From the beginning, God has wanted a walking partner.
God is looking for not only a clinging bride but also a walking partner. From the very beginning, God had a relationship with Adam and Eve that found them “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). God created man for the enjoyment of a walking relationship that involved companionship, dialogue, intimacy, joint decision-making, mutual delight, and shared dominion. God longs to walk with you, which is why his arms of grace have been pulling you into a closer walk with him.
My wife, Marci, loves to go walking with her friend, Wendy. They talk the whole time. Nonstop. The walk not only makes exercise fun, it also deepens their friendship. Jesus went on these kinds of walks with his disciples, and he still likes to walk with us this way today.
The secret place is not the destination; it is only the catalyst. It is designed of God to establish us in an intimate friendship with him that is walked out through the course of our everyday lives. The goal we’re after is an everyday walk of unbroken communion with our Lord and friend.
Enoch was the first man in the Bible who walked with God:
After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him (Genesis 5:22–24).
Even though men began to call upon the name of the Lord in the early days (Genesis 4:26), Enoch was the first man to uncover the true delight of walking with God. He found something even Adam didn’t experience. He pressed into God until he learned how to commune with God through every facet of life. To find that dimension of relationship certainly required an intense spiritual pursuit, and then when he found it, the Lord made a graphic statement by taking him up to heaven.
By taking Enoch up to glory, God wasn’t trying to get us impressed with Enoch’s piety. Nor was God saying, “If you get to be as spiritual as Enoch, you’ll get taken up to heaven, too.” This was a unique experience God used to emphasize a specific point. God’s point was, “I love to walk with man! Enoch was the first man to truly walk with me, so I decided to highlight his example by doing something extraordinary with him. I took him up to paradise to underscore how much I value and desire a daily walking relationship with my chosen ones.” Enoch’s example continues to witness to all generations of the great zeal God has to walk with man.
When the zeal of God captures you, it will ignite you with a great passion to walk with God and to be his friend. Imagine being Enoch and living 365 years—and having this growing relationship with God! One can only wonder what glorious depths of intimacy Enoch uncovered. Perhaps Enoch’s heart longed so deeply for more of God that God grew weary of withholding himself. Maybe God’s heart was saying, “Enoch, you love me with such a pure and sweet passion, I don’t want to say ‘no’ to you anymore. I’m going to answer your prayer and show you my face. Come on up!”
As you draw close to God, he will not likely take you up to heaven as he did Enoch. However, he does desire to reveal the beauty of his face to you. As we walk with him, he will open the Scriptures to us through the Spirit of wisdom and revelation and reveal to us the light of the glory of God that is to be found in him.
When we walk with God, we enter the dimension where God unfolds the secrets of his kingdom. These are the paths that the ancients trod before us. Noah knew the secret of walking with God (Genesis 6:9), as did Abraham (Genesis 24:40). Through Christ, you can explore the glorious riches of knowing God like they did—and to even a greater degree because of the Spirit which has been given to us!
God wants to walk with us before he works through us. So he will wait to act until he finds the right man or woman through whom he can work. To put it bluntly, God works with his friends. When God has a friend, divine activity accelerates. When God has a useful vessel that has been prepared for noble purposes, he will use that vessel. To illustrate, if you put a riding lawn mower in my garage, I promise you this—I will use it! Similarly, God will use the one who walks with him. But he’s looking especially for three crucial qualities: humility, faithfulness, and loyalty. He wants to work with friends who are loyal to him, no matter what. Even when circumstances would suggest God is unjust, his true friends continue to walk with him. So the Lord will test our fidelity. When we prove ourselves his friends through the greatest calamities of life, we qualify as useful vessels. Jesus was the quintessential example of a man who walked with God, he walked so closely with God that he was always in the Spirit, even when shaking himself awake from a groggy sleep. When I first wake up, I’m sometimes grumpy or dopey. But when they awakened Jesus out of a deep sleep, he silenced the storm! What an amazing attainment, to be awakened out of a dead sleep and be instantly in the Spirit. The secret place is where we develop a walking relationship with God. We must develop a secret history with God before he gives us a public history before people. Hidden in the secret place, we learn what he’s looking for in friends, and we find out what pleases him. Our inner chamber with him becomes our training ground for a life that is rooted and grounded in love. Jesus told us that he confides his kingdom purposes to his friends (John 15:15). Lord, I want to be your friend, your confidant, loyal to the death. I want to walk with you, talk with you, listen to you, hear your heart, and participate in your activities in this momentous hour. Teach me. Lord, to walk with you!