Whether walking together with my husband through life or walking with a friend on a short hike, I’m learning how to keep in step with others.
Recently, one friend said, “Hey! Let’s slow down and enjoy our time together.” Just a couple days, later, on a walk with a different friend, she encouraged, “I only have about an hour, how far can we go?”
Whether in life, business or ministry, we are constantly adjusting our pace to keep in step with others — or allow others to keep in step with us. When walking with a child, the stride changes, the pace slows. When walking with the athletic and fit, I tighten my boot straps and struggle to keep up.
“Can two people walk together
without agreeing on the direction?”
We constantly make choices and readjust our direction as we walk. The long road or the short path? The difficult climb or the gentle descent? Turn left or swing to the right?
A more important question to ask perhaps is, “Am I walking with God or am I anticipating that He will walk with me?” Quite often, I believe I’m walking with God, but in reality, I’m expecting Him to walk with me — allowing me to set the pace, design the course, and determine the destination.
“In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.”
We all desire God to establish our steps, but if I want my steps established, I must allow God to also change my heart enough to give Him full permission to also set the course.
This has honestly been a struggle for me. By nature, or by gifting, I’m not sure which, I’m a leader — a visionary, planner, organizer, and sight-setter. Following and keeping in step, even with Omniscient God, goes against the false confidence I have in my own ability to know where I’m heading and exactly how to get there.
A mature couple walks past my window almost daily. They walk in perfect unity; they lead with the same foot; their strides match precisely; they’re in constant communion as they walk. Like a pre-choreographed dance or military precision, they move with ease. As they turn the corner their unison so flawless, they appear as one.
My heart whispers, “Lord, may I walk with You like that. May my steps so match Yours that people often notice only You.”
Walking together with God means:
- “we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
- our steps are directed by God, ” ‘This is the way walk in it,’ when (we) turn to the right or when (we) turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21
- walking according to the gifting God has given us. Ephesians 2:10
- walking by faith. (2 Corinthians 5:7
But most of all walking together with God requires humility.
As I’m walking together with others, I need to be sensitive to the unspoken cues within their steps. Are they limping from pain or fatigued from overwork? Are they trail-blazers and go-getters, who perhaps need re-direction for their own protection? Have they walked this course on numerous occasions, knowing both the highlights and the snake-pits? In any particular moment is it best for me to follow or lead?
A excellent leader develops by first learning to follow — to step in pace with other more powerful, mature leaders.
Paul said to the Corinthian church,
” . . . follow my example,
as I follow the example of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 11:1
Do you notice all the number “1’s” in that Bible reference? Our One reference point is Christ. The number one thing to remember is that we follow His lead, stepping in time with the prompts of His Spirit.
Anybody who attempts to lead without first following Jesus will ultimately cause us to get out of sync with the One who knows the best way to take and the perfect time and pace. The same applies for those following my lead. Walking together in true unity requires following Christ first and always.
Adam and Eve walked with God before sin and disobedience separated them from Him (Gen 3:8). Noah “was a righteous man” who also “walked with God” (Gen 6:9). God invited Abraham, a man of faith, to “walk before me, and be blameless” (Gen 17:1). It’s good for me to notice that to walk with God requires a constant cleansing of our hearts, realigning them with him.
God actually wants to walk with us, enjoying our company and adjusting His ginormous steps to match our childlike ones. He wants to hear about our day and share His thoughts with us.
The Bible records little about Enoch, other than he demonstrated what walking together with God looks like.
“Enoch . . . walked in close fellowship with God.
Then one day he disappeared,
because God took him.”
I’m sure this might scare any child, but I love it! I can almost imagine Enoch and God walked along, their steps so in unison and fellowship together so wonderful, that they ended up closer to God’s “house” than Enoch’s. Perhaps God invited, “Hey Enoch, why don’t you just come home with Me? You’re already much closer to My house than to yours. No sense turning back now.”
May our walk together in fellowship with God lead us closer and closer not only to His heart, but to His home, our true destination. May every step we take in obedience to Him, every mile along our destiny’s path, lead nearer to His glorious throne. And may we be sure to invite others to come along with us.
That’s true walking together.