There seems to be a mix up in the Christendom over the notion of walking with God and working for Him. Somewhere down the line, we seem to think they are the same but that is not the case.
I define walking with God as us proactively and decisively taking planned steps to develop and deepen our relationship with God to the point where we are regularly in concert and in tune with Him, through our faith and love for Him. I believe in our walk, our work becomes clear. We see this wonderfully demonstrated through the ministry of Jesus Christ. All He accomplished in those three years were underpinned by His walk with the Father (John 5:19).
Workers Take Note!
Likewise, our work for God (be it within the church and beyond) should also be birthed through our walk with Him. When we deviate from this, our works become man-driven and man-centred, meaning we may be driven by wrong motives such as:
• Trying to impress others
• Scoring brownie points with God
• Selfish ambition
• Gaining recognition
• Trying to pay God back
• Being compelled, coaxed or coerced by others
Another trap we get into is thinking that works underpinned by the likes of these is an indication of a close walk with God, especially when we seem to get results. But that’s not the case because the foundation isn't right. So we can appear to do good works whilst our hearts and minds are far away from Him (Isaiah 29:13). It’s like having a form of godliness but not experiencing the real power. Maybe this is the reason we are not seeing even ‘greater works’ in the Christendom today because when we truly walk with God, His power will manifest.
Is It Time for a Check Up?
So maybe you and I need to give ourselves a spiritual health check. We need to dig deeper as assess the basis of why we do what we do. It’s not simply a case of looking at results as they don’t always give a clear indication of your walk with God. Plus, Father may do what He wants to do, in spite of you. Moreover, many of us have learnt the art of ‘faking it’ to get what we want or what others expect of us. So don’t be deceived!
So put aside your works for a moment and concentrate on your walk. What is your walk like today? It may help to reflect on your journey with God. Maybe you once had a close walk with Father. You were all sold out and just wanted to see His will done. No matter what was going on in your life, you always had time for prayer, worship, fasting, studying of the word. You loved Him with all your heart and were in tune with Him. And in your journeying with Him, He gave you an assignment. But somewhere down the line, the assignment took over and you no longer have time for God. And so your walk with Him dwindled as you tried to keep up with your assignment.
To bring it home, let’s consider this scenario: You felt led to become an usher in church. And so in the early days, you used to get up early to pray for the service, congregation and your team. Simply put, you were all prayed up. But these days, you roll out of bed just in time to make it to church with no thought of prayer or studying the word – the ingredients that will help you with your task and relationship with God. Fast forward a few years down the line, you are now the head of the team, which means even more responsibilities which takes up even more of your time. Plus, you now have to attend several services a week and your team has doubled in size. These days, your focus is on the job and your mind is cluttered with getting the job done right. And so it is no surprise this has blocked out the still, small voice you once relied heavily upon. You make decisions without even inquiring of God much less acknowledging Him. But some how you think it is ok after all, you are doing Gods work, right?
Wrong! Many of us fall into this trap. Our service for Him should never overtake our walk with Him. If it has, there is something wrong and I encourage you to reverse the trend and return to your first love. What good is works when your spirit and soul is perishing? And if you think you are still standing strong, be careful not to fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).
So What Now?
In short, return to your first love. If you are struggling to remember what this might be like, read through the gospels and simply emulate Christ. Observe how He constantly walked with God and worked effectively throughout His ministry. Hence, our daily pursuit must be our walk with God not the works. For only when we get this right, are we also enabled to serve Him effectively.
Walking with God is not sporadic but a lifestyle. It’s not just about praying in the morning and/or night but moment by moment. So let’s not leave God behind as we sprint ahead to serve Him. He is the Shepherd and we need to hear His voice to know which way to go. Don’t just rely on what you heard in your yesterdays and yesteryears. God is still speaking today. The question is: Are you are too busy serving Him to listen?
Moment of Reflection
Ask yourself this question regularly: Am I still walking with God or have I switched to works mode?