Go At God’s Pace – Part 1

In this article, I will begin to look at Strategy #7 in Mark Atteberry’s book, “Walking With God on the Road You Never Wanted to Travel“.  If you’d like to get a copy of this book, you can look at my article I wrote a number of months back about how I offer to help a person find Christian books.  (Click on “Good Christian Resources“.)  The title of this Strategy of how to handle life when you are going through a difficult period is “Go At God’s Pace”.

This chapter of Atteberry’s book may hold a wonderful promise for God’s people, but it is unfortunately one of the most difficult practices to do for any man or woman.  The Bible gives us an insight into what it will be like when we are with God and there is no sin to separate us any longer from God when we look at the opening verses in Genesis and the closing words of Revelation.

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In Genesis chapters 1 and 2, we are given the story of the creation of the universe, the world and every living thing inhabiting it.  Then look at verse 8 of chapter 3 which says, “the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day…”  Can you imagine what Paradise was like before sin entered into the world?  Just think, God would come visit Adam and Eve, and in that quiet and peaceful time of the day, they would just casually walk along side of the Creator of the Universe and have a good talk with Him.

But we know that sin did come into the world when both Adam and Eve made the decision to disobey God’s specific will and they chose to follow a different path, one which excluded God from their lives.  At that point, an infinitely impassable chasm of sin separated mankind from God, and with rare exceptions, men and women were no longer able to walk by the side and in the presence of God.

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But praise God, the Lord Jesus chose to give up his own divine rights and privileges and came to earth to walk as a man, and to die as a man.  This man, who had not committed any sin worthy of death, being pure before God, was in a place to offer the perfect sacrifice (His own body and bleed) as the payment for the sins of all people.  Subsequently, mankind once more had direct access to the Father God in Heaven.

The victory over sin was won for all mankind almost 2,000 years ago, but that does not mean that we will not still engage the enemy in smaller battles and skirmishes.  And that will continue until the Last Day.  The Day of the Lord will come and the Lord Jesus will return to reward those who have been faithful to Him, and to cast away into eternal punishment those who would not recognize Him, nor obey Him.

And it is at this point that the great promise of walking with God returns and becomes a reality once again to all the believers.  After eons of time, when the majority of men have turned away from God, and the true believers yearned for God, He Himself will once again let His followers be able to walk with Him as it had once been in the Garden of Eden.  This time, instead of walking with God in a garden, we will walk with in the Heavenly City of the new Jerusalem.

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Revelation 21:23-25 gives us a wonderful picture of what it will be like:

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.  The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.  On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.”

There are many more verses in Scripture that speak of this close intimate fellowshipping with God by walking with Him.  Genesis is full of it:  Enoch walked with God, and so did Noah, and Abraham, and Moses.  If you haven’t picked it up by now, the key word here is “walk with God”.  Now we need to pull ourselves forward a few thousand years and ask ourselves, what does all this have to do with our daily lives today.

We live in such a high-paced and busy world that we can barely slow down enough to talk to our own family members, let alone God.  And when we do find ourselves on a hard-road path of life, it is almost second nature for us to look for an instant answer, a quick fix, a short-cut solution.  But listen to what Atteberry says:

As a hard-road traveler, you’re no doubt feeling a strong temptation to try to hurry things along.  Believing that the end of your painful road is out there somewhere, you naturally want to hurry up and get there.  (p. 88)

But if we are going to let God really be the Lord of our lives, then we have to be willing to let Him bring about the answer to our dilemmas in His own time, not ours.  And we’ve got to learn to not try to “do it all ourselves”, for all of our efforts are futile if we rush forward and exclude God from our lives.  What we need to do is to slow down enough that we can truly be “walking with the Lord”, and so be walking within His will.

A final word of advice from Atteberry as we close off part one of this lesson on walking with God, “The key is still our willingness to be patient and wait on Him.  He wants to know that we are trusting in Him and not in our own strength or ingenuity.”  (pp. 93-94)

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