A Stronger Walk With God: Josiah Smith

Happy Thursday!  Today a pal of mine Josiah Smith is sharing some thoughts on strengthening our walk with Christ.  As none of us have yet “arrived,” this is definitely something we all can benefit from!  Josiah is the Campus Pastor at the University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown (PA), a fellow “Floodgater,” and an all around stud.  Grab your cuppa’ Joe and enjoy!


If 1 + 2 = 3, then A + B = C, right?

No, of course not.

One plus two certainly equals three, but A plus B doesn’t necessarily equal C.  Perhaps if 1=A and 2=B then this would be true, but letters don’t add up all by themselves.  If you’re an avid fan of writing algebraic equations then you’re likely accustomed to seeing the alphabet used in mathematics, but typically we understand that letters don’t work the same way numbers do.  There is no formula for letters.  There is no equation that guarantees a certain outcome.

In an oddly relatable way, living life and walking with God is similar to the alphabet.  Just as there is no equation or simple formula for these twenty-six letters, there is no equation or formula that we can plug our lives into to achieve a mathematical result.  Life is fairly unpredictable.

However, I do believe there are patterns and cycles that are identifiable and helpful on our journey of living.  We can learn lessons and recognize truths that aid us in our becoming.

While talking with my cousin Darren a while back, we both realized that our lives were indicating a similar cycle.  It is a pattern that has been confirmed by reading as well as listening to and speaking with others about their walk with the Lord.  So here it is – no mathematical formula, but a cycle that I have seen in my walk with God.

  1. Relationship.  Everything starts with relationship.  God is not a vending machine.  God is not a formula.  God is not a slave.  He is God.  He is a Person to whom we relate (albeit a different relationship than human to human).  As we spend time with the Lord, as we give Him our affection, as we speak to Him, He reciprocates and relationship is formed.  This leads us to #2…
  2. Revelation.  God doesn’t want one-way communication.  He doesn’t so much want us to speak to Him as to speak with Him.  When we are in relationship with God, He reveals truths to us.  He shows us who He is.  He shows us what He cares about.  He even shows us what He would have us to do about what He cares about.  Which leads us to #3…
  3. Response.  As we fellowship with the Lord and He reveals Himself and His will to us, we are faced with the choice of how we will respond to Him.  We can ignore Him, we can reject Him, or we can accept and obey Him.  Either way, we do respond.  There is no pleading of the fifth.  When God speaks, we respond.
As with any cycle, what happens in one step determines what happens in the next.  These three things are all intricately linked to one another.  If one step is left undone, the process naturally squeals its brakes.  But, as we come to know Him more, He reveals more.  As He reveals more, we are faced with more choices as to how we will respond.  So why is this important?
Patterns help us assess circumstances.  Suppose you’ve been having trouble hearing from God lately.  Maybe you feel like God hasn’t spoken to you in a long time.  The best thing to do is to step back and evaluate the relationship.  Are you loving God?  Are you spending time with Him?  While there may be times of inexplicable silence in life, oftentimes the reason we don’t hear is simply because we have unknowingly removed ourselves from right relationship with God.  If we aren’t careful, we have a tendency to drift and become apathetic in our divine-human relationship.
If your relationship with God is cold and distant,  perhaps you should evaluate your most recent response to His revelation.  Have you obeyed Him completely?  Have you submitted yourself to His Lordship?  The answer to these questions could be indicative of your relationship struggles.
While A + B doesn’t necessarily equal C, hopefully these three points will be helpful in revealing a cycle that can help you assess where you are in your walk with God.
Love Him.  Listen for His voice.  Obey Him.
Walk with Him continually.

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