Two verses of the Scriptures that is generally quoted on the issue of seeing God include,
Genesis 5 verse 24: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Exodus 33 verse 20: And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
However, a strange twist in the plot occurs in Amos 5:4 which says,
“For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live”
These three scriptures have raised questions in my mind, over and over again.
How could God – Who specifically told Moses that no man could see Him and live – later on tell the Israelites that if they sought him, they would live?
Wasn’t it Enoch’s seeing God that led to his ceasing to exist?
These and other similar questions roamed around my head.
The answer can be found in Colossians 3:5a,
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth”
The word “mortify” in blunt and plain English means “to kill“. So, in essence, Paul was telling us here that we should KILL our members which are upon the earth.
Note that the Bible never said, “And therefore, the LORD thy God will assist thee in mortifying thy members…”.
Rather, the Bible orders us, “Mortify, therefore your members…”. It is apparent that the initiative is with the believer who wants to follow God.
This is where Jesus’ statement in Matthew 16:24 becomes much clearer,
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross (the instrument for his mortification), and follow me.”
Little wonder Enoch was able to successfully walk with God.
To understand the depths of Enoch’s walk with God, we have to understand his dire situation as a man.
Genesis 5:1 says,
“This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him“
When God created Man, He was created as a type – clone, if you like – of God’s Own Perfection and Divine Nature.
However after the fall of man from the state of Grace, note what happens,
“And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth”
Adam’s offsprings were no longer in the likeness of God. They were now in the likeness of the Fallen Man. They were now types of the Fallen Man, carrying his sins and fallen nature. Man changed from a state of God-consciousness to that of Self-consciousness.
It was in this predicament that Enoch found himself.
Even, his walk with God did not start automatically,
Genesis 5:21 says,
And Enoch LIVED sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah.
As innocent as that verse may sound, it contains a powerful truth.
Even Enoch lived in the manner that was normal for every man born in the likeness of Adam – the Fallen Man.
At this point in his life, Enoch was the master of his own life and destiny. At this point in his life, Enoch LIVED and was the Chief Executive Officer of his Self-controlled life.
This brings us back to Genesis 5 verse 24:
And Enoch WALKED with God: and HE WAS NOT; for God took him.
Notice how Enoch took the initiative in walking with God. In our walk with God, God is never the variable. He is the Constant One Who is the same yesterday, today and forever. We are the variable factors in our walk with God. The moment you are ready, you will find God.
Now, the key to understanding how Enoch WAS NOT is found in Galatians 5:16-17,
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
Note here again that the Bible does not say, “And the LORD thy God will help thee walk in the Spirit…”. No, that verse is telling us as Christians to take the initiative and walk in the Spirit. It is telling you to use your gift of freewill and choose to walk with God.
This is what Enoch did in that timeless battle between the God-conscious spirit and the self-conscious flesh.
This was what Enoch did in Genesis 5:24. He choose to walk with God to the point that there was no more of “himSelf” and then God took him.
This was the point that God was passing on to Moses in Exodus 33:20. In essence, God is saying that no man can see Him and still be alive…to the flesh!!!
And that is why God’s plea to the people of Israel (and to us by extension) in Amos 5:4 is so passionate:
Seek Me [by dying to the flesh] and live [life everlasting]