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WALKING WITH GOD

By Emmanuel Oduntan

may 20, 2020

During this crazy time so many things have happened. Weddings have had to be postponed, graduations cancelled, conferences postponed, and camps closed. The list goes on. Even loved ones that have died could not be mourned in person. The Pandemic has truly affected all of us. Deeply, subtly, and it almost seems, indefinitely.


It is easy to focus on the pain of the losses. Some ignore it, pretend it isn’t there, others feel it and it becomes all they feel, leading them to a place of numbness.


Over the last few years, I’ve really learnt to take risks. I’ve discovered that life is in and of itself risky.


When walking on a road, you could be attacked by a group of puppies…or angry mutts. You could get hit by a biker or worse, a car. Life is full of risks. Take the gentleman who decided he wouldn’t pursue any dream that wasn’t realistic, easily attainable and socially acceptable. He decides to find a stable office job that pays well but doesn’t really feel like purpose. 5 years into the job on his way to work he gets attacked by a pack of wild kittens and is no longer able to do his job. He took a risk even though he thought he wasn’t taking one.


This might be simplistic, but it’s true.


I recognized that and really began to pray. Lord, how can I make my life matter in light of eternity so that if I ever get attacked by kittens and it is suddenly the end of my life I would know that I spent it well?


I was expecting an answer of “Leave your career, sell everything you have and travel to South America to become a missionary”. Or at the very least, “Pray more, read your bible more, live in community more…” etc.


But the Lord did something he always does. He spoke in a way that softened my heart, redirected my thoughts and emotions and clarified my foggy thinking. He said, “Walk with me”.


At first, I wondered, what do you mean by this? What does that mean? How can I do that in a way that is legit and not idealistic.


Well, it’s been two years since I’ve decided to walk with God as intimately as I can. Since then, I would love to claim that I’ve gotten it right 100% of the time and that I am now a seamless saint. But that would be untrue.


What is truer is that walking with God has brought incredible peace, direction, wholeness, strength, grace, truth, hunger for him and his word and a deeper fellowship with himself and others. After-all, the heart of God is love and this means he wants me to experience his love, love him, and love others. The most exciting thing about the Journey is you are actually getting to know the Lord for yourself and you can see him in his word to get even more knowledge! It’s amazing! Sometimes I read something in the Bible, and I think that is definitely something God would say!

 

I’m not a fan of “How to’s” or “10 steps” types of instructions. Simply because that hasn’t been my experience with the way the Lord teaches his children things. Instead he softens us, leads us and grows us in ways so personal and intimate that the best we can do is share our testimony and encourage others to seek him.


That’s the Gospel, people walking with God and telling others what walking with God has done for them.


I am reminded of John 9:13-41. It’s an amazing story of how a gentle man was healed of blindness by Jesus. The Pharisee’s were skeptical…understandably. When the Pharisee’s asked the mother of the blind man in verse 19b “How is it that he can see?” The parents deflected it back to their son basically saying in verse 21 b “He is of age, he will speak for himself”. So the Pharisees asked the son directly. (To me they just wanted to get him to admit it never happened because it didn’t work with their already understood “How to’s” and “To-do’s” for such a miracle to happen).


They thought Jesus was a sinner for healing on the sabbath. So, they said in verse 24 “Give glory to God by telling the truth” they said, “We know this man is a sinner”.


The blind man responded in verse 25 “Whether he is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”.


There it is… simple. I can see his heart saying: A man called Jesus gave me sight and I don’t know about you, but I really want to follow him as a result! The transformation was deep and personal. But the Pharisees weren’t buying it. They wanted the details, they had so much doubt in their hearts that they needed a Step by step guide on Jesus’s methods. There was no way he did it and even if he did do it, it wasn’t legit. So, they asked again in verse 26 “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” Verse 27 is basically the healed guy saying, “I JUST TOLD YOU!”.


Later in the passage Jesus comes to him and asks, “Do you believe in the son of man?”. The once blind man said yes, and he worshiped him. I find this awesome because Jesus asks him this AFTER he had already healed him and in doing so softened his heart. Almost as if Jesus knew that he would believe once he had experienced the Love of God. And that’s the way it has been in my walk with God, not “Doing the right things” but coming to him as I am with a hope that he can actually do something about my situation.


And then he DOES.


After he does, I can’t really tell people everything I did step by step so that it can work for them. I can’t even tell them exactly how Jesus did it. All I can do is say what ever happened it wasn’t me that did it, it was Jesus. The Pharisees wanted to know the how, the blind man only knew the who and in knowing the who he wanted to walk with him, be with him, and believe in him. 


And that’s what matters. Of course, praying, reading the Word, and hanging out in Godly community are all vital for life but the deeper and more individual transformation/heart change can only be experience by walking with God, and that means getting to know the “Who” behind the “how”. A walk down the streets of Saskatoon during this pandemic is made up of tiny steps and so is walking with God.


Tiny steps.


So before you ask the question “How do I walk with God?” ask the question “Do I know who it is I’m actually trying to walk with”? That curiosity, in my opinion, is what drives the whole thing.

 

Take a risk, walk with God, it’s easier and more fun than you think.

 

Emmanuel Oduntan