By Joe Slater
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless’” (Genesis 17:1). God had great plans for Abram. He would make a great nation of his descendants and give them the promised land of milk and honey. Eventually the Savior of mankind would appear through the lineage of Abram.
With such great promises came great expectations. The Lord wanted Abram’s faithful, obedient behavior. Since Christ is the fulfillment of the promise, and Christians are heirs of the promise (Hebrews 6:17), God also expects us to walk before Him and be blameless. The Lord sees all that we do and knows all we say or think. Knowledge of His presence should encourage us to be confident and motivate us to refrain from sin, knowing we cannot hide from Him.
Walking “after” God emphasizes faithful obedience a bit differently. God, through Moses, told Israel: “You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him” (Deuteronomy 13:4). They were to follow God’s leading, not that of the false prophets in the previous verse. Likewise, we must walk after God, rejecting the false ideas of men.
None of this is new! People who love God have always endeavored to do His will. Scripture gives credit to two men who “walked with God” – Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Noah (Genesis 6:9). They lived in harmony with God’s will and enjoyed close fellowship with Him.
Walk before God! Let the knowledge of His presence encourage and motivate you. Walk after God! Follow the leading of His word. Walk with God! Live in harmony with His will and enjoy His fellowship!