It's a new year. A time for reflecting over the past year: the friendships, the times of growth, and the challenges. It's also a time to look ahead to the next year. To think about if you are moving in the right direction you need to be moving? Do you like who you are today, or is there something you need to change? A path you need to alter?
I was reading the story of Zacchaeus this morning in my Bible, and one thing about Zacchaeus was he really wanted to meet the Lord. In fact he was so ready to meet Jesus, his heart was so prepared, and so determined to have a deep experience with God, that he was willing to risk embarassment and personal discomfort in order to meet Jesus. Zacchaeus cared more about meeting God then what others thought about Him.
When Jesus saw Zacchaeus in the tree, Jesus called him by his name, and told him to hurry down. Jesus asked Zacchaeus if he could come over to his house for dinner, to begin a real relationship with Him, and Zacchaeus obeyed, responding promptly, putting aside all other matters, and immediately had a change of heart that resulted in forgiveness.
I have to think about my own life. It's so easy for me to say "I want a closer walk with God" and continue living in the same patterns I have lived before, never making any changes or never preparing my body or mind for that closer walk with Jesus.
Zacchaeus had to put himself in the place where he believed he had the highest chance of meeting Jesus, he had to climb a tree, where he would have the best views of the whole village. He put himself in a dangerous place, probably an embarassing and awkward place... but He sat on that tree, searching out the people, preparing Himself for the encounter He would have with Jesus...
And it turns out, Jesus was searching for Zaccheaus also. Ready to win His heart, ready to become a best friend.
But are we like Zacchaeus? Are our hearts ready to meet Jesus in a new way? Are we willing to sacrifice self in the way we need too in order to meet Him? Are we unashamed of what this may look like to our friends and family, when He asks us to meet Him in a certain place or way? And are we ready to change who we are, ready to forgive others, ready to repent?
We don't have to wait for a special pastoral call, mission trip, or spiritual retreat... Jesus wants to meet you, He wants to meet me, right where we are. So let's slow down and begin preparing to meet Jesus, in faith, that like He showed up for Zaccheaus, he also wants to show up for you. He wants to take His relationship with you to a new level; he wants more of your heart today.