Friday, May 7, 2010

Building for Eternity


Luke 14:28 (HCSB)
28 “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?

Our Lord refers not to a cost we have to count, but to a cost which He has counted. The cost was those thirty years in Nazareth, those three years of popularity, scandal and hatred, the deep unfathomable agony in Gethsemane, and the onslaught at Calvary—the pivot upon which the whole of Time and Eternity turns. Jesus Christ has counted the cost. Men are not going to laugh at Him at last and say—"This man began to build, and was not able to finish."

The conditions of discipleship laid down by Our Lord in vv. 26,27 and 33 mean that the men and women He is going to use in His mighty building enterprises are those in whom He has done everything. "If any man come to Me, and hate not..., he cannot be My disciple." Our Lord implies that the only men and women He will use in His building enterprises are those who love Him personally, passionately and devotedly beyond any of the closest ties on earth. The conditions are stern, but they are glorious.

All that we build is going to be inspected by God. Is God going to detect in His searching fire that we have built on the foundation of Jesus some enterprise of our own? These are days of tremendous enterprises, days when we are trying to work for God, and therein is the snare. Profoundly speaking, we can never work for God. Jesus takes us over for His enterprises, His building schemes entirely, and no soul has any right to claim where he shall be put.


-My Utmost for His Highest
, by Oswald Chambers

Monday, May 3, 2010

Walking With God, Like Enoch

Walking with God. Impossible?

Enoch did it.

And when the LORD looked at Enoch's life, He decided that Enoch's walk was so good that Enoch needed to skip the pains of death and come on up to heaven. What was his life like? We must be able to learn some things from him.

Does Enoch have the hidden key that will unlock our understanding of walking with God?

Genesis 5:21-24 summarizes the high points of Enoch's life:

Enoch was 65 years old when he fathered Methuselah. And after the birth of Methuselah,Enoch walked with God 300 years and fathered other sons and daughters. So Enoch’s life lasted 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was not there because God took him.

Notice that the most significant events in Enoch's life included being the father to many sons and daughters, and walking with God.

The Hebrew word translated "walk" is הָלַךְ ("halak"). What is amazing about this word is that it describes the way Enoch walked with God. You might think this word describes some special pace set by Enoch, some special series of encounters, or something like that. Amazingly, however, this is the most common word that could have been used to describe a person walking. It's the word that describes how a boat goes across a lake, the way a biker rides his bike, the way any person goes anywhere, the way someone gets from here to there. Enoch simply walked with God.

A simple, steady walk with God.

And what did God think of Enoch's walk?

Hebrews 11:5-6 says,

By faith Enoch was taken away so he did not experience death, and he was not to be found because God took him away. For prior to his removal he was approved, since he had pleased God. Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.

God was pleased with Enoch's walk.

Here are four things that we learn from Hebrews 11:5-6 about Enoch's walk with God:

1. Walking with God is pleasing God. You want to please God? Walk with Him. Simple, steady, day after day, month after month, year after year.

2. Enoch had a testimony because of his walk with God. Enoch's walk gave him a story he could tell others. Sometimes we glamorize the extreme testimonies (for instance, when a drug addict turns to Jesus) but minimize the powerful testimony of someone who has walked with God all of their life. Let's celebrate with all of those who are walking with Jesus!

3. It is possible to please God! Without faith it is impossible to please God, but with faith it is possible.

4. Faith leads you to believe two things about God: 1) believe God exists, and 2) believe that He rewards those who seek Him. A person who walks with God will walk with Him during good days and bad days. You know God is always there. God exists. Also, you will seek Him. This Greek word ἐκζητέω (ekzeteo) means "to crave, to investigate." A person who walks with God craves a walk with Him, knowing that He rewards those who walk with Him with blessings that are out of this world!

Let me give you five suggestions for a simple, steady, powerful, life-changing walk with God.

1. Develop a daily routine of time alone with God. Build this into your daily schedule. It is that important. Read the Bible. Pray. Think. Reflect. Respond.

2. Keep your eyes open when you pray. It is fine to pray with your eyes closed, to help you block out the world's distractions. But when you walk with God, you better keep your eyes open when you're walking down the sidewalk.

3. Learn to apply the Word of God to your life. Here's an acrostic that may help you look for ways to apply Scriptures to your life. Look for a:

Sin to confess
Promise to keep
Attitude to change
Command to obey
Example to follow

4. Pray the Word of God. Read the Bible, and turn the Scriptures into a prayer to God. When you are saying God's Word back to Him as a prayer, you know it pleases Him. And it is best for you.

5. Don't say "amen." Too often, when we say "amen" at the end of our prayers, we are saying, "God, I'll see you later." And we forget about Him until we pray again. When you walk with God, you will learn to make your life a continual prayer to God. You'll never stop talking and listening to Him.

Walk with God, like Enoch. You'll experience heaven on earth.


This blog is an excerpt from the message Walking With God, Like Enoch. You can listen to the entire message HERE.