“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? Deuteronomy10:12-13
What are we to do as God’s children? Moses told them quite plainly. Fear (honor, awe) God, walk in His ways, love Him and serve Him. To do that takes three things. It takes keeping God’s commandments and doing it all from the depth of your heart and also with all your soul.
The Prophet Micah’s book in the Old Testament has similar threefold list—Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God. Three steps. All have to do with how we walk with God. In Deuteronomy, Moses warns the people to “walk in His ways” several times. Leviticus 26:12 has God saying He will walk among the Hebrews and they will be His people. The prophets warned the people to once again walk with God, and Paul stressed that since we now are His temple, we must walk in His ways.
What does it mean to walk with God, or to walk in His ways?
Think of two people in an intimate relationship. They walk side by side, matching each other’s steps almost subconsciously because being close is what is of the upmost importance. They are not in a rush. They are enjoying each other’s company too much. Chatting, whispering, even laughing as they stroll. Cares disappear. All they see is each other.
Or picture a child with their parent. The parent holds tight to the child’s hand so the child doesn’t dash off into danger. The parent may try to match their giant steps to the child’s, but if that can’t happen or the way becomes too arduous, the parent hoists the child up and carries them through crowds, around obstacles and over cracks in the pavement that might have caused the child to stumble.
Now consider a man walking his obedient dog on a leash. He gives the dog some freedom, but the dog is well trained. He knows staying by his master is the safe thing to do. If the master tugs on the leash, the dog obeys, changes direction and goes where the master tells him to go.
Do any of those three ways describe your walk with God? Perhaps, depending on the circumstance, all three have. They have for me. There have also been times I have been a disobedient dog, yanked away the leash and ran off on my own. As a child, I have slipped from God’s grip only to get temporarily lost in the crowds. At times, my intimate relationship with God ends in a quarrel and I stomp off. But, each time, He finds me, forgives me and once again I get back in sync with His steps. All is right again.