Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Take a Long Walk with God

“Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”
– Genesis 5:24

After starring in several blockbusters including Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers Endgame, Chris Pratt has become one of the most popular actors in Hollywood. But here’s something that’s far more remarkable: he is a Christian who is very vocal about his faith. After high school, Chris experimented with drugs and alcohol and was going nowhere fast.

But one day he was at a grocery store doing some shopping before heading to a party where he hoped to get drunk and hook up with a cute girl. But at that grocery store a man came up to him and said, “Jesus told me to talk to you.” In Chris Pratt’s own words: “At that moment I was like: I think I have to go with this guy. He took me to church. Over the next few days I surprised my friends by declaring that I was going to change my life.”

Hollywood isn’t exactly a hotbed for Jesus-loving Christians, but isn’t it encouraging to know that there are followers of Christ who stand out in the crowd and openly share their faith in Tinseltown? And isn’t it encouraging to know that the Bible spotlights dozens of men and women of faith who loved and served God faithfully in their own generations? One of the Bible’s lesser-known faith heroes is Enoch.

Enoch’s life is nicely summarized in Genesis 5:18-24. In a nutshell, Enoch was seven generations removed from Adam, and he was the great grandfather of Noah. Genesis chapter 5 records the 10-generation genealogy between Adam and Noah. And if you were to read the entire chapter, you would see that Enoch stands out in three inspiring ways:

#1: Enoch didn’t just live; he walked with God. If you read through Genesis 5, you’ll notice a repetition of words and phrases in the genealogy. For example: Each man was born, lived a certain number of years, had a son of his own, and then “lived” a certain number of years afterward, having more sons and daughters. We find this pattern repeated in verses 4, 7, 10, 13, 16 and 19.

But this pattern is interrupted with Enoch. Verses 22-23 read: “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuseleh. And after he became the father of Methuseleh, Enoch…walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.” Did you catch the difference? With Enoch, the phrase “walked with God” replaces the word “lived.” Well, that’s nice…but what’s the point? Here’s the point: God’s word is telling us that there is a difference between WALKING with God and merely LIVING. Any fool can simply exist. Anybody can merely live. But those whose lives glorify God and fulfill His purpose in their generation are those who don’t merely believe in God or talk about God. Like Enoch, they WALK with God.

#2: Enoch’s years here on earth were FEWER but so much FULLER than those of every one of his ancestors. If you look at the lifespans called out in Genesis 5, they’re pretty remarkable. Most of the men lived over 900 years. But Enoch just lived on earth for 365 years—or as some call it: A year of years. Enoch only lived here on earth for about one-third as long as his dad and granddads. But a longer life does not necessary produce a more impactful life. Does it?

Alexander the Great died at the age of 33. Amadeus Mozart clocked out at 35. Vincent van Gogh--just 37. Martin Luther King Jr. died at 39, and Joan of Arc was just 19. Like most of you, I hope to live a long life. But what is much more important than the number of years that I live is how much I put into those years for the glory of God. When you consider your own life, are you more focused on the number of your years or on the fullness of your years? No matter how many years God gives you, make sure every one of them counts for the glory of God.

#3: Unlike all of his ancestors, Enoch didn’t die. Instead, God took him away. If you were to look at the brief descriptions of Enoch’s dad and granddads in verse 5-20, you would see another pattern in the way the end of their lives is described. They lived a certain number of years, and then they died. But not Enoch. “Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (vs. 23-24).

Enoch never died. God simply…took him away. And in a sense, committed Christians don’t really die either. God simply takes them away.  Even if our heart stops beating and our lungs stop pumping and our brain waves stop firing, we don’t die. God simply takes us away. We live every day that God has called us to live, walking by faith, obeying God’s commands and fulfilling His purpose in our own generation. And after we have done all that God has called us to do, He simply takes us away.

A little girl learned about Enoch one day at church, and when she got home she told her mom the story of Enoch. She said, “Enoch used to take long walks with God. One day he walked so far God said, ‘It’s too far to go back; come on home with Me.’ That’s what happened to Enoch.”

Wow! I don’t know about you, but I want to take long walks with God. I’m going to keep walking by faith and fulfilling His purpose in my generation until He calls me home. How about you?

Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Join us for our Worship Service Sundays at 10 a.m. at the new Dr. Ralph Baker School in Victorville. For more information, visit www.GreaterImpact.cc.

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