Remember that obedience to all of God’s holy laws and adherence to His divine will in all things must be combined with our faith; for, say the Scriptures, “Faith without works is dead.” James 2:20. Therefore, besides trusting in God’s mercy, love, and divine presence, we also need to follow Christ by constantly communing with God and decisively obeying His holy Word. Only thus can we truly become heroes for God. Then God will walk and talk with us as He did with Enoch. Hence, we are told: “Enoch’s walk with God was not in a trance or a vision, but in all the duties of his daily life.” Gospel Workers, 51.
If we, like Enoch, are prayerful and faithful in all our duties of life, the Lord will work for us much more than we have ever seen Him work for us in the past. We need to believe that we are not alone, that Christ is at our side through every trial, every test, every challenge, every duty, and every circumstance in life. We must see Him with us at all times by utilizing our spiritual eyes or the eyes of faith. This makes communing with Him easier.
But, like Enoch, we, too, must faithfully do all our duties and strive to obey God’s will. Otherwise, keeping a vision of the Lord’s presence with us would be useless. If we, however, visualize the Lord with us and endeavor to use this vision to help us to constantly commune with Him and trust in Him, we will quickly learn that a sense of God’s presence will actually strengthen and encourage us to make firm decisions and earnest efforts to obey God.
The children of God have often gained victories simply because they envisioned something in their mind’s eye that others did not see. Therefore, we need to use our imaginations. God has given them to us for a good purpose. The imagination can help, as well as it can hinder. But we must believe that no matter what problem we face, it is never too big for God. The reason the Lord destroyed the antediluvians was because “Every imagination of the thoughts of [their] heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5. They used their imaginations for the wrong reason. However, if God’s Word is telling us what is happening around us, that we are not alone, then we have to see this truth in our mind’s eye or in our imaginations, and make it a part of our lives. This will make a big difference in how we face life. We must now teach ourselves and our children to use our imaginations wisely before the end-time crisis comes. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18.
Doing Away with Worry and Sin
Sometimes we wonder what lessons can be taught to our children when we share different Bible stories with them. One of the best lessons we can impart to the minds of children, and even imprint upon our own minds, is the lesson that they (and we) are not alone. This lesson will affect every phase of their (and our) lives thereafter.
When we consider different incidents in the Bible where men of God gained victories because they believed that God was with them, we usually find that our faith is strengthened. We begin to believe that we, too, can become conquerors and champions for God. We begin to realize that many who went before us also encountered problems and temptations, and through much prayer and faith they overcame. Let us remember that frustration and worry are supposed to be strange and foreign for true children of God, and sinning is supposed to be a dying habit or a passing experience for all Christians.
“Many who profess to be Christ’s followers have an anxious, troubled heart because they are afraid to trust themselves with God. They do not make a complete surrender to Him, for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve. Unless they do make this surrender they cannot find peace.” The Ministry of Healing, 480, 481.
Sometimes we do not want to remember that God is watching us all the time. Usually the reason is because we want more freedom to do our own thing. We want to be free from God. So our imaginations are filled with the thought that we are alone; we are free—free from God. But when we come up against a real challenge and we need the Good Shepherd to be with us, we then have problems remembering Him and trusting in Him. That is why we often see our challenges so huge in front of us. This, of course, is our fault. We have left God out of our thoughts too much. This we have done for our own selfish reasons, and now when we are confronted with trials and tests, we lack confidence in the thought that God is with us. We believe that we are alone. Thus, we find no peace. None can deny that this defeating and self-destroying practice needs to be changed.
We must know what we really want: do we really want to serve God, or are we trying to serve God and mammon? We have to decide! If we decide we want to serve God and to be all for Him, there can be no room for conveniently leaving God out of anything in our lives. We must ever keep God in our thoughts. Thus, when faced with challenges, we will pray and have one thought standing out boldly, clearly, firmly, and strongly, and that is, “I am not alone.” Such a person cannot fail.
Jesus did not say or do anything He did not want His Father to hear or to see. As a result, He constantly communed with God and trusted Him. Thus, when up against challenges, He was assured of His Father’s help. His heart was fixed on the thought that He was not alone, that His Father was with Him. Likewise, all God’s children need to have the mind of Christ: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5.
God Will Provide
“There are many whose hearts are aching under a load of care because they seek to reach the world’s standard. They have chosen its service, accepted its perplexities, adopted its customs. Thus their character is marred and their life made a weariness. The continual worry is wearing out the life forces. Our Lord desires them to lay aside this yoke of bondage. He invites them to accept His yoke; He says, ‘My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.’ Worry is blind and cannot discern the future; but Jesus sees the end from the beginning. In every difficulty He has His way pre¬pared to bring relief. ‘No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.’ Matthew 11:30; Psalm 84:11.
“Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service of God supreme, will find perplexities vanish and a plain path before their feet.
“The faithful discharge of today’s duties is the best preparation for tomorrow’s trials. Do not gather together all tomorrow’s liabilities and cares and add them to the burden of today. ‘Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.’ Matthew 6:34.
“Let us be hopeful and courageous. Despondency in God’s service is sinful and unreasonable. He knows our every necessity. To the omnipotence of the King of kings our covenant-keeping God unites the gentleness and care of the tender shepherd. His power is absolute, and it is the pledge of the sure fulfillment of His promises to all who trust in Him. He has means for the removal of every difficulty, that those who serve Him and respect the means He employs may be sustained. His love is as far above all other love as the heavens are above the earth. He watches over His children with a love that is measureless and everlasting.
“In the darkest days, when appearances seem most forbidding, have faith in God. He is working out His will, doing all things well in behalf of His people. The strength of those who love and serve Him will be renewed day by day.” Ibid., 481, 482. [Emphasis added.]
We must learn what it means to have faith in God. Despite our circumstances, we must believe that when we are striving to do God’s will, He is on our side to protect and defend us, and to grant us the victory over all things. We must realize that everything that comes our way is carefully scrutinized by the Lord ahead of time, and that He does not permit anything (good or evil) to come our way unless He Himself is near and available to provide His strength and support. Thus, difficulties, including those that threaten our happiness or even our lives, are seen as blessings by the true and mature saints of God, those who, like Enoch, learn to walk with God.
For Our Good
“Each fiery trial is God’s agent for their [Christ’s followers] refining. Each is fitting them for their work as colaborers with Him. Each conflict has its place in the great battle for righteousness, and each will add to the joy of their final triumph. Having this in view, the test of their faith and patience will be cheerfully accepted rather than dreaded and avoided.” The Desire of Ages, 306.
Like the three Hebrew youth who were placed in the fiery furnace in Babylon (Daniel 3:19–27), we, too, must learn to accept that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. That is, we must learn to believe that “all things” (whether positive or negative) are really for our good and will always turn out in our favor in the end. Like these three champions of God, Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego, we, too, must become fully conscious of the fact that we have at our side “the form” of One “like the Son of God.” Daniel 3:25.
Indeed, the experience of all true Christians is that we are not alone. Like the psalmist David, we, too, can bravely say: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. . . . Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:1, 4.
There is no need for us to worry about anything; instead there is a great need for us to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” Ephesians 6:10. We must always remember that “without faith it is impossible to please [God].” Hebrews 11:6. Therefore, we must trust in God and believe that He will always bless us in the end as we strive to do His will; we must believe that all our prayers will eventually be answered. Remember that worry and sin will surely deny us of the presence and blessings that only God can give. Surely, none of us can afford to be without divine help and strength or any of God’s appointed privileges and gifts. Therefore, no true Christian today should fail to learn exactly what it means to walk with God, as did faithful Enoch.
Our Source of Wisdom and Peace
Many feel that they are not equipped to do the Master’s bidding. Many times we hear of individuals saying that they just do not have what it takes to minister unto others. We also hear of those who claim that they do not know what to do when faced with different tasks and of those who say that they do not know how to carry out the will of God. Yet we are told that wisdom is a virtue that none should lack. The Scriptures say: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5–8.
Wisdom (which comes from God) provides us with a sense of confidence, assurance, and peace. Such beautiful benefits can only come from God. Our heavenly Father has designed different means whereby His children can acquire this virtuous gift: a true and accurate knowledge of God’s Word, divinely-appointed experience, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Since “wisdom is the principal thing” and “happy is the man that findeth wisdom,” it is the Master’s will that all His children be wise. Proverbs 4:7; 3:13. Thus, we read: “He is able and willing to bestow upon His servants all the help they need. He will give them the wisdom which their varied necessities demand.
“Said the tried apostle Paul: ‘He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take plea¬sure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.’ 11 Corinthians 12:9, 10.” Ibid., 482. [Emphasis added.]
God’s grace is sufficient for us; however, to really benefit from such abundant grace, we must constantly commune with God and ever keep Him close to us. We must, like Enoch, walk with God. Thus, we can be assured, not only of perfect wisdom, but also of perfect peace. Note: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3. [Emphasis added.]
Let us take the time to memorize this verse. It has become very important to me. I have found in my own experience that this verse is quite beneficial and encouraging from day to day. Furthermore, since I know that this verse was not recorded in God’s Word just for me, I believe that many others can benefit from it today and in the future, if they, too, will recall it to mind frequently.
Let us consider the words, “perfect peace.” Do you know what is perfect peace? It is peace without flaw or reservation. This, of course, seems foreign to the inhabitants of this sinful, violent world. Unfortunately, it also is foreign to some professed Christians. Yes, we may feel somewhat okay, but a little anxiety is still present, a little bit of fear. We are not too sure of ourselves or of our situation, yet we may say that we are okay. God, however, is saying that He wants to give all of us “perfect peace.” He wants to give us this gift in this life, and not just in the life to come.
Perfect peace means no uncertainty at all; it is a state of perfect assurance. This blessing is available and possible to all who keep their minds “stayed” on the Lord (Isaiah 26:3); that is, to all who maintain within their minds a sense of God’s presence, those who constantly talk to God and trust in Him. Even though such individuals may be confronted with trials and tests, instead of seeing the problem by itself, they see the Lord either in front of it, behind it, at the side of it, or surrounding it. In other words, they truly believe that God is in control. Such persons do not see things just isolated or by themselves, for they strongly believe that they are not alone and that they never have to handle anything by themselves. It is not just they and the problem anymore; it is they and the Lord, plus the problem, which they talk to God about as soon as it arises. Such Christians have learned how to truly walk with God!
Furthermore, these children of perfect peace are doers of God’s Word. In the strength of the Lord they struggle to gain the victory over sin and Satan. They see that God’s presence in their lives is for a purpose. He is there to help them in their battle to overcome sin and sinfulness in every form, be it in the form of the devil, the world, or the flesh.
This is the kind of outlook God is trying to get us to develop by allowing us to have problems. If we do not have difficulties and challenges, we will not learn how to include this new thought in our carnal minds. We were born with a mind devoid of God; it does not think about God; it does not know God; it is separated from Him; and it must learn to include Him. So the challenges in life are for us to learn and to practice putting Him into every picture we see in our minds.
Minds on the Lord
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.” Isaiah 26:3. [Emphasis added.]
According to this verse, this experience of “perfect peace” is obtained only if our minds are “stayed” on the Lord. This view of abiding in Christ, or allowing our minds to dwell on heavenly and holy things, must not be allowed to die out for convenience sake, but we must strive to keep these things within our hearts at all times and under all circumstances of life, good and bad alike.
Joseph’s mind stayed on God, even when the carnal nature may have wanted to say, “Let me forget God for now; I can bring Him back in my thoughts afterwards.” Instead, his mind was stayed on the Lord even when his emotions or passions were under attack, whether from the wickedness of his brothers or from the seductive attempts of Potiphar’s wife. Said he while under the test of the latter circumstance, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9.
Enoch, Elijah, Moses, Luther, Joseph, Peter, Paul, and many others continually communed with God and maintained a sense of His presence. This protected them from sinning and kept them steadfast in the Lord during their trials. These men of God not only pictured the Lord in their minds and trusted in His mighty power, they also prayed continually for help and cooperated with Him in resisting sin. In return for their prayerfulness, faith, and efforts, God gave them the victory over every temptation and sin.
These men believed that this Almighty Being they saw in their mind’s eye or thoughts was going to help them, and give them wisdom and victory. In this way, God was not just a notion or a fantasy to them; He was a real person with character and purpose.
To all His children He is there to help. He loves us with an everlasting love; He cares for us; He is all powerful, and nothing can withstand Him. This is He with whom we must commune, trust, and see in our mind’s eye.
It is my prayer that we will truly experience what it means to walk with God. Let us therefore develop the mind of Christ, the mind of patri¬archs, prophets, apostles, reformers, and the saints of old. It is a mind of truth and trust that qualifies men of ancient and modern times to be described as champions of truth. May we, too, see and believe with all our hearts that the Lord is with us, morning, noon, and night—every second, every minute, every hour of every day.
We need to encourage continual prayerfulness, trust, and the precious thought that God is with us. May we implement this practice in our lives from this day forward. Then more and more we will see how God makes every problem diminish or disappear when we place it in the Master’s hands. Yes, may we truly believe with all our hearts that because of God’s abundant grace and love for us, we are not alone. Like Enoch, we, too, must not see ourselves alone amidst the duties and challenges of life, but instead we must always walk with God.
Fellow Christians, let us walk with God by praying constantly and resting in the sure promise of our beloved Saviour, Jesus Christ: “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:20.
Pastor Patrick Herbert is the senior pastor of the Tucker-Norcross Adventist Church and Director of the Gilead Institute of America, a medical missionary evangelistic training institution located in Norcross, Georgia. He holds a Doctorate in religion and speaks and writes on a wide range of religious and health topics. He may be contacted by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.