Bible Study Blog

Walk Don’t Run — Follow Don’t Lead

by Brandy Webb

He has told you, O man, what is good;

And what does the Lord require of you
Except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion),
And to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]
(Micah 6:8, Amplified).

Am I the only one that finds it hard to “walk” humbly with God when you don’t know the direction you are going? I know that life has many curves and ups and downs, but it is so hard sometimes to try not to force or fix situations.

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I am realizing that this is a struggle that I must work on for it is God’s will for us to “walk humbly with” Him. When I read these words, I imagine a quiet person who lets God lead them. They allow Him to “direct their steps” instead of telling Him what direction they want to go (Proverbs 16:9). It is someone that is focused on being just, loving, compassionate, and patient during their short stay in this life; not one who is always trying to force their own way. 

I find it humorous when I hear people say that the God of the Old Testament was an angry God. It is not true. This scripture is one of many points that God tried and still tries to get across to us. God wants us to walk with Him and be an example of his grace and mercy. We are “to do righteousness and justice” because it is more “desirable to the Lord than sacrifice” (Proverbs 21:3 and reference scripture in Hosea 6:6). Isaiah reinforces this by saying “this is what the Lord says: ‘Maintain justice and do what is right, for My salvation is coming soon, and My righteousness will be revealed’” (Isaiah 56:1). The truth is, even what has been termed the “Golden Rule” was first instructed by Moses in Leviticus 19:18, and then goes one step further in regards to foreigners that lived amongst them in Leviticus 19:34. Moses tells Israel to love the foreigner as themselves. Why? Because they knew what it was like to be a foreigner in Egypt, and they were to be above reproach. They were to treat others with compassion because they knew what it was like to not receive compassion. It is never right to mistreat people just because you were mistreated.

So just like them, we are to be above reproach. We are supposed to set the bar when it comes to good character. We set this bar by following what God tells us, and I like how Micah just sums it up in one short scripture. 

Beside Not Behind

Walking in humility and letting God lead goes against our human tendencies. We were made in God’s image; therefore, we have an element of wanting to be in charge. We have to resist the temptation of being in the driver’s seat. God is the one that belongs there as we sit next to Him. That is one of the points that we must notice. God wants us to “walk with Him” not behind but beside Him. 

He is willing to direct our paths when we submit to Him (Proverbs 3:6). Or He can always force us to move in the direction He wants when we don’t listen to Him. Honestly, I believe it is more enjoyable when we let Him direct us rather than making Him force us to go in the direction He wants us to go. With that said, it doesn’t mean that we have to stay behind Him. Imagine this walking with Him as a child does with their parent. When my children were young, and we were in a busy place, crossing a street, in a parking lot, etc., they would hold my hand. They would then walk right along with me as I led them safely to our destination. They didn’t walk behind me. They were beside me, holding my hand the whole time. I believe this is what God wants in a metaphorical sense. He wants us to trust Him, to let go of our pride, to submit our dreams, hopes, fears, everything to Him, “hold on to His hand,” and walk beside Him as He makes our paths straight.

Sometimes we may not understand why our paths are steep, bumpy, curvy, or rough, but as long as we are walking with Him, following His ways, being an ambassador of Christ, we will get to the other side, eventually. His desire is to mold and shape us into His image, and sometimes we have to go through struggles for the refining of us. I also believe for us to build our faith He doesn’t reveal to us exactly our paths, which also builds our humility. Trusting the unseen requires humbleness in spirit. So, walk don’t run; hold onto God; be loving, kind, and merciful, and He will establish your steps.