Of course, a flesh-and-blood human cannot literally take a walk with Jehovah, a spirit being. (Exodus 33:20; John 4:24) So when the Bible speaks of humans walking with God, it uses figurative language. It paints a remarkable word picture, one that rises above national and cultural boundaries and that even transcends time. After all, in what place or era would people be unable to grasp the concept of one person walking in company with another? This word picture conveys warmth and closeness, does it not? Such feelings give us some insight into what it means to walk with God. Let us be more specific, though.
Remember the faithful men Enoch and Noah. Why are they described as walking with God? (Genesis 5:24; 6:9) In the Bible, the term “to walk” often means to follow a certain course of action. Enoch and Noah chose a course in life that was in harmony with the will of Jehovah God. Unlike those in the world around them, they looked to Jehovah for guidance and obeyed his direction. They trusted in him. Does this mean that Jehovah made their decisions for them? No. Jehovah has given humans free will, and he wants us to use that gift along with our own “power of reason.” (Romans 12:1) As we make decisions, however, we humbly allow our power of reason to be guided by Jehovah’s infinitely superior mind. (Proverbs 3:5, 6; Isaiah 55:8, 9) In effect, as we walk through life, we take that journey in close company with Jehovah.
The Bible often likens life to a journey or a walk. In some cases, that comparison is direct, but in other cases, it is implied. For instance, Jesus said: “Who of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span?” (Matthew 6:27) Something about those words may strike you as puzzling. Why would Jesus speak of adding “one cubit,” which is a measure of distance, to a person’s “life span,” which is measured in terms of time? Jesus was evidently picturing life as a journey. In effect, he taught that worrying will not help you to add even a small step to the walk of your life. Should we conclude, though, that there is nothing we can do about the length of that walk? Far from it! That brings us to our second question, Why do we need to walk with God?