As time passed the son repeated his request, adding, “And Dad, I’m getting better grades now, plus I’m reading my Bible every day!”
“I can see that,” his father responded. “But you still haven’t gotten a haircut.”
“Aw, come on, Dad. Samson had long hair. So did Moses. In fact, Jesus had long hair, too!”
“Yes, son, they did. And they walked everywhere they went!”
That joke reminded me of a time when walking was a way of life. People walked everywhere — to the store, to the park, to visit neighbors — and they were healthier for it. Nowadays, to “go walking” means you’re going out to get some exercise. That’s fine.
Research shows walking reduces your blood pressure, improves your cardiovascular function and has a positive impact on weight and age-related illnesses. It also helps build muscle strength and endurance, meaning healthier bones and joints and fewer aches and pains. You even slow down the aging process by walking. How? Experts say your renewed energy gives you the urge and ability to perform more activities and reduces anxiety and depression, things which can age a person faster. By boosting your mood, walking helps you to sleep better, improves your self-esteem and gives you an opportunity to socialize with friends and loved ones.
It comes as no surprise, then, that walking is referenced in a positive way in the Holy Bible. Enoch, Noah and Abraham are described as men who walked with the true God at Genesis 5:22, 6:9 and 17:1. Were they literally walking around with God the way we walk with humans? No. In the Bible, the expression “to walk” can mean to follow a certain course of action.
We can see this clearly in other Bible accounts like Luke 1:6 where Zechariah and Elizabeth are spoken of as both being “righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.” — New American Standard Bible.
So, one who walks with God follows a life course that is outlined by the Almighty. They realize that only He has the right to tell them how to walk in order to lead to everlasting life. This path is made clearer by reading God’s Word and applying what it says. As Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
After a while, we may experience the truthfulness of Isaiah 30:21: “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” — English Standard Version.
Once God’s Word becomes a guide to us, Scriptures are called to mind at times when we need them most. If we listen to that inner voice of remembered Bible verses, we can be guided in the right way to walk with God. We can say as did David at Psalm 26:11: “But as for me, I will walk in my integrity.” — New King James Version. Keep in mind that if we are lost and walking with someone who knows the right way, we would follow their lead — not get ahead of them.
So would it be wise to try and get ahead of God’s leading, seeing how we are lost without Him? Paul said at Ephesians 4:1-2, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” — English Standard Version.
Would a person who is sincerely walking with God be stubborn, arrogant and unforgiving with others or would they work at being peaceful, humble, merciful and loving? Would they take the easy way out of suffering during hard times or would they continue to walk in the way God wants them to walk?
To help us walk worthily, we are given the perfect example in Jesus Christ, who experienced many afflictions without straying from the path of righteousness. As 1Peter 2:21 says, “You were called to this kind of endurance, because Christ suffered on your behalf. He left you an example so that you might follow in his footsteps.” — Common English Bible.
Following in the footsteps of Christ and walking with God is not easy. There are enemies on this path. There are trials along the way. But like physical walking, it is undoubtedly good for us and the best way to walk! It reduces stress because we are given the peace of God, mentioned at Philippians 4:7.
Walking with God also puts us on the “path of life” as described at Psalm 16:11. On this path to endless life we will be joined by countless others — past, present and future — who walked by faith with God. Is this the wisest, healthiest course to take? Millions believe so. As Micah 4:5 says, “For all the peoples walk every one in the name of his god; and we will walk in the name of Jehovah our God for ever and ever.” — American Standard Version.
So whatever you do, wherever you go, no matter how punishing the path — put your best foot forward and keep walking with God.