Archive for the ‘close to God’ Category

How old do you have to be when it dawns on you? How far from where you know you used to be are you now? How much has the culture, like an invisible magnet drawn you to a place where you wonder what happened?

When was the last time you knew God spoke to you about something so relevant to life today that it stopped you in your tracks? Maybe a more practical question might be- has God ever spoken to you?

Genesis 17:1 is almost out of reach for many of us. God shows up and talks with Abraham when he’s 99 years old. Check out God’s conversation with him. Abe got it, and fell flat on his face.

There’s never an age or distance you and I are from God in which we are free from His outrageous love for and challenge to us to live life to the max (which is to live it as He designed it). Our sophisticated or rationalized choosing to live as we want results in erasing God from our life.

WHAT THIS MEANS: One reason we don’t want God to speak to us is that when He does, it always means something will change in our lifestyle. How serious are you about wanting to hear from Him? Be honest with yourself about this one.

What does Jackson like to do on Saturdays? Tell me about his strengths and weaknesses. Who is his favorite author? What ticks him off? Would you be able to answer any of these questions?

Hosea 6:6 in The Message puts it in part like this: “…I want you to know God, not go to more prayer meetings.” Is your relationship with God personal enough that you could describe Him to someone who only hears about God from a fan, after a referee’s poor call at an athletic event?

In a movie I watched recently, the words Jesus and Christ were used in two sentences as adjectives to describe a person’s irritation with something. Really?

In connecting with another, there are significant issues we must deal with. Will we be truthful or hide? Will we let fear of being known limit what we share about ourselves?

WHAT THIS MEANS: Are you willing to get real with God and deal with the cost involved to really know Him? Or are you ready to talk about your weaknesses and faults with  another? Can they ask you any question? Are you willing to honestly answer it?

It’s midnight, you’re lying down, not sleeping, the blaring noise of people, music, traffic…and that damn dog barking…

At times you really want to know if God makes sense or has any relevance to the demands and structure of the life you have made. At least, you think, the busy pace of your life does numb the nightmarish thoughts you have about wasting your life.

Elijah steps into a discussion with God in 1 Kings 19:9-13. The Word on the Street puts Elijah’s perspective this way…”I’ve worked my butt off for you God…” God is the leading act in this and throws out an earthquake and a Wyoming wind before He whispers and Elijah hears him. Now, God can talk with him about what really matters in his life at this time.

WHAT THIS MEANS: Is the pace of your life keeping you from really hearing God speak to you? Are you sure you want to hear from Him? Amazon has cool noise reduction devices or you could go to a park with your Bible, but leave your laptop and phone at home…only if you are serious about hearing God speak to you.

We can easily sense danger when we are a long way from home, friends or anything familiar. And if our cell phone doesn’t work where we are, our perceived danger increases. We will do anything to get somewhere where the possibility of “never being heard of again” is eliminated.

The danger in trying to figure out life without God reinforces our need for Him. The enemy whispers lies about God that become less recognizable as we drift away from God, often without our knowing it. Remember how 1 Peter 5:8 explains our enemy’s intentions-he wants to wipe us out. He will keep us busy with religious stuff or embedded in some sin that attacks us anywhere and anytime.

Being in a church service or Bible study in a home does not guarantee closeness with God. A close relationship with God involves consistent time and conversation with Him. Satan will make us think that this is only for a few or that an occasional time with God is all He expects of us in a busy world.

Psalm 73:27 and 28 make it clear-we are in great danger as we get further away from God, so we should stay close to the one who refreshes us with life as it is intended to be lived. Malachi 3:7 adds that God is ready to re-connect with us if we take the first step, and James 4:8 reminds us to do whatever to get close to God. It takes honesty, vulnerability and consistent time with someone to develop a meaningful relationship with them. The same is true in a relationship with God.

Talk with someone about the dangers of distance from God and the value of a close relationship with Him. Think about what is keeping you away from a closer walk with God.