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In Stride with God

He knows my destination

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Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3). A. W. Tozer once posed that question to a group of students and faculty gathered in the Wheaton College chapel . He went on to observe that for two people to walk together, there must be agreement on at least a few major points.

First, they must agree on the direction they are going. If one person is going north and one is going south, it is physically impossible that they could walk together. They must also agree on their destination. If they were aiming for two different cities, they would have to separate somewhere along their journey.

Additionally, they must agree on what path to take. There might be a dozen paths to their destination, but if they are going to stay together, they must take the same route. They should agree on their speed as well. One person might walk quickly and the other might saunter. While they would ultimately get to the same place, they cannot go together because they are not traveling the same speed.

And they must agree on whether they want to walk together. There must be some kind of compatibility. If there were no common ground, their walk would be one of long boredom or disagreement.

My Will or His?

Tozer’s logical observations challenge me today. I want to walk with God—but are He and I always intentionally headed for the same place, taking the same path to get there, traveling at the same speed and enjoying each other in the process? Well, no, not always. I’m too easily distracted, delayed and diverted. It’s good to be reminded that in order to “keep in step with the Spirit,” I must agree with God on our direction (Gal. 5:25).

“‘I am the way,’” Jesus announced (John 14:6). When my path alternately intersects with and diverges from His in a casual, crisscross pattern, I’m a wanderer, not a pilgrim. To enjoy consistent companionship with Him, I need to take His Holy Spirit as the merger of our steps, keeping my ear tuned for His voice: “‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isa. 30:21).

What changes might need to take place in my relationship to the Holy Spirit so that I can be aligned with God moment by moment? God and I must be agreed on our destination. God is intent on “bringing many sons to glory” (Heb. 2:10). If I fasten my sights on anything on this earth that is attainable in my lifetime, that thing becomes a fork in the road, the point at which God and I lose close communion. The apostle Paul wrote, “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward . . . our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:13–14, 20). Does my daily walk—my priorities, choices, habits, attitudes and actions—reflect or undermine that sense of destination?

God and I must agree on what path we want to take. I do not have the foresight and sovereignty required to choose our path; thankfully, God does. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10). Do I envision each new day, then, as a blank piece of paper—God’s agenda—to fill in as He will, with my signature at the bottom?

God and I will have to agree on the pace. Oswald Chambers was right: “In learning to walk with God there is the diffiiculty of getting into His stride” . Sometimes I’m a hyperactive walking companion; at other times I require constant goading. Isaiah 40:31 reminds me that the Christian walk involves frequent changes in velocity:

but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Since God’s timing is perfect, I need to cultivate sensitivity to His pace and frequently ask myself, Am I in step with the Spirit? How do I need to adjust my stride?

Step by Step

Finally, God and I will have to agree if we want to walk together or not. What level of camaraderie do God and I share? Do I love to talk to Him? Love to look at the circum-stances and scenery of my life through His eyes? Cherish the insights He offers, revel in His protective Presence, ? nd that He gives meaning to the journey? Do I realize that He loves to talk with me? That He went to the cross so that He could walk me to the end of my life’s road and on into eternity? And that He has pledged to accompany me every step?

I want to walk in the way that is Jesus Christ. I want to follow that path to its eternal conclusion. And I want to travel it with a companion who knows exactly where I should place my feet. I want to walk in step-by-step agree-ment with God.

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