My exercise of choice is walking. Running is not something I aspire to, but I’m usually game for a long walk on a scenic trail. Whether I’m walking my dogs and struggling to keep them from getting tangled in their leashes or I’m enjoying a stroll to a nearby lake by myself, walking helps me get some fresh air and clear my mind.
I’ve always been inspired by Scripture that describes how we walk with the Lord. Walking with the Lord can be literal as well as a metaphor for the time I spend with my Creator. Spending time with God is the pathway to intimacy and knowing Him in a deeper way. My conversations and time in His Word quiet my soul and give me margin to meditate on His Word and His involvement in my life. Walking provides me a place to pour out my heart, cry out my questions, and seek direction for next steps.
One of Scripture’s most famous “walkers” was Enoch. Two times in Genesis, Enoch is described as one who walked with God. The Hebrew word translated “walk” is a word that indicates Enoch walked back and forth with God. It was not a one-time event but rather an ongoing pattern for his life. Like Enoch, I desire to live each day side-by-side with the One who keeps me from stumbling and sheds light on my path.
As a leader, how is your walk with God? How do you develop the habit of spending time with Him? Here are five simple suggestions on developing a lifestyle of walking with God.
First, walking with God begins with making a commitment to set aside a specific time and a specific place to meet with Him. Whether it’s in your kitchen, an office, or on a physical walk, consider your time with the Lord a sacred moment of your day. For many believers, morning is the best time. It’s the first thing you do, and it is done before other distractions derail your day. If the evening is better for you, then make it your time. Just try to develop consistency because it will become a natural discipline for your life.
Second, have a plan for your time with the Lord. I’m not a fan of just letting your Bible fall open to any chapter of the Bible. Instead, consider a Bible reading plan to give you a guide. Devotionals are great tools to help you focus on your time alone with the Lord, but do not let them replace Scripture. The words of others are encouraging, but the words of God are eternal.
Third, keep a journal or notepad handy. Write down ways the Lord is speaking to you through His Word. Circle or underline Scripture that you want to highlight. Write down verses you want to memorize. Look for ways the Holy Spirit may be convicting you to repent, to confess, and to change your behavior. Knowing God’s Word increases your head knowledge, but obeying God’s Word puts faith into action.
Fourth, spend time praying. This is your conversation with the Lord. Pray in different ways. Pray Scripture back to God. Keep a prayer list of those you are interceding for. Spend time in praise and thanksgiving. Pray out loud. Pray on your knees. Prayer shouldn’t be something you avoid, but something you desire. It doesn’t always have to be done the same way, but find ways that you help you both listen and talk to the Lord.
Finally, walking with God is not legalism. I have often been discouraged when I missed spending time in God’s Word or I rushed through my morning without asking the Lord to join me in my day. Those feelings of guilt made me often feel like I was “less than” or that I just wasn’t disciplined. When my children were babies, I discovered a new freedom in walking with God. I discovered how to incorporate time with Him throughout the day. I found ways to praise Him in the midst of doing laundry or changing diapers. I found ways to spend time with Him while I walked in the neighborhood or during a middle-of-the-night feeding. In fact, some of those random “walks” are now precious memories of sensing God’s presence and direction.
At the end of my life, I pray I will be more like Enoch. I pray that walking with the Lord now will prepare my heart to worship Him in eternity. What about you? How are you walking with the Lord? What habits have you developed?
Kelly King is the Women’s Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources and oversees the YOU Lead events. Join her this year and get to know her heart for ministry leaders. Follow her on Twitter @kellydking.