Where is our awareness most of the time? I recently visited with a friend who is 89, and while her mind and spirit are sharp, she has been in ongoing terrible pain and is on scheduled doses of morphine to manage the pain. She refuses to take enough to truly deal with the pain because it dulls and muddles her mind and alertness – her awareness is very important to her. I asked her how conscious she was of Jesus in all of this (she has had terrible pain for many long months). My question elicited a smile and joy as she told me how aware she constantly was of His presence in her and with her. I will come back to this.
What I wonder about is how well we apply scriptural truth to this aspect of our lives? What is our ongoing perspective on reality?
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Philippians 4:5 (NKJV) 1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. Revelation 4:1-2 (NKJV)
1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. Hebrews 8:1-2 (NKJV)
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:1-3 (NKJV)
The verses above all tell us something about Jesus nearness, presence, ministry and finished work. One underlying message is that He is very involved in our lives. Yet, I believe to walk in what He desires for us we need to learn to tune our hearts to His presence. He is very near, at hand, and desiring to engage our hearts. Yet if we never slow down to focus on Him we can miss what He is doing in our lives.
We live in a culture driven by distraction and activity yet if you can engage someone in a meaningful way in all of our cultural ‘busyness’ many feel disconnected. We live in the most ‘connected’ time in history yet seem to not have time to connect with the one this is all about. Paul told us it was and is all about Jesus.
10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him. Ephesians 1:10 (NKJV)
This means that since Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith and of time then history is really His-story. Given that does it not make sense to make time for Him? Given we know He is near, at hand (Phil. 4:5) how can we know His presence like my friend above? The answer is simple and challenging, we give Him our time.
Giving Jesus our time may sound daunting but it is consistent with how He has designed us. For many years in our busy culture I have commented that most people say they have no time yet I believe that if you put the average ‘busy’ person in our culture in a quiet room with no distractions for 10 minutes they would find it very difficult to be still. We were created to need quiet times to recharge and be restored. Even the word recreation is a compound word, re-creation. Times of rest are meant to recharge us.
For myself I love hiking in the mountains. It is amazing when you spend even half an hour hiking up and then look back and see how much distance you have covered. The other important piece is that the view is very different than down in the valley.
So, while I believe it is critical to make time each day to sit with Jesus with no distractions, I believe we can also practice creating these moments throughout any given day. We can climb our cultural mountain of distraction by refocusing on Him in a checkout line, while riding an elevator, in the shower, etc. Jesus is at hand and if we will learn to tune our hearts to Him we will become more aware of this important reality and will find all of the busyness around less of a distraction and find ourselves able to see from His perspective rather than ours – the views really are quite different!