Day 3

Talk as You Walk

Wisdom Psalm 3:1-8
New Testament Matthew 2:19-3:17
Old Testament Genesis 4:17-6:22


I love walking. Apparently, it is one of the best forms of physical exercise. Of course, walking is also a means, and for some people their only means, of transport.

Walking for whatever reason is more enjoyable with someone else. Walking and talking is a great way to communicate with family, friends, and also with God.

The point is that we are doing two things at the same time. We are not just taking exercise or travelling. As we walk together we are in communion with one another. Both Enoch and Noah ‘walked with God’ (Genesis 5:24; 6:9). They didn’t just sit, kneel or stand with God (the kind of actions we would often associate with spending time with God), but they were also in communion with God when doing something else. While you are doing other things – working, eating, exercising or relaxing – you can be in communion with God at the same time.

Personally, I find it the best way to pray. This has been my pattern for the last few years. After reading the Bible each day, I go out and walk around our local park – which is almost deserted early in the morning. I note down anything I sense the Holy Spirit saying as I pray. You can pray as you walk to the bus stop or walk from one activity to the next. Talk as you walk.

The Bible has a great deal to say about walking with God. It is how you were intended to live. God’s desire for you is that you walk humbly in a relationship with him (Micah 6:8). This is what Jesus has made possible – you are to walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:6). You may stumble from time to time, but one day you will walk with him ‘dressed in white’ (Revelation 3:4).


Psalm 3:1-8

Psalm 3

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.

  1 Lord, how many are my foes!
   How many rise up against me!
  2 Many are saying of me,
   “God will not deliver him. ”

  3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
   my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
  4 I call out to the Lord,
   and he answers me from his holy mountain.

  5 I lie down and sleep;
   I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
  6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
   assail me on every side.

  7 Arise, Lord!
   Deliver me, my God!
  Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
   break the teeth of the wicked.

  8 From the Lord comes deliverance.
   May your blessing be on your people.


Walk with your head held high

David walked with God. But this does not mean that everything was perfect.

This psalm was written during a rebellion by David’s son Absalom that had been partly caused by David’s adultery (see 2 Samuel 12:11). Yet David repented of what he had done, and God forgave him and his relationship with God was restored. David did not have an easy life: ‘Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.”’ (Psalm 3:1–2). David cries out, ‘But you, God, shield me on all sides; you ground my feet, you lift my head high… ’ (v.3, MSG). Like David, bring your fears and requests to God: ‘To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill’ (v.4).

In spite of his distressing situation God lifted up David’s head. God does not want you to be downcast. Don’t keep looking at the regrets behind you, the problems around you and the sin within you. Rather, lift up your head and see the help above you – walk with your head held high, and your eyes fixed on him.

David was able to say, ‘I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side’ (vv.5–6). In spite of all the troubles, he seems to have a deep peace – like a lake, where there may be rough waves on the surface, but deeper down there is a great stillness.


Lord, I pray for the year ahead that you would help me to walk with you daily in the way of peace, with my head held high, trusting you to supply all I need for the day ahead.

New Testament

Matthew 2:19-3:17

The Return to Nazareth

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

  “A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
  ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
   make straight paths for him.’”

4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

The Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”


Walk in step with the Holy Spirit

John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus. Whereas John’s baptism was symbolic, Jesus would ‘baptise you with the Holy Spirit’ (3:11). This prophecy is then dramatically affirmed when the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus as he is baptised (v.16), showing that he is the one John is speaking about and that Jesus is able to pour out this same Holy Spirit on you and me.

In many ways Jesus’ baptism was different from ours. He did not need to be baptised ‘for repentance’, and he was already filled with the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist was hesitant about baptising him (v.14) but Jesus said, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness’ (v.15).

Jesus identified with us, sinful human beings, right from the start. He did this so that he could bear our sin on the cross for us. As a result, you are able to experience the Holy Spirit in a similar way and walk ‘in step with the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:25). We see here something of what it means to walk ‘in step with the Spirit’:

  1. Get refined in the fire

    John said that whereas he baptised with water, Jesus would baptise ‘with the Holy Spirit and fire’ (Matthew 3:11). The Holy Spirit will come like a refining fire to bring power and purity in your life. Knowing the refining fire of the Spirit in this life means that you can be free from the fear of the fire of judgment when Jesus returns (v.12).

  2. Be filled with peace

    When Jesus was baptised and came out of the water, ‘heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him’ (v.16). The dove is a symbol of peace, which the Holy Spirit brings to your life. The ‘fruit of the Spirit is… peace’ (Galatians 5:22).

  3. Be assured of your adoption

    A voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son’ (Matthew 3:17). Jesus is the Son of God in a unique way. However, the Holy Spirit assures all of us that through what Jesus has done for us, we too are sons and daughters of God: You receive the spirit of adoption. And by him you cry, ‘Abba, Father’. The Holy Spirit himself testifies with your spirit that you are a child of God (see Romans 8:15–16).

  4. Know that you are loved by God

    The voice from heaven said ‘… whom I love...’ (Matthew 3:17). The apostle Paul writes that God’s love for you is poured into your heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).

  5. Feel his pleasure

    The voice from heaven says, ‘with him I am well pleased’ (Matthew 3:17). Again, it was supremely true of Jesus but as you walk in step with the Spirit, you too can experience this sense of God’s delight and pleasure. I love the moment in the film Chariots of Fire when the Olympic runner Eric Liddell says, ‘When I run I feel his pleasure.’


Lord, thank you that you give me your Holy Spirit to refine me, to give me peace, to assure me that I am a child of God, to know your love and to feel your pleasure. Help me to walk ‘in step with the Spirit’.

Old Testament

Genesis 4:17-6:22

17 Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech.

19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes. 22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

23 Lamech said to his wives,

  “Adah and Zillah, listen to me;
   wives of Lamech, hear my words.
  I have killed a man for wounding me,
   a young man for injuring me.
  24 If Cain is avenged seven times,
   then Lamech seventy-seven times. ”

25 Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.

At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.

From Adam to Noah

5 This is the written account of Adam’s family line.

When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.

3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.

6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. 7 After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.

9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. 10 After he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Altogether, Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.

12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. 13 After he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Altogether, Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died.

15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. 16 After he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died.

18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.

28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labour and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed. ” 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.

32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Wickedness in the World

6 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them. ” 8 But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.

Noah and the Flood

9 This is the account of Noah and his family.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark —you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.


Walk in relationship with God

Human beings are the pinnacle of God’s creation. God created us to walk in relationship with him. ‘When God created the human race, he made it godlike, with a nature akin to God. He created both male and female and blessed them, the whole human race’ (5:1–2, MSG).

However, sadly the human race went astray: ‘Human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil – evil, evil, evil from morning to night… it broke [God’s] heart’ (6:5–6, MSG).

Evil starts in our thinking and imagination – that is, in our hearts. It is a case of ‘garbage in, garbage out’. We need to watch not just our actions but also our thoughts, attitudes, motives and imagination.

In the midst of corruption and evil, it is possible to be different and to make a difference. Enoch and Noah are two examples of those who did not go along with the crowd but ‘walked with God’.

It appears that ‘after he became the father of Methuselah’ (5:22), Enoch walked faithfully with God for the rest of his life. There is something so powerful, amazing and almost miraculous about seeing the birth of our own children. One of my very close friends became a Christian through experiencing the birth of his first child.

‘Enoch walked steadily with God. And then one day he was simply gone: God took him’ (v.24, MSG).

Noah also walked with God. He found ‘grace (favour) in the eyes of the Lord’ (v.8, AMP). In spite of all the evil going on around him, ‘Noah was a good man, a man of integrity in his community. Noah walked with God’ (6:9, MSG). Noah believed God and built a boat, even though it was not raining and there was no water in sight. Noah did exactly what God told him to do (v.22).


Lord, help me to be righteous and blameless in my thoughts, words and deeds, walking with you in a close relationship. Help me to do everything you tell me to do.

Pippa adds

In Genesis 5:24 it says, ‘Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.’

I have always thought this sounded a good route to heaven. Enoch didn’t seem to have to go through the normal dying process.



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Chariots of Fire (Dir. Hugh Hudson, 20th Century Fox, 1981).

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