In my last post I wrote about the importance of a ‘what.’ The importance of ministering to the Lord. Here I want to address more of the how, including the relationship between a season and a lifestyle.
In walking with Jesus most of us likely have encounters or significant moments we can point to, highlights in our walk with Jesus. I know I have had seasons where His presence was more real, where He felt closer. At the same time, I know that there is a connection between these quality times with Him and faithfulness in quantity times. Feeding on Jesus and His word is best perceived as a daily practice. I have eaten a lot of food over the years and while I remember very few meals, I know they all had some impact on me. I know I have had times of focused enjoyment in my meals and I have had times of mindless eating. I have at times eaten wholly nutritious meals and at other times eaten things that tasted good but were not necessarily good for me.
So, while I bring different degrees of attention to different times of sitting with Jesus, my general experience is that the more focused I am when sitting with Jesus, the more real my encounter with Him. At times I find I simply need to confess I feel distant and am not experiencing His presence and my experience is that His presence usually becomes more real out of my confession and acknowledgement. I have long believed that the best summary of the goal and outcome of sitting with Jesus was expressed by Paul.
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)
When I choose to develop a lifestyle of daily turning to Jesus and focusing the gaze of my heart upon Him I craft a lifestyle that leads to seasons of deeper encounter. I do not always have deep moving encounters but I do have them. For me most of those are connected to worship. I find when I deeply encounter Him in worship my heart is softened, and yes tears may flow when He touches my heart. My desire is that my life will be marked by His presence as an outflow of ministering to His heart.
A final thought on the how. Oswald Chambers summed it up quite nicely when he wrote regarding 2 Corinthians 3:18, “The most difficult lesson of the Christian life is learning how to continue ‘beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord….’ Imperturbable.” Let’s develop the habit of continually turning our hearts to Him that Jesus may be glorified.