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21 Days Of Prayer And Fasting | DAY 3





 

DAY 3

“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men…” Acts 4:13a


PRESS PAUSE: Before you do anything else, take a moment to reflect on and celebrate all the Lord did in you, for you, and spoke to you yesterday.  


READ: Acts 4:1-21

The desire to draw near to God is a longing deep within our souls, a yearning for intimacy and connection with the One who created us. It is a reminder that we are not alone in this journey of life, but accompanied by a loving and caring God who desires to walk beside us every step of the way. Drawing near to God requires intentional effort on our part, a deliberate choice to prioritize our relationship with Him above all else.

Conversations between myself and others feeling this longing usually include many obstacles they face in their personal lives and the statement of “I just need to focus more on having a closer walk with God.” “Well, that’s fantastic!”,  is what I think, but then I ask “So, what’s the plan?” Many times, in response to that question, I am looked at with a face of semi-confusion before they gather their faculties and state, “I don’t know!”  So, in an effort to clarify my question I ask, “What does ‘having a closer walk with God’ even look like?” “How do you do that?” “What are the steps you are going to take to get there?” Well, as I’m sure you can imagine, the response I receive most often is, “Well, I hadn’t thought that far.”

So many of these common conversations begin this way, but to truly walk with God, we must be intentional in the journey. If you are truly seeking a closer walk then you’ll get there; James 4:8 "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." Walking closer to God is not about achieving perfection or having all the answers. It is about surrendering our will to His, seeking His guidance and wisdom in all areas of our lives. Just as a hiker must take deliberate steps to reach the summit of a mountain, we must take deliberate steps to draw near to God. Each step brings us closer to His heart, His will, and His unending love for us.

What happens when we walk with someone? Imagine that you and a close friend are enjoying a walk down a country lane. You are in close proximity. You talk, laugh, listen, and share your hearts. Your attention is focused on this person to the exclusion of almost everything else. You notice the beauty around you or an occasional distraction, but only to point it out to your companion. You share it together. You are in harmony, and you both enjoy the peaceful camaraderie. Walking with God is like that. When we enter into an intimate heart relationship with God through faith in His Son (Hebrews 10:22), He becomes our heart’s greatest desire. Knowing Him, hearing His voice, sharing our hearts with Him, and seeking to please Him become our all-consuming focus. He becomes everything to us. Meeting with Him is not an activity reserved for Sunday morning or Wednesday night. We live to fellowship with Him. A. W. Tozer states that the goal of every Christian should be to "live in a state of unbroken worship." This is only possible when we walk with God.

So, how do we get there? Let’s look at five steps we can take to cultivate those intimate walks with God.

1. Spend Time in God's Word: The Bible is God's written word, a source of wisdom, truth, and guidance for our lives. Make it a priority to read the Bible daily, allowing God's word to speak to your heart and transform your mind. Start with a daily reading plan (which you are already accomplishing as you journey through this 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting Devotional) or explore a specific book of the Bible that speaks to your current season of life. If there’s a specific verse that catches your attention, it's okay to stay there for a while. In fact, to truly study scripture requires deep research and perhaps God is wanting that for you.

2. Prayer and Meditation: Prayer is our direct line of communication with God, a way to share our thoughts, desires, and struggles with Him. Take time each day to pray and meditate on God's goodness and faithfulness. Listen for His voice speaking to you in the quiet moments of prayer, offering guidance and comfort in times of need. If you’re unsure of what to say, that’s okay too. Just speak from your heart and speak as though you were speaking to your best friend in the seat next to you.

3. Cultivate a Spirit of Gratitude: Gratitude is a powerful practice that opens our hearts to the presence of God in our lives. Take time each day to thank God for the blessings, both big and small, that He has bestowed upon you. Develop a habit of gratitude by keeping a journal or list of things you are thankful for and reflect on them regularly as a reminder of God's goodness.

4. Serve Others: One of the most effective ways to draw near to God is by serving others in love. Look for opportunities in your community, church, or workplace to show kindness and compassion to those in need. By serving others, we reflect the love of Christ and demonstrate His presence in our lives.

5. Cultivate a Spirit of Worship: Worship is a powerful way to draw near to God, offering Him our praise, adoration, and gratitude. Set aside time each day to worship God in spirit and truth, whether through music, prayer, or creative expression. Allow your heart to be filled with awe and reverence for the One who deserves all glory and honor.

It is not difficult to identify people who walk with God.  After all, their lives are a stark contrast to the world around them.  They are like stars in a nighttime sky (Philippians 2:15), and they produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) rather than the fruit of fleshly desire (Galatians 5:19-21). In today’s scripture reading, Acts 4, we read about Peter and John, who had been arrested for preaching and were brought before the authorities. Verse 13 tells us, 

"The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus." 

When we walk with God every day, the world cannot help but recognize that, in spite of our imperfections and lack of knowledge in some areas, we have been with Jesus. Remember, walking with God is a life-long journey. Enjoy your time with Him!






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