February 23, 2021
2 Steps to a Closer Walk with God this Christmas
December 18, 2018 | Josh Akin
Have you ever thought God just wanted you to follow His rules? I mean the Bible sure is full of lists of right and wrong. And we’re glad of it, because God knows the best way for us to live. When we do things His way our life goes best.
But is that all He wants for Us? No, no, and no.
And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. Luke 1:6
In Luke 1, we see that Zacharias was going to be father of John the baptist, who would prepare Israel for Jesus. God had a lot of work still to do in Zacharias before he would be ready for the task God had for him.
But we just read that Zacharias and his wife followed God’s commands -- they were blameless!
Yes! God had more for Zacharias than just following rules. That’s why, in the next scene, God draws Zacharias closer to Himself than ever before. God brings Zacharias into the temple for a special message just for him. Because God wanted Zacharias to know more than the rules, he wanted Zacharias to know Him.
God desires to have this same heart-to-heart with you today.
God wants more from you than to just follow rules. He wants you!
Two steps to drawing close to God
#1 Bring yourself to the table
For a moment imagine your Grandma was an author and speaker famous for her advice. People gather from all over to hear all she has to say. And, let’s say, out of your love for her you listen to her every speech, and read all her books. And, let say, you do everything she says!
Is that all that Grandma wants for you? No, you are her family! She wants you! She wants you to come to her table, sit down, eat a Christmas cookie or two, (or four!) She wants to hear your voice. She has a message just for you.
Now, remember, your Grandma is good.
That means she would never says something different publicly than she would to you personally. And that’s the integrity of God. When you bring yourself to the table of the Lord, He never contradicts, or “updates” His word for 21st century! No, but when you come to His table and have a heart-to-heart with your Heavenly Father, He can express His truth in a way you understand. It’s not ‘new’ truth, but it’s new to you, and expressed in such a personal way that you not only understand a little of more of God’s word, but you know a little more of God.
Put this to practice right now:
In the middle of your day, in a crowd, in busyness, or in solitude— right now— just pause and talk with God. Don’t make this dependent on anyone else. Just talk things over with Him.
Talk about your hopes.
Talk about your concerns.
Pray. Now listen.
#2 Come Expectantly
The second step in drawing close to God, is expecting to hear.
You see, when Zacharias came to into the temple that morning, like all priests serving at the altar of incense, he was set apart for praying to God. Prayer is what the altar of incense is all about! Yet he was surprised and scared when God actually responded to his prayer.
Here’s the key to hearing God: Expect it.
You will discover your Bible reading time comes alive, when you actually expect God to show you something.
Worship at church will become so illuminating, when you expect a fresh word whenever your gathered in His name.
Even simple acts of service can be revelatory, when you set your heart to hear from Him while you serve.
May your Christmas week be blessed as you draw close to Jesus.