Walking with God is the goal of every Christian. When Abram was called out of the Chaldeans, God gave him many great and wonderful promises. He promised him land, greatness, a prosperous line of descendants. These were all the things of greatest value. But more special than all of these was God’s promise for himself to be his very great reward. The Christian’s goal is not to have a God that can do things for him or provide him with success and greatness. I’m not against any of that, but the Christian is invited to aim higher even than those things. The Christian is invited to know God personally and intimately; to walk in step with God, hand-in-hand as it were, like two best friends enjoying each other’s company as they walk and talk together.
The series we’re beginning is not a “how-to” series on a happier marriage, though walking with God will result in one. It’s not about being a better parent, though it will help you in that too. It’s not about how to succeed in the workplace, or be happy in life, or overcome your guilt, or build your self-esteem, though all of those things can result from walking with God. Christianity is not a religion in the sense of placating a deity so that he will reward you with good things. Christianity has a goal of intimacy with God.
The Psalms helps us learn to do this. Psalm 139 is a meditation that leads to prayer.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
139:1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain!
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting! (ESV)