Psalm 89:15-18 (NLT)
Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord. They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation. They exult in your righteousness. You are their glorious strength. It pleases you to make us strong. Yes, our protection comes from the Lord, and he, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king.
Back at it again, cutting gym time to go on long walks in the highlights of spring. It won’t be long until high temperatures and pouring rain drive us back into the lime green walls, music blaring, sweat smelling, machines whirring gym, but for now we can enjoy the quiet of nature as we go. Leaving technology behind and grabbing a leash or two, I often head out down the winding sidewalk just outside our neighborhood. I used to take this journey alone every day a couple years ago, popping in some earbuds and going on my way. But lately I have been dragging my daughter along and more recently my husband took interest in walking. Walking and talking the time passes quickly until its not exercise anymore but time well-sent together in fellowship.
Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship for they will walk in the Light of Your Presence. I don’t think that this is necessarily talking about church gatherings as much as the daily tug on our heart to spend time with the Lord. Exercise has not always been a part of my regular routine. In fact, I loathed the word and avoided it completely most of my life. But when the stress of our son’s illness began to manifest in my body and poor choices caused problems with the need for medication, I had to choose to make a change or endure the consequences. I decided to make the change. It has been a few years now and since that time I no longer hate to exercise. We have been given the profound privilege to walk in the Lord’s Presence every single day. He wants us to walk with Him. He desires us to draw closer to Him. The Lord wants to accompany us through life helping us to make good choices and live a better life. But because such a relationship is foreign and contrary to popular opinion there are many times we choose to walk alone in this world then enter His Presence day by day!
Psalm 23 (NLT)
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
The Lord is my Shepherd. He supplies my every need. We are given the opportunity to totally depend on God for everything we need, yet most of the time we choose to rely on ourselves. We think God is for the majors but it is up to us to see about the minor things in life. However, the Lord has indicated that He wants to be the shepherd. When the sheep head out to the field, it is much like our family going to the beach. The kids are only thinking about the sun, sand and surf but it is mom’s job to remember the food, chairs, towels, change of clothes, sunscreen and more. I am the one who makes sure the details of the day are taken care of. I am in no way implying that I care for my family as well as the Lord does only that we are to walk with Jesus and let Him supply our every need. He is our blessing. He is our deliverer. He is our provider.
He is our healer. He is everything we need yesterday, today and forever. He doesn’t change but is constant. Wherever this journey called life takes us – there He will be, too. All the while providing, protecting and guiding the willing through life. God invites us to live in His Presence today. He wants us to walk in it every day all day. We will never be alone.
Genesis 3:8-11 (NLT)
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
I love this. I know it’s crazy but these verses in Genesis are wonderful reminders. “Where are you?” God wants to walk with us. He desires our fellowship. Just like when I call out to my family that I am taking a walk and someone says, “I want to go!” They want to be with me. They desire fellowship with me. God desires to be with you. He wants to walk with you. He desires close fellowship with you. The man replied to the Lord that day, “I heard you walking in the garden and I hid because I was naked.” God said, “Who told you that…”
Good question and valid even today. What lie has the enemy whispered in your ear that is keeping you from walking in the Love, Grace and Mercy of God today? There is nothing that can separate us from the Love of God thanks to Jesus Christ. We have no excuses anymore. Walking in the Presence of the Lord is a gift from our salvation. No one can keep you from entering your Father’s Presence and choosing to remain there. God desires to walk among us. He wants to be our God. (Leviticus 26:12) Noah found favor with God. How? He walked in close fellowship with Him. (Genesis 6:8-9)
Isaiah 43:2 (NLT)
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
Walking with the Lord does not mean that we will not go through trials and trouble in life. It is all part of the process. Those who walk with the Lord are given certain promises such as in deep waters, I will be with you. In rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When walking through fire, it will not consume you. These are precious promises to be held on to tightly because in that moment of desperation when you feel all alone, they are exactly what we need to see the Face of the Lord and find new hope again.
John 12:35-36 (NLT)
Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.”
Though I enjoy walking through the neighborhoods around our house, I try to be sure to be home before dark. For safety sake, I don’t want to be left lingering in the dark on my way home so I prepare to leave accordingly. We are offered an invitation to walk in the Light of God’s Love. There we encounter and experience the Lord and all His Benefits. However, those who choose to walk in the dark find inherent risks there. As believers, we are given the opportunity to walk in God’s Presence and live in the Love of God every day which sheds light on God’s Will and Way for our life. It points to better choices and good outcomes. Is the Lord asking “Where are you” today? Have some things created distance between you and the Lord? I have wonderful news. New mercy arrived for you this morning that will patch that distance and restore the gap. You can boldly step into the Throne Room of God because Jesus is your Lord and Savior. What are you waiting for? You never have to walk alone.
Psalm 84:5-7 (NLT)
What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.