God is a Rewarder

"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:5-6).

One of the great tragedies of this generation — and one of God's greatest griefs — is that so many Christians are not truly happy! They put on a big front: singing, clapping, smiling, praising. But lurking just beneath the surface is deep misery. The joy never lasts. They're lonely and sad.

The lack of victory in Christ is appalling! So many are hot, then suddenly cold. They can't cope with fear. Depression runs over them like a steamroller. One week they are high, the next week low.

There are marriages also that run hot-and-cold. One day all is well with husband and wife; the next day they are miserable. Some days they can't even talk to one another. They think, "Well, that's the way marriage is supposed to be. You can't expect to stay happy and loving all the time!"

Paul warns of Christians who need to "recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will" (2 Timothy 2:26). This describes many Christians perfectly. Satan moves in and out of their lives at his own will! They have no power or authority to stop him at their heart's door. He flaunts his hold over them: "You have no power of Christ in you to stop me! You are my captive. You will do as I tell you."

Some of you reading this may be caught in a devilish snare. Paul said it is because you are opposing yourself (see 2 Timothy 2:25). You won't do what must be done to be delivered from the devils trap.

To "oppose yourself" means that you have set yourself up to be trapped. You refuse God's way of deliverance and victory. You have opposed His way — and set up your own way. That's why you're ensnared!

So many have not known victory in Christ. Satan places fear, loneliness, depression or lust upon them at any time he chooses. Yet is this what Christ died for? To raise up children who are under the power of the devil's will? Is this the Christian testimony to the world: "Give your heart to Jesus, but your will to the devil"? Never!

You can blame your unhappiness on suffering poor health, being misunderstood, or having an uncaring mate, boss or friend. In fact, you can blame it on anything you choose. But the truth is there is no excuse for a Christian to live as a slave to the devil.

If the devil plays on your emotions and you are getting worse, not better; if your problems are getting bigger; if fear is rising, joy is dissipating, sadness is setting in — it means you are a captive to the enemy of your soul and are being manipulated by him!

Something very serious is wrong. You must recognize the trap you're in and seek to be released. You see, if you have been serving the Lord for more than a few months you should be growing daily in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. Your spiritual victories should be sweet. You should be assured of His constant presence, changing from glory to glory into His likeness. By now Satan should be running from you!

So what's the problem? Why have so many become captives?

So Few Are Really Walking With God.

Those who walk with God are translated out of Satan's reach, out of his kingdom of darkness and into Christ's kingdom of light: "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Colossians 1:13). We are translated right now out of the devil's snare and into the very heart of Jesus.

The Greek word for "translated" here suggests that Christ personally came and carried us away from the devil's power and set us in a heavenly place. But God only translates those who walk close to Him, like Enoch. Those who are held captive at Satan's will can not be taken up and delivered from darkness.

You truly are not saved until you firmly set your heart on walking with God. Translation out of the devil's dominion belongs to those who walk intimately with the Lord. You can claim to be saved and to love Him. You can tell the world you belong to Him. You may even pray, weep over Him and read His Word. But unless you walk every day with Him, you will never change. You will fall deeper and deeper into bondage.

"Enoch Walked With God" (Genesis 5:24).

The original Hebrew meaning for "walked" implies that Enoch went up and down, in and out, to and fro, arm-in-arm, continually conversing with God and growing.

Enoch's father, Jared, lived to be 962 years old. His son Methuselah lived to be 969. But Enoch lived 365 years — or a "year" of years! He introduces to us a new kind of believer, for he himself is a type of the dedicated believer in Christ. For 365 days every year for all his years, he walked arm-in-arm with the Lord. The Lord was his very life!

Enoch learned to walk with God in the midst of a wicked society. Yet he was an ordinary family man with all the same problems and burdens we carry. He "begat sons and daughters" (Genesis 5:22). He was no hermit hidden away in a wilderness cave. He was involved in everyday life with a wife, children, obligations, responsibilities. He walked with God while raising a family and providing for them. There was no hiding to be holy for Enoch!

Yet in this day, many Christians are running for the hills to hide from the mounting calamities. So-called prophets are telling people to come to their safe, rural havens. Christian Jews are being warned to get back to Israel to escape the financial collapse anticipated in America. But Enoch proved that the greater testimony is to walk with God in a place like Broadway, in the midst of the storm — no matter what!

I know where I want to be when things fall apart. When the financial market crashes, I want to go back to Wall Street — where I was during the last crash on October 19, 1987! I want to be there like a modern Enoch, walking and talking with God, without fear — a peaceful, fearless witness, preaching Jesus to a people whose world has collapsed.

Jesus said, "Go ye!" not "Hide ye!" I want to be where the Holy Ghost is — and you can be sure He will be on the frontlines of the battle, calling the troubled and fearful to Himself.

Enoch saw this world as ungodly. His own society was wicked, and as he looked down through all of history to the very last days, all he could say was, "Ungodly! Ungodly! Ungodly." "Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 14-15).

Are you walking with the Lord? Then you must see the world as Enoch saw it: ungodly and full of the spirit of Antichrist and hard speeches against your God. How can you be a part of what is ungodly? How can you associate with those He is coming to judge? He is coming with ten thousands of His saints to judge a sinful, lost world. Which side are you on?

I am not condemning the beauty of nature and the good things God has created. We should "consider the lilies of the field" (Matthew 6:28). But if you are arm-in-arm with Jesus, talking with Him, listening to Him, then you will hate this ungodly world system. You will take His side against those who talk against Him. You will hear Him say, "He that is a friend to the world is an enemy to me" (see James 4:4).

Elijah and Enoch, the only two prophets to be translated, had something in common: They were both haters of sin and cried out against it. They both walked so closely with God that they couldn't help sharing His hatred for ungodliness.

The undeniable effect on all who walk with God is a growing hatred for sin — and not only hatred, but separation from it as well. If you still love this world and are at home with the ungodly — if you are a friend to those who curse Him — then you are not walking with God, and your salvation is a sham. You are not walking with the Lord but sitting on the fence, putting Him to open shame.

"Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). We know from Hebrews that this speaks of Enoch's translation, the fact that he did not taste death. But it also means something deeper than that: "He was not" as defined in Genesis 5 also means "he was not of this world."

In his spirit, in his senses, Enoch was not a part of this wicked world. He was taken up in his spirit to a heavenly realm. Each day as he walked with the Lord he became less attached to the things below! Day by day, year by year, he was going up, heading home, getting closer to the glory. Like Paul, he died daily to this world.

Yet still Enoch undertook all his responsibilities: He cared for his family, worked, ministered, occupied. But "he was not" — he was not earthbound! None of the demands of this life could keep him from his walk with God. The Lord consumed Him. Every waking moment his mind came back to Him. His heart was attached to God with what seemed like a huge rubber band. And the more you stretch a rubber band, the quicker it springs back when you let it go. Enoch's heart always "sprang back" to the Lord!

Enoch Was Always Changing Into the Lord's Image.

As mankind grew more ungodly all around him, as men changed into wild beasts full of lust, hardness and sensuality, Enoch became more and more like the One with whom he walked. You and I are all changing. And by now, many Christians should have become very much like Jesus. But instead they've become hard and selfish. They should be growing in grace, completely satisfied in Him. But no — many are reverting, backsliding, going backward.

Why? They don't walk with God. They seldom pray. They seldom dig into God's Word. Instead they brood and get hard. They pout and open themselves up to the devil's will. The point is that, unlike Enoch, they simply do not love Jesus enough to want to be with Him.

That is why there is such confusion, fear and unhappiness in so many Christian homes and lives. They have no walk with God and no desire to be shut in with Him. They don't pray anything through — they try to think it through. They don't stand on God's Word — they stand on their "rights"!

Enoch's Walk With God Produced a Faith That Pleased God!

"Before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." What was it about Enoch that pleased God so much? It was that his walk with God produced in Him the kind of faith God loves. These two verses cannot be separated: "Before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him" (Hebrews 11:5-6 )

Throughout the Bible and all of history, those who walked with God became men and women of faith. If the Church is walking with God arm-in-arm daily, continually communing with our Lord, the result will be a people full of faith — true faith that pleases God.

Some conduct faith seminars, distribute faith tapes, quote faith Scriptures — all trying to produce faith. And it is true, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). But Jesus is the Word. "The letter killeth," Scripture says, and without intimacy with Jesus, the letter produces a dead, selfish, demanding emotion that is not faith at all — and God hates it. Faith comes by hearing His Word and walking close to Him. Not by talking without walking! We should always be "looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews12:2).

This intimate walk with God is missing from the Church today. Faith is really knowing who God is. It is becoming familiar with His glory and majesty. Those who know Him best, trust Him most.

Show me a people walking closely with Him, hating sin, becoming detached from this world and getting to know His voice, and you'll see a people who won't need much preaching and teaching about faith. You won't need "10 steps" on what faith is and how to get it. True faith comes out of the very heart of Jesus. And it will be His very own faith — not ours — that grows within and emerges from our hearts!

Enoch's walk with God would not have been worthwhile unless it produced a corresponding faith that was constantly growing. "By faith Enoch was translated" What an incredible truth! All his faith was focused on one great desire of his heart: to be with the Lord!

God came and translated Enoch in answer to his faith. Enoch could no longer bear to stand behind the veil — he just had to see the Lord! He prayed, believing that God would answer his cry to be in His actual presence. He was so "out of it" here on earth that he said to God, "Come...there's nothing left for me here."

Think of how Christians are squandering what they call "faith." Theirs is all centered on self — their needs, their wants. And they often get what they want, but it only makes them more miserable. Where are the Enochs who spend their faith believing to be translated out of the devil's darkness and into the hands of God's dear Son?

Enoch had no Bible, no songbook, no fellow members, no teachers, no indwelling Holy Spirit, no rent veil with access to the Holy of Holies. But He knew God! Without the reproof or prodding of a prophet, without the example of others, Enoch set his heart to follow the Lord. Why is it so hard today with all the helps, the convictions, the prophetic warnings, the pleadings of the Holy Ghost? Is it not a rebuke to us that Enoch rose above his wicked day, a man who walked with God despite so little help? Today there are multitudes who can't walk with Him in victory despite all the help God has given them!

Enoch Believed God Was a Rewarder of Those Who Diligently Seek Him!

"He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). How do we know Enoch believed God was a rewarder? Because that is the only faith that pleases God — and we know that Enoch pleased Him!

God is a recompenser, a remunerator, that is, a God who pays well for faithfulness. How does the Lord reward His diligent ones? It has been my experience that when I walk arm-in-arm with Jesus, so in love with Him, rewards break out on all sides. Everything I do or have is blessed: my wife, children, friends, ministry. There comes a life of Christ within that flows like a mighty river. Yes, we'll have trials and tribulations. But through it all He rewards us with manifestations of His presence.

There Are Three Important Rewards That Come Forth By Faith:

1. The Reward of Control: God will put you back in control. Those who neglect the Lord soon spin out of control as the devil moves in and takes over. Such a person has a devastated self-image. His or her feelings and thoughts cannot be curbed, and their tongue wags and moves under the power of bitterness and anger.

If only we would fall in love with Jesus — walk and talk with Him — He would soon reveal to us that Satan has no dominion over us. We would quickly allow Him to control us. Then we'd be chasing demons, making the devil flee, putting thousands to flight, standing up by faith against every fear, every lie, everything that comes at us from hell.

Paul gives a warning to "silly women" who won't lay down lust: "They which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts" (2 Timothy 3:6). Women who won't pay the price and walk with Jesus, who won't take godly reproof, admit their sins and repent will go after a teacher who will pray over them — then prey upon them! And believe me, these "house-creepers" are ever with us. They have eyes that hunger for women and make promises to them, saying, "Come to our meetings — you'll get freedom!" No, you will not! You will end up a captive, twice-bound, and those men will go right to your wallet!

But you can get control. You can get back to a diligent, loving, arm-in-arm walk with Jesus. Instead of seeking only your own comfort, try comforting Jesus: "Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none" (Psalm 69:20).

2. The Reward of Pure Light. When you walk with the Lord, you will be rewarded with light, direction, discernment, revelation — a certain knowing! As you die to this world day by day, the light will grow brighter. You are headed toward the sun. Zacharias prophesied that Christ came "to give light to them that sit in darkness...to guide our feet" (Luke 1:79).

Are you under the spell of some kind of darkness or indecision? "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12), "Whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness" (John 12:46). "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son" (Colossians 1:13).

You may claim to love Jesus but your life proves you are still walking in darkness: confused befuddled and foggy! When you are truly in love with Jesus, conversing arm-in-arm with Him, He turns up the light. There is no darkness at all in His presence.

The worst possible darkness to mankind is not in the hearts of God-hating Communist leaders or in the hate-filled Ayatollah Khomeini or the Christ-hating atheists. It is, rather, the horrible darkness that blinds so-called Christians who refuse to walk in the light.

Jesus warned: "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness" (Luke 11:35). Jesus told the Pharisees that a judgment falls upon those who pervert or refuse the light: "For judgment I am come into this world...that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees...said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them...but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth" (John 9:39-41).

Like the Pharisees, some Christians think they ''know it," that they are in the light. They say, "I see." Or, "I see it as well or better than the pastors or anyone else!" They should look at their life and home, at all the trouble and confusion in their hearts and admit, "Lord, I don't see! Show me! Am I blind?"

If we will not open up to true, pure light, then our judgment can only be a false light. Only the worst form of darkness and cursed pride goes about saying, "I see!" Get back to walking with Him, and He will expose all darkness and restore to you His pure light.

3. The Reward of Protection From All Your Enemies: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper" (Isaiah 54:17). Everything Satan tries in order to get you down just won't work! Those big guns aimed at you will melt away in His presence. Do you think Satan will aim at Jesus — with Whom you are walking?

In the original Hebrew this verse is translated as: "No plan, no instrument of destruction, no satanic artillery shall push you or run over you, but it will be done away with." God has promised to wreck Satan's attack upon you. The reward of those who diligently seek Him is the privilege of becoming more than conquerors (Roman 8:37).

For 365 years Enoch shook off every fiery dart. He was living in total victory until his last breath. He did not crawl out, nor did he limp out. He went out in a blaze of life and glory!

"In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake" (Isaiah 54:14-15).

Where there is righteousness, there is peace. You will be delivered from oppression when you walk in holiness. You will not fear, for there will be no harm to those who walk in righteousness. "I have created the waster to destroy" (Isaiah 54:16). Even "the waster" is under the Lord's control. God has control over all destructive weapons.

Our security is in righteousness, in walking with Jesus. And we are to fear absolutely nothing!