Many Christians yearn for a better relationship with God, and they wonder why God seems to be distant. He is nearer than you know, and He is not silent.
Consider Zacchaeus in Luke 19. This successful businessman lived his life in luxury. But something was missing–he wanted to be closer to the Lord. When he heard Jesus would pass through his town, he ran ahead and climbed a tree to see Jesus.
Traveling to Jerusalem, Christ passes through Jericho. Josephus, a noted Jewish historian from the first century, calls this city the “fattest region in Palestine.” Taxes gathered there would make a chief tax collector like Zacchaeus wealthy. But he wants something more from God. He needs what Jesus offers–love, acceptance and forgiveness. Christ looks up and sees Zacchaeus. The Master moves toward him and invites Himself to Zacchaeus’ home. Jesus sees you and invites Himself to your home. Welcome Him now.
God wants to speak to you. Listen. The Word of God is our primary source of revelation, but our hearts are built like old-fashioned radios. If you calm your heart and dial in to the Spirit, you can hear from God.
Allow me to challenge you with this exercise. Find a quiet spot in your home where no one will n disturb you and commit to sitting before the Lord for seven silent minutes. Don’t be surprised by the onslaught of thoughts screaming at you. Dismiss the feelings that shout at you to go get something done. Let go of the guilt and regret that cling to you. Believe that Jesus took care of all those things on the cross. Ask Jesus to come to you. Close your eyes. Imagine the room you are in. In the theater of your mind, place yourself in your chair.
Invite Jesus to come into the room to be with you. How is He dressed? What does He do? What does He say? To you.
I see myself seated in a sanctuary. I’m in the chair at the end of the aisle. Christ walks close to me and lays His hand on my shoulder. I am bowed, partly in deference to the Master, but mostly because of the events of my life that have left me scarred and humbled. The scene shifts in my mind to the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. My eyes look to the west, as magnificent yellows, oranges, and reds glow in the distant sunset. “You are in the sunset of your life,” the Lord whispers into my inner ear.
“Do You mean I am going to die soon, Lord?” “No, sunset is the time to contemplate the beauty of creation and your life. The time when there are more memories behind you than there are battles ahead. Write, tell people the story of My love. Invite them to swim in the deep sea of grace and forgiveness rather than the muddy waters of guilt, rules, and religion. Humanity knows little of the joys I have set before them. Liberated people from the shackles of sin and condemnation. Tell them about me.”
God still speaks. He will speak to you if you invite Him. Jesus said My sheep hear My voice.
Dave Holland pastored churches for 38 years before retiring in Destin. Dave has released his Christmas devotional, “Christmas Jesus,” with three new fables added for fun. You can get a copy of this book from his website, DaveHolland.org, or at Amazon.com. Pastor Dave is available to preach and teach in churches and conferences. Contact him at DavidvHolland54@gmail.com.