Walking With God
The prophet Amos, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and thus speaking for God, puts a very pointed and pregnant question, where he asks, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3.) The inquiry thus launched forth, and permanently embodied in the word of God, embraces a very wide scope, and is true naturally as well as spiritually. Take, for instance, two people in ordinary life.
One quiet, reserved, studious, fond of retirement and solitude.
The other, noisy, boisterous, devoted to pleasure and gaiety, a sportsman and a gambler.
Can these two men be bosom friends and intimate associates?
As much as sheep can willingly lie down with dogs, or doves nestle with vultures. There must be a similarity of tastes, inclinations, tempers, and habits, before such a mutual pleasure can be taken in the society of each other, as shall result in any close or permanent intimacy.
Can God, then, walk with man, or man walk with God, except they be agreed?
The thing is impossible, God and man continuing what and as they are. God is holy, man unholy. God is infinitely pure, man desperately wicked. God dwelling in the light which no one can approach unto, man sitting in the very darkness and shadow of death. Yet, according to the testimony of the sacred record, Enoch walked with, and pleased God; (Genesis 5:22, Hebrews 11:5); Abraham was the friend of God; (Isaiah 41:8); and believers are the temple of God (2nd Corinthians 6:16). Thus it is plain from God’s own unerring testimony that there is a way whereby God and man may become agreed, and as such walk together; for not only may man walk with God, but God can also walk with man, according to his own promise, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” They thus walk together. God walking in them, and they walking with God.
Are they, then, agreed?
They are, or how else could they walk together, if the inspired question of Amos is to stand firm and true?
There must be an agreement in love and hatred. What God hates we must learn to hate; what God loves we must be taught to love. Sin is the especial object of God’s hate; and it must be the special object of ours. Christ is the especial object of God’s love; and he must be the object of our heart’s warmest, tenderest affection. Pride, hypocrisy, presumption, self-righteousness, the lusts of the flesh, covetousness, oppression, and persecution in a word, everything worldly and wicked, earthly, sensual, and devilish, is and ever must be hateful and abominable in the eyes of infinite Purity and Holiness.
If not made hateful to us, where is the agreement, where the walking with God?
Humility, brokenness, godly fear, tenderness of conscience, spirituality of mind, singleness of eye to God’s glory, separation from the world, faith, hope, love, submission, and resignation to the divine will, filial obedience, and heavenly fruitfulness in every good word and work if these, and all other graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit, are pleasing and acceptable to God, must they not be also to us, if we are to walk with him in holy agreement?