When one of my boys was little, he would ask “Wanna to talk?” We would say yes, of course. He would walk to his little tiny chair and then we would sit in the other little tiny chair and he would talk. There were times we would talk on bridges, back of boats, front yard or back yard. I remember one time, he asked me to go talk, we were outside and he looked up to the sky and discovered that the clouds looked like animals. We picked out a dog and a pig. He then paused and asked who made the clouds. Then we continued to talk about God’s imagination and what he created. It was a sweet scene.
That is what God wants from us. He wants us to sit and talk with Him. He wants to be invited into your life. He wants you to know Him as a good, loving, caring God.
“The Lord your God among you is powerful— he will save and he will take joyful delight in you. In his love he will renew you with his love; he will celebrate with singing because of you.” Zeph 3:17
For some Christians, God and their faith is demonstrated more like a consumer. What is in it for me? What can God do for me? There is no sitting and talking with God, or if there is, it is only when needed.
We even view our churches this way too. What can the church do for me? What can I get out of Sunday morning, or life group or bible study? This is not what Jesus intended for the New Testament church or the believers (Jn 3:36). Church should be the place where you go and give yourself to God, not looking for anything in return.
We get to God through Christ alone, faith alone and grace alone. There are no acts, no getting points for going to church, leading Sunday school, a bible study, or working with the little people. No points for taking meals, or baking cookies, or helping at the school or a neighbor.
God has a scoreboard but it is only for your heart and the score is either 1-0 or 0-1. 1 means God has your heart or 0 there is no room for God in your heart.
Charles Stanley said, “Believing in Jesus is easy. However, faith that transforms us into His image requires more. Knowing about His work is not enough; we must also develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'
(Take a listen to the Noisy Narratives podcast to hear Debbie, Amy and myself talk about this verse in more details. Click here.)
Coming to Jesus, getting to know Him, is a straight and narrow path (Matt 7:13-14). The path that is wide allows for many to go somewhere, a place of destruction. There is a point in your life where you realize you love Jesus so a change happens. You turn away from behavior that is destructive. Our hearts are filled with gratitude that He saved us from our sin and destruction. We have experienced an internal change that is seen in outward behavior.
There is a great old hymn called In the Garden and the lyrics are:
(Click here and listen https://youtu.be/s1691J96_xc)
I come to the garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses, And the voice I hear falling on my ear The Son of God discloses.
Refrain: And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice Is so sweet the birds hush their singing, And the melody that He gave to me Within my heart is ringing.
I’d stay in the garden with Him, Though the night around me be falling, But He bids me go; through the voice of woe His voice to me is calling.
Every time I get to the chorus, He walks with me and He talks with me... I have to say, I get teary eyed and sometimes I just cry. Why would God want to walk with a sinner like me, someone who can start a day in God’s word and then blow it?
Are you a counterfeit Christian? Have you been deceived by the world’s standard for what a Christ-follower looks like? If you have, there is a path out of destruction, a place where you can stand in hope. We have to acknowledge that we mess up (daily) and our priorities are out of whack but you love Jesus and want to obey His commandments, yield myself to Him, and want to live a life that glorifies Him (Ps 147:11).
There is hope in knowing Christ Jesus wants to walk with you, and take up your heavy burdens and make your load light.
This week enjoy some time asking the Holy Spirit to show you the intentions of your heart. Are they self-serving, outward praise and accolades? Or, are you desiring to bring Glory to God?