And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8
I often wonder what it was like for our parents, Adam and Eve, to walk and talk with God before they chose to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. How amazing it must have been to be that close to the Creator of all things, to ask him questions, and have him actually answer! Alas, Adam and Eve ate the fruit, and the above verse describes the aftermath–we started hiding from him.
The amazing thing is that the rest of the Bible centers around God drawing us back to him in an attempt to restore that original relationship (walking and talking). Ultimately he sent his son to die for us. Even more amazing is that many who have put their faith in Jesus don’t know that a walking and talking relationship is available–or at least don’t understand how it works.
That’s where John Eldredge’s book, Walking with God, comes in. In past books, such as Waking the Dead, Eldredge introduces the possibility of having a two-way conversational relationship with God but never describes how it works. Readers were left to attempt this process by trial and error, which is actually a great way to start.
Walking with God takes it to the next level. Eldredge opens up his personal journals and shows us how he walked and talked with God during the course of a full year. I don’t know about you, but that’s exactly how I learn . . . by watching someone else do it and then trying it out.
To give you a little more color and detail as to what I am talking about, here’s a personal story I sent in to WalkingwithGod.net that is typical of walking with God, and is relevant because the book plays a major part:
I received a preview copy of the book and right away started reading it . . . that day, that minute! As with all of your books I inhaled it and was done quite fast. I’m on my second slower read now.
Anyway, as I got to the part about [the Eldredge’s dog] Scout’s passing, my wife told me that a family that is very close to us was losing their dog to cancer. Coincidence? “Huh,” I thought, “I wonder if God wants me to forward that portion of the book to them as a comfort.” In came the doubt: “No, John’s not really their ‘kind of author’. They’ll think I’m weird.“
I brought it to God. I kept trying it on, kept asking. God moved me to give them your account of how you dealt with the situation with your wife and boys, straight from the book. It wasn’t audible, but God did speak to me. I said a little prayer and gave them a copy of that section.
It was beautiful! The account was exactly what they needed at the time . . . a Godsend, so to speak. See, their dog had the same kind of cancer, the vet said the same thing, the husband/father felt so inadequate . . . how can one be trained to do this sort of thing? And get this: they have three boys [like the Eldredges] and their dog didn’t like to give them the ball like Scout.
Thanks God, for the pleasure of being used of you . . . and thanks for coming for my friends. (By the way, we are even closer to them now.)
For me, Walking with God has confirmed a lot of things about my walking and talking relationship with God. For others, it may be the start of something radically new. Regardless, it is a must read. I hope you’ll pick it up.