My Practices for Walking Well with God-Guest Post by Steve Douglass
Today I have guesting my wonderful husband, Steve, who has so much practical wisdom.
Often Judy and I host events in our home for different groups of staff. There is usually time for questions, and frequently Judy and I are asked about our experience of walking well with God. So I thought it would be good to write about some attitudes and practices I have found helpful in my relationship with God.
Let me first say I have a long way to go in my walk, and I am not holding myself up as a perfect example. But the following do help me stay close to God and His plan for my life.
I make entries in my journal every day and the first category is “Thanksgiving.” I find a thankful spirit is a huge contributor to my overall willingness to trust and be close to God.
When “good things” happen, that is easy. When our daughter Debbie gave birth to our first granddaughter, Grace, on December 23, it was easy to be grateful for a beautiful, healthy child.
But when “bad things” happen, it is harder to be grateful. When Josh’s beloved grandfather, Marty, died rather suddenly, it was devastating to Josh. One of Judy’s primary ministries to Josh as that time was to help him say, “Thank you, God,” by faith.
Job says in Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.”
I have found that the intensity of my walk with God is directly proportional to how constantly I am engaged with Him during the day. I try to have a running conversation with God concerning what is happening, what I see and how I feel.
In some ways it is similar to how Judy and I often maintain our relationship by debriefing on the day over dinner or by texting or calling during the day.
God loves for us to do what He asks us to do. He also is pleased when we make the most of the opportunities He puts before us. If we learn anything from the master’s reaction to the one-talent servant in the Parable of the Talents, God is quite displeased when we aren’t proactive in making use of what He gives us.
All of that has caused me to conclude that walking with God involves intentional action on our part--action to accomplish what He calls us to do. The Scriptures are loaded with examples of people who acted on God’s call to:
Leave home for a distant land (Abram)
Defeat a Philistine giant (David)
Leave everything and follow Jesus (Peter)
Yet while we need to focus on certain priorities, we also need to be flexible to redeem the unplanned opportunities God sends our way. Just a few days ago I was working at a restaurant putting the finishing touches on my preparation for a wedding ceremony I was to conduct in just a few hours. I wasn’t really looking to minister to anyone.
However, an older woman was looking for a place to put her tray down and eat. The only available spot was the table next to me, designed for two people. I encouraged her to sit at that table when she asked if her sitting there would bother me. What I didn’t know was that there were two more people with her. When they all sat down, one was right across from me at my table.
Within a few minutes, I realized I needed to set aside what I was working on and talk to them. All three were strong Christians but had some questions. I had a chance to share some thoughts and give them each a book which I thought would help them. I had packed the books in my briefcase “just in case” someone might cross my path who could use them. I find that God often presents unexpected opportunities, and I have learned to be flexible in my walk.I hope these thoughts and examples will be an encouragement to you as you walk with God.
What about you? What has helped you walk closely with God?
Steve Douglass is certainly one of my favorite people. I find him smart, funny, humble, godly, creative, hardworking, kind. He is so good at living, loving, leading, fixing, solving and serving. He’s a wonderful husband, father and granddad. And he lives out what he just wrote about. Oh yes, he went to MIT, HBS and leads CCCI.