A Closer Walk With God
The old hymn, O for a closer walk with God reads like this:
O for a closer walk with God, a calm and heavenly frame, a light to shine upon the road that leads me to the lamb.
William Cowper penned those words in 1772. They are still relevant and comforting.
I write this on my birthday. Born in 1941—you do the math. Last night in our small group we were commenting on the reality of a closer walk with God. Both the reality and the benefit of a closer walk are a comfort and peace that grows with proximity.
A friend from India is staying with us for a few days and came along to fellowship with our group. One member commented with a big grin that because we lived in Colorado Springs and its altitude of 7200 feet above sea level that we’d get to heaven before he would, living closer to sea level. He then reminded us about the Himalayas, observing that Christin Sherpas might beat all of us. We laughed together and agreed that getting there was the most important.
The conversation prompted an observation about older people. Being able to see the end of life more clearly, they often seemed more at peace with life and circumstance. Another observed that perhaps life is also simpler without the cares of child raising, earning a living, etc.
Another shared his experience interviewing terminally ill children. He shared how happy and peaceful they often seemed after accepting the reality of the upcoming death. They were closer to God too.
When we are closer to God, life is better.
Such was our conclusion. Our walk with God is closer when we become acutely aware of the end of our brief time on earth. Our walk with God is closer when we grow our relationship with him, with Jesus, and our awareness of the Holy Spirit’s role in our life. We walk closer when we connect and grow our relationship. Engaging with the words of Jesus in the Bible, investing in conversation through prayer, and just being quiet in His presence—all action steps that make for a closer walk with God.
Judy and I talk best when we go out to dinner. Always been that way—56 years worth. It’s better than talking at home or any other place. Knowing what works best is helpful to good communication. Second best is when we are out for a walk. Strange, almost counter-intuitive.
If we haven’t gone out for dinner or taken a walk for awhile, we can feel ourselves drifting apart. Relationships take work, effort, and intentionality.
So far today there are over 100 birthday wishes on Facebook. I appreciate every one of them, even from those I have to strain to recollect the reason for our connectivity. The world grows smaller and yet more complex. Being anchored in a closer walk with God brings both comfort and stability. Last night we reviewed the fruits of the spirit. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. These attitudinal changes bring great comfort and are a result of the Closer Walk. Interestingly, when we demonstrate those fruits, those attributes, those attitudes, it is one more step in following Jesus command found in John 13—to love one another. Walking closer with God leads us on His path and encourages us to demonstrate Jesus' character to all we meet.
The last verse of the old hymn goes like this:
So shall my walk be close with God, calm and serene my frame; so purer light shall mark the road that leads me to the lamb.
Let’s walk this journey together.