatians 5:22).
Be assured of your adoption
A voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son’ (Matthew 3:17). Jesus is the Son of God in a unique way. However, the Holy Spirit assures all of us that through what Jesus has done for us, we too are sons and daughters of God: You receive the spirit of adoption. And by him you cry, ‘Abba, Father’. The Holy Spirit himself testifies with your spirit that you are a child of God (see Romans 8:15–16).
Know that you are loved by God
The voice from heaven said ‘… whom I love…’ (Matthew 3:17). The apostle Paul writes that God’s love for you is poured into your heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).
Feel his pleasure
The voice from heaven says, ‘with him I am well pleased’ (Matthew 3:17). Again, it was supremely true of Jesus but as you walk in step with the Spirit, you too can experience this sense of God’s delight and pleasure.
Lord, thank you that you give me your Holy Spirit to refine me, to give me peace, to assure me that I am a child of God, to know your love and to feel your pleasure. Help me to walk ‘in step with the Spirit’.
Human beings are the pinnacle of God’s creation. God created us to walk in relationship with him. ‘When God created the human race, he made it godlike, with a nature akin to God. He created both male and female and blessed them, the whole human race’ (5:1–2, MSG).
However, sadly the human race went astray: ‘Human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil – evil, evil, evil from morning to night… it broke [God’s] heart’ (6:5–6, MSG).
Evil starts in our thinking and imagination – that is, in our hearts. It is a case of ‘garbage in, garbage out’. We need to watch not just our actions but also our thoughts, attitudes, motives and imagination.
In the midst of corruption and evil, it is possible to be different and to make a difference. Enoch and Noah are two examples of those who did not go along with the crowd but ‘walked with God’.
‘Enoch walked steadily with God. And then one day he was simply gone: God took him’ (v.24, MSG).
Noah also walked with God. He found ‘grace (favor) in the eyes of the Lord’ (v.8, AMP). In spite of all the evil going on around him, ‘Noah was a good man, a man of integrity in his community. Noah walked with God’ (6:9, MSG). Noah believed God and built a boat, even though it was not raining and there was no water in sight. Noah did exactly what God told him to do (v.22).
Lord, help me to be righteous and blameless in my thoughts, words and deeds, walking with you in a close relationship. Help me to do everything you tell me to do.