I’m sure many of you have begun this new year setting yourselves goals and resolutions, just as I have done so several times in the years gone by. Personally I have found as the month’s progress, I find myself lacking the effort and determination to achieve those very things I confessed at the start of the year. I am sure there are many of you that feel the same way.

There is nothing wrong in setting goals and milestones that we want to achieve in life. However I have found there are times we can focus more in wanting to arrive at a destination and neglect the very thing that is right in front of us.

The Lord recently spoke to me and said, “don’t neglect to look”, my eyes had filled with tears as my heart melted. His words did not come with a rebuke but rather a deep sadness in His heart. In John 15:15 Jesus Himself says, “I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends.” He is longing for our friendship, more than us trying to become something in our own strength.

As much as I encourage you all to prioritise the secret place, the chambers in which you spend alone time with Jesus. I also want to encourage you to be attentive to Him throughout your daily life. In Luke 24 there is a story which has taken place post resurrection, we hear of two men who are walking a seven mile long journey to Emmaus. In verse 15 the scripture tells us that Jesus Himself draws near to them and as we move on to verse 17 Jesus begins to ask them what kind of conversation they are having. Looking at just these verses alone, we can come to realise the desire that God has to be with His people. It is the same for us today, wherever we are in our lives Jesus has drawn near to us, He has put His Spirit into us so that we can experience Him wherever we are. Even though He knows our beginning and end, He wants to have a conversation with us. This is where our prayers never have to cease.

So many of us are looking towards a destination of where we feel we need to be, but true fulfilment will only come when we embrace Jesus in the journey. God is more concerned about being with us on the journey more than us arriving at the destination. Friends, we have a God who wants to walk with us in every step and be involved in all the simple details of our lives. All we need to do is simply turn our attention towards Him and He will flood our hearts with His reality.

Towards the end of the story in Luke 24, the men that were with Jesus invite Him in to come and stay with them. They sit together and Jesus takes bread, blesses it and gives it to them. This is what happens when we invite Jesus in, this is not just about us having a table set before us in the presence of our enemies, this is about allowing the one who is the bread of life to sit with us and feed us with Himself. Only here will we understand what it means to be truly satisfied.

“Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus, he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly”. (Luke 19:1-6)

I’d like to close by encouraging you with the above scripture found in in Luke 19. We hear of a man named Zacchaeus who ran up ahead and climbed a tree so that He could see Jesus in the midst of a crowd. Jesus sees Him and invites Himself into his house. God longs to be with us more than we realise, He has chosen to make His home inside of us. As we become a Zacchaeus people, a people that would go out of our way to look at Him in the midst of our busyness, as we incline our hearts to Him throughout our daily lives and give Him our attention, He will come in and stay with us and lead us to where we need to be.

His friendship is so precious. There is no greater lover, there is no greater listener, there is none more beautiful than Jesus. How blessed are we to have His company in our lives. My prayer for each of us this year is to become those that walk with Him, His friends.

David Harris | Kingdom Encounter