To every destination there is a journey! In my last blog we talked about the starting point and today we’re going to look at the journey.
Regardless of where you are in life you are on your way somewhere. In all areas of life we are walking a journey towards a certain destination. It may be a journey to a healthy lifestyle, a career position, a financial goal, or your spiritual walk with the Lord. But in all areas of our lives we are moving towards some future destination.
As I reflect on my spiritual walk with the Lord I have seen that anytime I desired to draw closer to the Lord I have prayed and sought His direction through His word, others that have gone before me, books that would give me insight on the subject and personal revelation through the Holy Spirit. It is that subject that I would like to share about with you today.
Many times people will tell you what they think you should do in a certain situation but often they do not offer the steps to take to arrive at that destination. I want to share with you some steps that I have taken to deepen my relationship with the Lord.
God’s word says in James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”….
In about 1987 my church offered a course called “Master Life”. Taking that course helped me to establish a daily quiet time during which I learned to set aside a certain place to meet with the Lord for a period of time to develop my relationship with Him. The first principle that was taught in the course was to get up an hour early every morning to spend with the Lord in prayer and Bible Study. To this day I still do that. It is during that time with Him that I gain His insight, direction and receive His unconditional love that enables me to walk closely with Him through all kinds of life’s challenges. Spending time with the Lord is the foundation upon which a person needs to build and continue to develop their walk of faith. As a result that one hour has turned into longer periods as well as turning aside at other times of the day as I’ve heard His voice beckon and call to me for extended times of prayer and devotion.
Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJV My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings, Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.
God’s word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:108). Without spending time in God’s word I would not know the right way to take when faced with a fork in the road of life. My heart’s desire is to walk through life fully pleasing the Lord and successfully traversing the challenges that appear in the roadway. I haven’t always made the right choices nor have I lived a life of perfection, no one has, but my desire is to walk according to His ways. Without spending time in the Word I would not know what His principles are nor would I know how to overcome the temptations that are presented to me through life, the world and the devil, who is our adversary! Jesus said in Matthew 7:24-27 that when we build our house on the rock of His word that it will be strong enough to overcome the storms of life. And in Matthew 4:4 Jesus said that “man shall not live by break alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”. The Word of God should be the standard by which we base our lives; the rod of instruction that gauges our growth and the sword that the Spirit speaks to our hearts to use as a weapon to defeat the enemy. God’s word is a firm foundation!
Proverbs 27:17 NKJV As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Through the years I have had people come along side to help me grow in my knowledge of the Lord. Friends, speaking into your life, are invaluable assets and tools that God places in your life to encourage and help you reach your destination! They may not always say what you want to hear but the Word says in Proverbs 27:6 that the “wounds” of a friend are faithful. I have had mentors in my life that didn’t always say what I wanted to hear, but I knew they were interested in seeing me succeed and without proper instruction I would not have seen the way that I was to take at that time in my life. Draw close to those around you who have successfully arrived at their goals in life. If you desire to have a deep relationship with the Lord follow someone in whom you see that picture. If you want to succeed in having a healthy lifestyle then follow someone who has already walked that path and is maintaining their success. Look for the person who is walking in success and follow them. Do what they do and say, not what you think or feel. In your relationship with the Lord, pray and ask Him to show you the mentors that He has placed in your life to help you; then ask that person or persons if they would share with you how they have grown in their walk with the Lord and help you to attain that goal as well.
Colossians 3:1-3 NKJV If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Center your life around the Lord. Think about Him, focus on His word, talk about the good things that Jesus died to give you, make God-things your focus. As believers in Christ Jesus we are citizens of heaven; this earthly existence is just a temporary life. Paul referred to our earthly house, or body, as a tent in 2 Corinthians 5:1:
NKJV For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
We have an eternal destination, a home in heaven awaiting us when we place our faith and trust in Jesus to save us from our sins. That is the destination that awaits us. So focus on the life that Jesus died to give you, that abundant life in Him and live your earthly life out of His Spirit within you. Jesus said in John 17:3 that “eternal life” is knowing God and Jesus Christ. The word for “know” in John 17:3 is the Greek word, ginosko, and means “knowledge obtained not by mere intellectual activity, but by operation of the Holy Spirit upon acceptance of Christ.” This knowledge is not mere intellect but a knowledge that comes through experience. It is a knowing that is an intimacy born out of spending time with the person of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Make knowing Him your daily focus and cultivate that relationship through such spiritual disciplines as prayer coupled with fasting, listening to praise and worship music in place of worldly music, memorizing scripture and declaring it over your life, associating with people of like precious faith, watching Christian television programs, and volunteering your time to share your faith through church outreaches. All these spiritual disciplines will cause you to draw near to God so He can draw near to you.
2 Peter 3:17, 18 NKJV You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
Never stop growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Press in to know Him more. Pray, read the Word, take Bible courses, do whatever is necessary to walk closely with Him. The journey is worth it and the destination is “out of this world”!
Blessings to you and yours!
Father, I pray that all who read this will have a hunger and a thirst for You that will cause them to open their hearts to receive all that You have for them. I pray that You will draw them into a deeper relationship with You. Give them a desire to know You that is unquenchable. I pray that they will press forward into a deeper, more satisfying walk with You and that You will satisfy the deepest longings of their heart in knowing You. Thank You, Father, for drawing them by Your Spirit and for opening their eyes to see, their ears to hear Your voice and their hearts to receive You love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.