This post was written in the midst of our world experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic. Though it discusses topics specific to this time, its insights and scriptures can be appreciated at any time.
After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.  Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years.  Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.Genesis 5:22-24 NIV
The Scriptures tell us that Enoch walked faithfully with God after he became a father.
For most parents, it’s not hard to understand why Enoch might have transformed his walk with God after the birth of his first child.
Parenthood is incredibly humbling; as new moms writing this article, we’ve bonded over toddler tantrums, marriage debacles, and fears for the future as we try to navigate the responsibility of raising tiny humans.
But you don’t have to be a new parent to feel a need to change your walk with God. The unrelenting difficulties we’ve experienced this year will do it too, as we try to figure out how to have faith in the face of one brutal crisis after another. Or perhaps other stressors or increasing responsibilities in your life have prompted you to see that you need to seek God in a new way.
Enoch’s story inspires me that changing my walk with God is possible. Enoch’s relationship with God isn’t mentioned at all before the birth of Methuselah. But afterward, Enoch became a compelling example of walking faithfully with God for the rest of his life (Hebrews 11:5).
The idea of changing my walk with God can feel daunting. I became a Christian as a teenager, and I quickly learned to clean up my behavior and do the things “good Christians” do. I committed myself to go to every church service and made sure to read the Bible and pray daily.
But to this day, I struggle to “walk faithfully with God” and often lack the qualities that come with being close to him:
I find myself not knowing where to begin, so sometimes it’s easier not to begin at all. But instead of being overwhelmed and never changing, I need to put one foot in front of the other and start taking steps toward changing and transforming my walk with God.
If you, like me, feel that God is calling you to have a transformative moment in your relationship with him, here are five simple ways we can start changing our walk with God.
Believe in the God of transformative moments
They replied, “So what should we do if we want to do God’s work?”  Jesus answered, “The work you can do for God starts with believing in the One he has sent.”John 6:28-29 TPT
One of the reasons changing my walk with God seems daunting is I don’t really believe it can change. I think I’ve been too stuck, too fearful, for too long.
The storms of life have a way of exposing what we’re made of (Luke 6:46-49), and I’ve found the ongoing pandemic has exposed a lot about my walk with God. I have been overrun with fear more times than I care to admit, and I rely on my friends and my husband to calm me down much more than I rely on God.
As I sat down recently to try to think about how I could change my walk with God, I immediately started thinking about tactics I could try. I could read more chapters of the Bible. I could fast. I could set aside extra time to pray each day. I could read one of the spiritual books I’ve thought about reading.
“The first step to changing your walk with God is believing God can change you”
And while all those things are good, I realized they won’t work because I don’t really believe I can change. I think my insecurity is too deep, my unbelief is too strong, and my fear is too big to change. So any tactic I try will be superficial and short-lived.
John 6 tells us that the work God wants us to do starts with believing. So the first step to changing your walk with God is believing God can change you.
God specializes in transformative moments; there are too many in the Bible to even try to list.
If you are having a hard time believing your walk with God can change, look at some of the examples of transformative moments in the Bible to build your faith:
- Jesus heals a man crippled 38 years (John 5)
- A conversation with Jesus transforms the woman at the well (John 4)
- Jacob faces his brother and his past by wrestling with God (Genesis 32)
- Manasseh humbles himself (2 Chronicles 33)
- Moses changes from fearful fugitive to a powerful leader (Exodus 4)
- Do you believe your walk with God can really change?
- What are some transformative moments in the Bible that help you believe you can change?
Be honest about your faith
Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.Romans 12:3 NLT
Recently I had a conversation with my husband about how I felt like I was growing in my relationship with God. I told him I was less distracted when I was reading my Bible, I was going out for more prayer walks, and I was more honest with God in my prayers. I really felt like I was doing great in my relationship with God.
Then a few days later, I was talking to some friends about what makes a relationship with God transformative. They were sharing scriptures and talking about how our relationship with God should transform us and make us think more about helping others and changing the world.
I realized that although there was behavioral growth in my walk with God, my faith in God and my heart for other people weren’t changing.
My change was more rule-based (“I’m going for more walks”) and emotional (“I feel like I’m doing great”) than it was transformative. To really change, I need to be willing to be honest with myself about my faith in God.
The way to know whether I’m genuinely changing or just changing my behavior is when I’m more concerned with how I appear to be doing than on being honest about how much faith I really have. If I don’t want to be honest, then I’m performing my walk with God.
This is why the scripture in Romans 12 says we need to evaluate ourselves not based on our behavior, but through an honest assessment of how much faith we truly have.
My change was more rule-based and emotional than it was transformative. To really change, I need to be willing to be honest with myself about my faith in God.
We can evaluate our faith by looking at Hebrews 11:6 and asking ourselves if we have this kind of faith in God:
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.Hebrews 11:6 NLT
Use the questions below to help you honestly evaluate your faith in God.
- Do I believe God exists and is real? That he listens to my prayers and is present with me in my daily life?
- Do I believe God rewards me when I sincerely seek him or do I look for other places for “rewards”? (Some other places we tend to look for “rewards” might be success, money, or the attention and approval of others).
- How do I evaluate myself and my relationship with God? By my faith or by behaviors, emotions, or what people think of me?
Change the way you deal with guilt
Guilt is one of my least favorite topics. I find myself physically tensing up at even saying the word. But from what I see in the Bible, walking closely with God involves dealing with guilt:
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!  Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!  When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long.  Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.  Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.  For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.Psalm 32:1-7 NLT
We can learn a few things from this passage:
- Hiding guilt makes us feel physically weak
- When we refuse to confess our sin, we will feel God’s hand of discipline as “heavy.” In other words, our view of God will be that he heavily disciplines rather than graciously loves
- We feel joy when we are completely honest about our sin
- God can clear our record of sin
- God forgives our guilt
One of the biggest weaknesses in my walk with God is that I hate talking about anything that makes me feel guilty. I am so afraid of looking bad in the eyes of other people that I would rather cover up or excuse my sins than freely admit them.
Even when I do talk about my sins, I tend to grit my teeth and brace myself for a painful experience instead of a freeing conversation that leads me to deeper intimacy with God and gratitude for God’s forgiveness.
Sin causes distance and separation in our relationship with God (Isaiah 59:1-2), and every one of us as humans has a sinful nature with sinful desires and tendencies (Romans 3:23, Galatians 5:19-21). So, you can either humbly admit your sins and ask for forgiveness, or live your life constantly loaded down by the weight of guilt.
God wants us to humbly admit our sins so that we can experience his undeserved forgiveness and freedom from the heavy burden of our guilt.
- How do you tend to respond to feelings of guilt?
- How would your walk with God change if changed the way you deal with guilt?
For a deeper understanding of how to deal with guilt spiritually, check out our podcast episode “Why Guilt Drives Us Away From Our Friends.”
Ask God for help
20 The men from the tribes of Manasseh, Reuben, and Gad prayed to God during the war, asking him to help them. So he helped them because they trusted him.1 Chronicles 5:20a NCV
My dad is someone who I can rely on to help me when I’m in a bind. I remember once getting lost in San Francisco when I was driving home and not having a GPS to guide me or any idea how to read the map that was in my car.
So I went to my first instinct: call my dad. I gave him the little information I had on my location; he figured out the street and soon had me on my way home with street-by-street directions. I knew I could trust my dad to help me.
1 Chronicles 5 talks about how these men prayed and asked God for help. They trusted that God would care for them and help them. And God came through for them.
It takes humility to pray and ask God for help. Prayer has the power to change us from the inside out. Left to ourselves, we won’t be able to change. That’s why we need to rely on God by being willing to ask God for anything and everything.
Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people.Ephesians 6:18 GNT
The Bible tells us to pray about everything and on every occasion. I don’t always treat God as a relationship and talk to him throughout the day. I would definitely feel distant from my husband if we only made time to talk once a day and ignored each other for the rest of the time. Similarly, asking God for help is about being in constant conversation with him and expressing our needs throughout the day.
This scripture tells me that I am supposed to pray on every occasion and not give up. And it directs me to pray for others – because our friends and the world around us need help as well.
- What area of your life do you need God’s help in?
- What have you stopped talking to God about?
Transform your relationship with God so you can inspire others
Keep a close watch on all you do and think. Stay true to what is right and God will bless you and use you to help others.1 Timothy 4:16 TLB
When I was in graduate school at Cal State East Bay, I was part of a school psychology program that had 16 total students in my cohort. Out of those 16 students, one of the girls in the program stood out to me.
Her honesty and ability to give me helpful advice made a significant impact on me. There was a clear difference in the way she lived her life compared to mine. While I had grown accustomed to hiding what I really thought and felt, her transparency inspired me.
I saw her live this scripture out. She was far from perfect, but she chose to stay true to what was right and watch the way she lived. Her personal example, derived from her powerful walk with God, led me to change my own life.
We are meant to be that friend to other people. Our relationship with God is not meant to be kept to ourselves, but to inspire and be shared with the people in our lives. It isn’t what we say, but how we live that will help others and show them who God is.
- Is the way you’re living your life inspiring anyone?
- What do you need to change in your walk with God to inspire someone else?