April 7, 2014
In developing an internal place of rest in Jesus there is a simple test we can apply to see what is currently most dominant in our lives. Where do our minds go when we are not intentionally thinking about anything? Do they regularly turn to Jesus? If not then is He at or near the top of our list of important things? In my own life I recently applied this test and while it may sound a bit odd I spent some time thinking about what I was thinking about. I found Jesus was one of three things my mind regularly went to when I wasn’t intentionally thinking about something. My goal is that He be the dominant thing my mind goes to and I have found that in being more intentional about thinking about Him and reflecting on His presence in and with me my non intentional thinking is more about Him and I experience more of Him.
So how do we train our hearts and minds to have Jesus as their default? One way to do it is by learning to behold Him. Practically I believe we need to spend concentrated time intentionally engaging our spirit with His Spirit. The when and how may vary to some degree depending on the individual. Some may do it early in the morning (my practice), others may do it in the evening, some do it morning and evening, some select a time during the day. Whenever we choose, I believe the common element we need is a concentrated focus on Jesus, often with the scriptures or a scripture as the backdrop.
So here are some practical approaches.
- Pick a time and spot and quiet your mind and heart before Him then sit and focus on Jesus or the Father for 5 minutes. Pay attention to what happens internally? Is it difficult to be still in our busy and driven culture? Do you sense His presence?
- There are two key things in the lives of Christians that are from another realm, the real realm. Our spirits and the scriptures. Get quiet before Him then devotionally read aloud and interact with passages like Psalm 23, Matthew 6:9-13 Ephesians 1:17, Colossians 1:9-11. The focus here is on devotional rather than intercessory prayer. It is about tuning into and living out of our spirits. A passage I keep being drawn back to is in Psalm 25 4 Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. Psalm 25:4-5 (NKJV)
- Quiet your mind and heart before Him and focus on the divine interchange; giving and receiving His life and living by it. Loving Him and being loved by Him. Sensing His nearness, entering into the fellowship and interchange within the Godhead.
All of this work best when it is rooted in knowing intellectually, and more importantly, at a heart level, that He desires to be with you and actually enjoys you. That truth is borne out in the passage below. Use it to enjoy Him and His heart for you!
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:24-26 (NKJV)