Tony Evans - Enoch, The Walk of Faith
Today we want to look at our next hero of the faith as we tour this Hall of Faith, and his name is Enoch, and the lesson that Enoch wants to teach us about faith today is what it means to walk by faith. The walk of faith. It's in Hebrews chapter 11, verse 5 and 6: "By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death, and he was not found because God took him up, for he obtained the witness that, before his being taken up, he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that he is a rewarder of them who seek him".
So the New Testament writer, writing to New Testament Christians, reaches back to the book of Genesis and introduces us to a man who has four verses written about him in Genesis. Those four verses are in Genesis chapter 5, and we can see why Enoch was pleasing to God because Genesis 5, verses 21 to 24, says, "Enoch lived 65 years and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God 300 years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him". So Hebrews tells us he pleased God. Genesis tells us why he pleased God. He pleased God 'cause he walked with God. So the way you please God is to walk with God, and it takes faith to please God by walking with God because you're dealing with a God that you do not see, and you're dealing with things about God that are often invisible.
So in order to please God, you must walk with God. Let's reverse it. If you're not walking with God, you're not pleasing God. What does it mean "to walk with God"? The New Testament phrase is "Walk in the Spirit". So that's the New Testament phrase to the concept of "walking with God". The Bible says, "If you walk in the Spirit," so we're told about Enoch. He walked with God, watch this, for 300 years. He started his walk when he was 65 years old. Says 'cause he was 65 when he had Methuselah, and then he walked with God for 300 years. So this was a walk over an extended period of time, step by step. In other words, "to walk with God" is "to bring God to bear on the steps you take in your life". It means God is part of your decision-making. He is part of your thought processes. He is part of your calendar. He is part of your schedule. He is part of your relationship. Every step you take, every move you make, every meandering you do, everything you're involved with, God is attached to it, and you are aligning yourself with him.
So to walk with God involves agreeing with him. If your disagreeing with God is hard for him and you to hang out together 'cause you're not on the same page, you're not walking with each other, he says in verse 6, "Him that comes to God must first believe that is". It's hard to walk with somebody, and you're not sure they're there. So there is an assumption, with walking with God, that the God you're walking with is there to be walked with.
Now, let me explain something about believing that he is. You must believe, watch this, that he is. That's different than believing that it is because what you must believe about God is that he is personal and therefore knowable. God does not know what it is to be by himself. He's never been alone for there's God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. These three are one, one God composed of three coequal persons, who are distinct in personality, yet one in essence. He's never been by himself. Because God has never been alone, he doesn't know what it is to be lonely 'cause he's never been alone. So he is into relationship, not that excited about religion. So folk who want religion, who don't want a relationship, is not the "him" that he's talkin' about. So you must believe that the God who is asking you to walk with him really wants to walk with you because he wants a relationship with you. He just does not want a visit from you. Jesus is not physically here, and God is a Spirit by nature. You must believe that God is, and it's a "he," it's a person.
The second thing you must believe, if you're gonna walk with God, verse 6, says, is that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him. You must believe that he is real, and he is a rewarder. He is personal, and a responder. So you believe in two things, that there is this personal God, who wants me to walk with him and that he's not gon' waste my time on the journey, that he's gonna respond to my belief in him and my walk with Him. The issue on the floor is do you want to walk with God? And you need to want to walk with God. I need to want to walk with God if I expect God to walk with me, that he is the rewarder, verse 6, says, of those who seek him. In other words, he's gon' walk with you if you wanna walk with him, but he's not gon' be insulted and walk with you when you don't wanna walk with him 'cause who wants to with with somebody who doesn't wanna be with him?
So there is this issue of the design to walk with God, which is walking in the Spirit, which is bringing God to bear on all of life, that's walking with God, but walking with God, if you're gon' walk with God, stay with me here, means you will often be walking against the culture. I know you heard me, but I'm not sure you liked it. Walking with God will often mean you will walk out of step with the culture 'cause you're listening to a different drum beat. The New Testament talks about Enoch in another place, the next to the last book in the New Testament, Jude. Jude, which only has one chapter, in verses 14 and 15, says these words: "It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, 'Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment upon all and to convict all the ungodly of the ungodly which which they had done in an ungodly way and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners had spoken against him.'"
So now Jude picks up on this man Enoch from the book of Genesis. Oh, but watch this now. Jude says, "Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam", he doesn't just tell you his name is Enoch. Same thing Hebrews says. He tells you it's "Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam". Why does he want you to know it's "Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam"? Because there were two Enoch's in Adam's family. In Genesis chapter 4, verse 17, it talks about Enoch, the son of Cain. Enoch, the son of Cain, who had a city named after him. Jude says, "I ain't talkin' about him. That's not the Enoch I'm talkin' about. I ain't talkin' about Cain's baby boy. I'm talkin' about Seth's generation of Enoch, the father of Methuselah". He says, "I don't want you to get confused 'cause folk can have the same name but not share the same nature".
Enoch, son of Cain, had a city named after him. He had a city called Enoch, after him. So he was recognized by man. But Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, was not known by men. He was known by God, "For Enoch walked with God, and was not". So the question is who you want to know your name. You can live for people and have notoriety named after you, power named after you, success named after you, privilege, or you can have God knowing your name. So the question is who you want to know your name? He says, "Enoch, the seventh in the generation of Adam," he says, was not a private Christian. He was not a spiritual CIA representative. He was not a covert operative. He says, "He prophesied against the ungodliness of his day". He wasn't just this quiet, little Christian, sittin' in church, where nobody knew he belonged to God, but him. Enoch, who walked with God, let the ungodly know "That ain't right. God calls that sin. God calls that unrighteousness". He took that stand. And you are not to be a part of... that is, if you're gon' walk with God. 'Cause if you're gon' walk with God, you gotta agree with God. You can't disagree with God and walk with God. You must take that stand.
Joshua said, "I can't control what the rest of y'all do, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". So he did not compromise with ungodliness in order to be popular, in order to have a big name. When you walk with God, you cannot mix diesel and unleaded 'cause, if you try to mix diesel and unleaded, you're gon' go bumpin' along, and you're liable to stall because the engine of your spirit has not been made for that kind of mixture. It must be clear. He took the false teaching, he took the false religion, and he made his position clear in his generation. That's why it says he prophesied, he spoke. You may work in a hostile environment, you may live in a hostile environment, but it ought to be clear, you belong to another kingdom, you belong to another king, and you represent that kingdom. In a hostile environment, if the unrighteous can represent hell, God has called you to represent heaven 'cause he's invited you to walk with him.
Enoch walked with God. One of the realities is the closer you get to God, the more sensitive you're gon' be to the righteousness in your own life and the unrighteousness in the culture in which you live. You see, Enoch walked with God, and it wasn't an event. It was a lifestyle 'cause he did it over 300 years. What was the payoff for walking with God? What was the compensation? It says, "God took him," verse 5, of Hebrews 11, "for he obtained the witness that, before he was taken up, he was pleasing to God," okay? So he talks about before he was taken up, and then he talks about being taken up. So before he was taken up, while he was still livin' over these 300 years that he was walking with God... the word "witness" means "testified", God testified with his special presence in Enoch's life, that "I am with Enoch, and Enoch is with me". There was a testimony. God vindicated him and validated him. There was a supernatural presence. There was a supernatural witness. God answered prayer. God showed up and showed off. God steered him. God directed him.
You see, one of the reasons that we don't hear God is we're so far away from him that his voice is undetectable. If you're not walking with God, you won't hear him give you direction. You won't hear him guide you. You won't hear him re-steer you. You won't hear him redirect you 'cause the proximity is not that close. Just like Enoch could walk with God and get a witness, get a testimony, he tells the New Testament Christians and, therefore, you and me here today, "Why don't you piggyback off of what Enoch had so you can get that feelin' too"? Why don't you let his closeness with God be so electric that you wanna get a little somethin' of that action too. Why don't you let his action stimulate your righteous voyeurism so that now you want to get a little somethin'-somethin' that Enoch had 'cause it was so rich and so ripe and so dynamic, you don't just wanna leave it on the Old Testament screen. You wanna experience a little somethin'-somethin' for yourself. He wants you to piggyback off of the Old Testament for your New Testament reality.
You may not be used to hearing the voice of God. You may not be used to walking with God. It may be a little tough, when you first get started, to include him in everything all day, all week, to ask the Holy Spirit, when you get up, to open up your mind to his thoughts, to ask the Holy Spirit to give you the right decision-making power today, to ask the Holy Spirit, since you're to walk in the Spirit, to show you who to relate to, how to speak to them, how to stay away from that, how to avoid that. You may not be used to that, but since you're walking with God and he knows where he's going, he will begin to lead you into all truth so that you experience his direction. And then I love how it ends because it says, "He was not, for God took him". How you live will determine how you leave. Let me say that again: How you live will determine how you leave, okay? Everybody doesn't die the same.
Okay, let's go back to Enoch. It says, "Enoch was walking with God, and he was not, for God took him". Enoch walked with God. I fly American. You're welcome. Dallas is America's hub. I fly with American. I find out their schedule. I do not tell them to adjust their flights to mine. So I fly with them. They don't fly with me. But I fly with them because they can take me where I need to go. That is why. I fly with them because they can take me where I need to go. Now, I've been flying American for 40 years.
A few years ago, I got a letter in the mail from American, and the letter in the mail said, "You are, because of your faithfulness in regularly flying us, are permanently platinum. For the rest of your life, you have a platinum designation". The reason they gave me that designation is I've been walkin' with them or flying with them for 40 years. And so they gave me a testimony, the testimony of a permanent status as platinum because I didn't leave them for Delta. I didn't leave them for Spirit Airlines. I didn't leave them for any other airline. I never left them. I stuck with them, and so they gave me a permanent designation. They gave me a testimony because I was consistently with them.
A few years ago, I walked up to the gate, and I asked them did they have any first-class upgrades? She said there was only one seat left, but they had just given it to the person who was in front of me. I said, "Oh, shucks," 'cause I've got all these books I carry with me and spread out whenever there's a upgrade, so I turned away to walk away. I said, "But, excuse me, but the person who was in front of me, what level were they"? They said, "Oh, well, they were gold". Oh, I pulled out my platinum card. I pulled out my platinum card 'cause, you see, platinum means I have a longer, deeper relationship than gold. She said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't catch that you were platinum. Oh, no, the seat is yours because your relationship is deeper, so you get benefits that go beyond somebody with a lesser relationship".
So I'm smellin' myself right about now, and I walked over and have my seat, and that I gotta confess, I didn't apologize to the person who was in front of me. I went. But behind me came another guy, and he said, "Are there any first-class seats? I'm an executive platinum". Now, "executive platinum" means that they have a longer, more intimate relationship than I do. They have walked with American longer than I have, and they work with it regularly over 100.000 miles a year, so they have a relationship that I do not possess.
And so I got bumped, but not to be overruled, not to be undone. I picked up the telephone, and I called my sister who's on the front row right here, who was over special services, so you shouldn't have said nothin', and then you wouldn't have been in the sermon. But this sister right up here was over special services with American Airlines. I picked... do you remember this? I picked up the telephone. I called back to Dallas and said, "I just got bumped at this gate. Can you help me"? She said, "I'll take care of it. Go back to the gate". I went back to the gate. Sister had called the gate, put me in a VIP category, which trumps executive platinum. I walked up there, got my first-class ticket and ain't apologized to nobody. You know why? 'Cause I knew somebody who could rule and overrule. What I'm tryin' to say is, if you walk with God, he'll know your status, and he'll use your status to take you where he wants you to be, to give you an experience like never you've had before, but you gotta walk with him.
Walking with God is a major theme in the Bible. It has to do with a lifestyle of intimacy. It has to do with close fellowship. Enoch walked with God. There are a lot of agendas you can walk with. There are a lot of people you can walk with, but when we're not walking with God, we're not walking by faith because to walk with God is to walk with someone that you do not physically see but who you are in deep, deep fellowship with. So watch not only where you walk but who you're walking with, a lifestyle of intimacy by faith with God.