Walking Daily With God

Let us begin with the lyrics to an old song - "Just a Closer Walk with Thee":

I am weak but Thou art strong; Jesus keep me from all wrong.
I'll be satisfied as long as I walk, dear Lord, close to Thee.
Just a closer walk with Thee, grant it, Jesus, is my plea.
Daily walking close to Thee. Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Thru this world of toil and snares, if I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares? None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
Just a closer walk with Thee, grant it, Jesus, is my plea.
Daily walking close to Thee. Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

When my feeble life is o'er, time for me will be no more,
Guide me gently, safely o'er to Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore.
Just a closer walk with Thee, grant it, Jesus, is my plea.
Daily walking close to Thee. Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

The refrain of that song explicitly encourages a daily walk with God. I believe a big part of walking daily with God includes having a personal or private time of devotion--just you and the Lord. Oh yes, I'm all for worshiping with others and having a period of prayer, praise, study, and reflection, but you also need time alone with God. As Jesus said, sometimes you need to go into your room so you can really be alone with God (cf. Matt. 6:6). When the Day of Judgment comes, you, as an individual, will stand before the Lord. Thus, you need to be walking with Him daily now.

Great men of God are known for engaging in private devotionals:

Dear listeners, if you faithfully assemble with the saints and worship God publicly, that is good. But, do you also take the time to engage in a daily, private devotional? Do you walk with God daily? In this lesson, let's consider the why and how of private devotionals.

There are three reasons I'd like to share:

1. We should have private devotionals to help us draw near to God.
God is found by those who seek Him. I Chronicles 28:9 contains David's advice to his son, Solomon, on this point - "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever." Azariah told king Asa something quite similar in II Chronicles 15:2 - "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you."

This unchanging principle is echoed in James 4:8 - "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." Do you want a closer walk with God? Do you feel close to God? If not, could it be that you are really not seeking Him as you could and should (cf. Matt. 7:7)?

Ponder this for a moment: What if the only time you spent with your spouse was in public? What would your relationship be like if you never had any alone time together? How close do you think you'd be with your mate? The answer: Certainly not as close as you could be! I believe there is some merit in this concept when it comes to our relationship with the Lord also. All of our time spent with God shouldn't always be in a group setting, shared with others.

2. We should have private devotionals to receive spiritual nourishment.
We need spiritual nourishment in our lives. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). Although man can survive on physical food alone, he will not thrive without feeding his spirit. We need spiritual food that nourishes the soul. If you doubt this, you are doubting the wisdom of the One who made you. God knows what you need better than you yourself know!

Spiritual growth comes from the word of God (cf. I Pet. 2:2). When we obey the gospel, we are born again through the incorruptible seed of God's word (cf. I Pet. 1:23), and we continue to grow by the word of God, which provides spiritual strength to help us fight the spiritual battles we will face (cf. Eph. 6:10ff; Psa. 119). If you want a stronger spiritual life, walk with God as He wants you to--daily!

3. We should have private devotionals to help us remain peaceful and stable.
We live in a world filled with anxiety, and prayer provides the antidote. "Be anxious in nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6,7). The pitfalls in this world are many, but ingesting God's word daily helps keep us from falling - "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path...Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble" (Psa. 119:105,165).

We need to take the time each day to draw near to God for spiritual nourishment, peace, and stability. The habit of daily, private devotionals is invaluable to the Christian.


1. Find a time and a place.
Actually, you will have to make a time and a place for your devotional; it won't just happen on accident! The time may vary for different individuals. For "night owls," the best time may be late at night, after the children are in bed. For "morning larks," early morning before the children wake up is probably better. The key is to find a quiet time, free from worldly distractions (e.g., kids, spouse, phone, TV, etc.).

The place may also vary for different people. Some may prefer a place outside, following the example of Jesus (cf. Mark 1:35). Some may prefer a place inside, following the teaching of Jesus (cf. Matt. 6:6). Regardless, the key is to find a solitary place where distractions will be minimal. Ideally, in order to develop a strong habit of private daily devotion to God, the time and place should be the same each day (if possible).

2. Engage in prayer, meditation, and praise to Almighty God.

When you approach God in prayer:

Spend time with the Lord each day in meditation or reflection. Contemplate:

Praise God in song (perhaps aided by hymns recorded without accompaniment):

God wants us to talk to Him through prayer and praise, and He wants us to listen to Him by contemplating His word.

We live in a world that abounds with distractions and sin. These things will fill our lives with stress and anxiety, if we allow them to. They will pull us away from God and things that are good, if we allow them to. Making room for private devotionals in our lives should help us greatly to walk closer with our Father in heaven daily and to receive strength of heart and peace of mind in doing His will. If David--a man after God's own heart--and Jesus--the Son of God Himself--found it needful to spend time alone with God, how much more do we!

Let us live so that Psalm 119:147,148 accurately describes us - "I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word." Friends, we can all do better in walking more closely with the Lord daily. Let us encourage each other in our relationships with God!

Thank you for listening, and may the Lord bless you as you strive to do His will.