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May 19, 2021

Day 13, Chapter 13: The Walk

I love to walk. I also like to explore. When I hunt, which I also like to do, I mostly walk around and check out the sights. This diminishes my effectiveness, since the animals are so adept at seeing movement and hearing noises. I don’t mind, however, for me, the thrill is in the hunt itself - the search, the exploration - not in the harvesting of an animal.

The farthest I’ve walked in one day while hunting, at least that I know of, is just over twenty miles. I know this because my nephew measured it using his GPS. On this particular day, such a long walk wasn’t planned. My brother Tim, his son, another friend and I were scouting the area, looking for the best way in and out of a specific location.

We were confident there was a dirt road at the base of the mountain we were standing on - we could see portions of it - but the woods were too thick to see where it led. We debated for a few minutes whether to carefully make the steep descent, which was a LONG way down. If we were wrong about where the road led, the climb all the way back up the steep mountain would be grueling and dangerous. But since we really wanted to check out the road, and confident it would lead us out, we decided to take the risk.

We were wrong. Way wrong. I can’t begin to tell you just how wrong we were.

The road was actually across a large stream. No way across. And besides, the road was on private land. It was a gorgeous area, with lush meadows, bordering aspen trees, and the beautiful mountain stream. But no access to the road. Thinking perhaps we would find another road if we followed the stream, we walked a mile or so. Eventually, we happened upon another hunter on the edge of the stream. Relieved, we conversed for a while, then asked him where the road was.

“What road?” he responded.

“The road out of here.”

“There is no road out of here,” he answered.

“There has to be,” we insisted, our concern mounting.

“My dad and I have been hunting here for twenty-five years,” he said, “and I guarantee you there is no public road into here. The dirt road across the stream is private, and the owner lets NO ONE use it. You can’t get over there anyway.

“How did you get here?” we asked, still unwilling to believe him.

“Horseback. We pack in and camp for the week.”

We told him where we had parked, at the top of the mountain, and asked him how to get to it. With a slight grin and a confident demeanor, he pointed to a trail that we could see meandering several thousand yards up the mountain. “Up that trail, boys,” he said. “That’s the only way out of here. That’s why they call it Hell Hole.”

Shocked and a little panicky, we said, “We have to be out by dark!” It was around noon at the time.

He gave us a warning smile and a piece of advice: “Then you’d better get going.”

We made it just before dark - with sore feet, tired legs, and bragging rights: We’d been to “hell” and back. Actually, it wasn’t that bad for a walker. And it was so gorgeous down there I’ve always wanted to go back. Hey, if you wanna make the memory, you gotta take the walk! If a person planned ahead, packed a lunch and plenty of water, it wouldn’t be all that bad. And the peaceful meadow nestled up against the beautiful mountain stream - well, it was without doubt one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen. The higher we climbed on our way out, the more beautiful the view of the stream and meadows became. To me, Hell Hole had become Heavenly Hole, a view I’ll never forget. Perspective is everything.

Enoch was a walker. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. He was the guy who brought Yahweh such pleasure that the Lord decided to go ahead and translate him to heaven: “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him,” (Genesis 5:24). One day he was there, the next day he wasn’t. I wonder if anyone saw him vanish, or get in the fiery chariot, if the Lord took him in the manner he took Elijah. How would you like to try explaining it to your friends? I don’t think so.

The concept of Enoch “walking” with God is a fascinating one. The word used can mean several things. It describes the flowing of a river, the descending of a flood, the blowing of the wind, the tossing of the sea and, of course, walking. The basic idea is movement. It is used metaphorically to speak of the pathways of one’s life. For example, a son can “walk in” or “follow after” the ways of a father.

Enoch followed after God and His ways, walking with Him on the pathway of his life. The meaning is quite simple: He lived life with God. Not satisfied with the mundane existence of life without God, Enoch decided to prioritize and enjoy the pleasure of His company. Somehow he knew walking with God was a decision he had to make - not God. The Scriptures do not say “God walked with Enoch,” although that obviously occurred as they spent time together. No, the wording is important and the point is clear: “Enoch walked with God.”

The Scriptures do tell us how the Lord felt about this relationship, however. The New Testament says of Enoch: “He obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God” (Hebrews 11:5). “Pleasing” is from the Greek word euarestos. “Well-pleasing” would be a more accurate translation; the prefix eu means “well” or “good,” and arestos means “to please.” Seeing other people gloat over their grandkids has always been pleasing (arestos) to me. Now, having my own grandkids is well-pleasing (euarestos). Enoch was more than pleasing to God, he was well-pleasing.

This hyphenated word isn’t used much nowadays. A more contemporary way of describing Enoch’s relationship to God would simply be that he brought Him great pleasure. Fascinating, isn’t it? What is for us “the pleasure of His company,“ can become for God “the pleasure of our company. “For most, this is an unheard of concept. It’s one thing to believe God can use us. And believing that our obedience to His laws pleases Him? No problem. But I can’t help but wonder how many people realize their presence can bring pleasure to the Lord.

Don’t be deceived into thinking that only a few spiritual elites like Enoch could possibly have such a relationship with the Lord. Paul said to the Corinthians, “We also have as our ambition… to be euarestos to Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9). A literal rendering of the latter part of Hebrews 12:28 would read, “Let us have gratitude, by which we can offer to God euarestos worship with reverence and awe.” It absolutely is possible to become a pleasure to Father God.

When this is understood, it becomes transforming. We begin the walk, a love affair with the One who made us in His own image and likeness. God created us as His family, with the capability of truly knowing and understanding Him. When this is known and embraced, life becomes an exciting and glorious journey upward, not a hellish hole to descend into. We’ve been given a destiny to fulfill, not an existence to waste.

Whatever else you do today, whether that be making money, enjoying someone else’s company, or simply having a little fun, be sure to also spend some quality time with Abba. You were made for His pleasure. Take the walk!

Pray with me:

Father, teach us to walk in rhythm with the beat of Your heart. We know it gives rise to great pleasure within You. We want to be found pleasing, delighting You. Help us to prioritize, reroute, and walk tirelessly, following the ways of Your heart. May the cry from within us be as Moses’: “I’ll only move forward if You do.” We choose to be led along on the pathway that brings honor and glory to You.

May pleasing You, Father, be our greatest ambition, such that when our lives on this side of eternity end, it will be said of us that we walked faithfully with You, choosing to offer You the pleasure of our company. In Your Son’s name we pray, Amen.

Today’s post was taken from my book The Pleasure of His Company.

Dutch Sheets, The Pleasure of His Company (Grand Rapids, MI: Bethany House Publishers, 2014), pp 107-114.

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