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    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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George Whitefield on Walking With God

George WhitefieldThe phrase, “walked with God”, means having the rebellion of our hearts against God taken away by the power of God. We are actually reconciled and united to Him by faith in Jesus Christ. We now have a settled communion and fellowship with Him. Each day we become more conformed to the divine image of Jesus Christ. George Whitefield explains:

“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24)

Walking with God implies a settled abiding communion and fellowship with God, or what in scripture is called, ‘The Holy Ghost dwelling in us’. This is what our Lord promised when he told his disciples that ‘the Holy Spirit would be in and with them’; not to be like wayfaring man, to stay only for a night, but to reside and make his abode in their hearts. This, I am apt to believe, is what the apostle John would have us understand, when he talks of a person ‘abiding in him, in Christ, and walking as he himself also walked’. And this is what is particularly meant in the words of our text. ‘And Enoch walked with God’, that is, he kept up and maintained a holy, settled, habitual, though undoubtedly not altogether uninterrupted communion and fellowship with God, in and through Christ Jesus. So that to sum up what has been said on this part of the first general head, walking with God consists especially in the fixed habitual bent of the will for God, in an habitual dependence upon his power and promise, in an habitual voluntary dedication of our all to his glory, in an habitual eyeing of his precept in all we do, and in an habitual complacence in his pleasure in all we suffer.

Walking with God implies our making progress or advances in the divine life. Walking, in the very first idea of the word, seems to suppose a progressive motion. A person that walks, though he move slowly, yet he goes forward, and does not continue in one place. And so it is with those that walk with God. They go on, as the Psalmist says, ‘from strength to strength’; or, in the language of the apostle Paul, ‘they pass from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord’. Indeed, in one sense, the divine life admits of neither increase nor decrease. When a soul is born of God, to all intents and purposes he is a child of God; and though he should live to the age of Methuselah, yet he would then be only a child of God after all. But in another sense, the divine life admits of decays and additions. Hence, it is that we find the people of God charged with backslidings and losing their first love. And hence, it is that we hear of babes, young men, and fathers in Christ. And upon this account it is that the apostle exhorts Timothy, ‘to let his progress be made known to all men’. And what is here required of Timothy in particular, by St. Peter is enjoined on all Christians in general. ‘But grow in grace, (says he), and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’. (“Walking With God”)

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