Text: Hebrews 12:1-2 

The expression “to walk with God” first appeared in Genesis 5:22, “And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters”. Following Enoch is Noah, who was described as a, “just man and perfect in his generations” who, “walked with God” (Gen. 6:9). We must also not forget Abraham, the father of faith, who was commanded to “walk” before the Almighty God and be perfect in his ways (Gen.17:1).

Walking is something that we do daily. Thus, walking before God is used to describe how we live before God, as we walk our pilgrim journey here on this earth. A man who keeps the statutes of God because he loves his Saviour, is one who is said to be “walking” in the ways of God (see Deut.13:4-5; 26:17; Josh. 22:5). On the other hand, the one who is worldly and rebellious, is said to have forsaken his walk with the Lord (2 Kings 21:22).

In addition, “to walk with God” also describes the fellowship which we have with God. The picture is that of walking alongside a companion. When we walk with someone, we are not only close to him but engaged in active communication. Thus, it ought to be so with the Christian and the Lord. Now that we are the children of the Most High God, we will also be most desirous to have sweet communion with Him. What joy feels our hearts when we seek Him each day in prayer!

Since our walk with God is something so precious, we must do our best to guard our walk with God. If we are a child of God, our relationship with God will not change. However, our fellowship with God can be broken. When that happens, we miss out on the sweet blessings of peace and joy that comes when we are in close communion with God.

Hebrews 12:1-2 gives us an illustration to convey this truth. In this passage,  the Christian is described as an athlete who is running a marathon. No athlete runs a race wearing apparel which will hinder his run. What then are the things that may hinder this athlete? It is his sin! Firstly, the verb “lay aside” (apotitēmi) has the sense of laying aside clothes, pieces of armour or apparel. You may want to wear heavy armour for a battle, but certainly not for a race. Secondly, the adjective “besetting” (euperistatos) describes something that easily ensnares. You do not want to wear any form of garment that can trip you when you run. Thus, we must make such a commitment to forsake all sin, or we may find ourselves unable to walk before the Lord, let alone run a race!

The hindrance in which sin can cause in our walk with God is aptly seen in Genesis 3:8-11. The LORD came to the Garden of Eden in order to seek Adam and his wife. However, sin had made them afraid of the LORD and became a barrier to their communion. Instead of openly communing with God, they hid themselves from Him. So would it be, if we refuse to repent of our sins and continue to seek our own ways.

The Bible also tells us that if we want to walk without any hindrance with the Lord, we must take good care to walk with the Spirit (Gal. 5:16). We were dead in sin when we were unbelievers, and thus were not able to walk with God. However, when we are born again, God gives us the Holy Spirit to be our guide and resource for Holy Living. The Spirit will lead us to all truth (Jn 16:13) and bear good fruit unto His glory (Gal 5:22-23).

The Hebrew Christians are reminded by the author of Hebrews in verse 1, to consider all that had gone before them. These are men like Enoch (Heb. 11:5-6), Noah (Heb. 11:7) and Abraham (Heb. 11:8-19) who did all they could by the grace of God, to walk perfectly before the Lord. They were not sinlessly perfect, but each time they sinned, they were quick to repent. Thus, they were regarded as examples for the Hebrew Christians of what it means to walk before the Lord.

Similarly, we too must follow in their footsteps and cast away every sin that hinder us in our walk with God. The upcoming Church camp is a good time to examine how we as pilgrims are walking before the Lord.
May the Lord help us in our walk before Him.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew