May’s “Encouraging Word”
by Tony Cooper, Executive Director (for Birmingham Christian Family magazine)
STAYING CLOSE TO GOD
As Christians, I believe we desire and need to maintain a close walk with God. James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you ….” There are some basic principles that will strengthen our relationship with Him. These are to listen to God, trust God, obey God, and wait on God.
Listen to God. To listen means to give attention for the purpose of hearing. Since God continues to speak to us through the Bible (word of God) and through His Holy Spirit, if we’re not hearing it is because we are not listening. James 1:19 says, “… Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Have you noticed the words “listen” and “silent” have the same letters?
Trust God. Trust means to believe in, depend on, rely on, place confidence in, or have faith in. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” God has proven Himself to be faithful and trustworthy.
Obey God. Obey means to comply with or follow commands or instruction. Deuteronomy 27:10 says, “You shall therefore obey the Lord your God, and do His commandments ….” And in John 14:15, Jesus says, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” God expects us to be obedient.
Wait on God. Wait means to have patient expectation. God’s timing is a key part of Him revealing His will and plans for His followers. Isaiah 40:31 says, “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength ….”And James 5:7 says, “Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord ….”
Listening to, trusting in, obeying, and waiting on God will strengthen our relationship with Him.