Jesus is Real

John 20: 27

Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

Yesterday I promised we would tackle the question of how we intertwine with Jesus. It can be frustrating when a pastor gives a directive without directions, I know. So, let’s see if I can help you find your path. I don’t pretend to have arrived. All I can do is show you the path I have traveled and try to share those things which have worked for me.

Here is a beginning place and though rudimentary, still necessary. We must come to the place where we realize and are convinced that Jesus is real. Thomas, called Doubting Thomas, didn’t appreciate Jesus was still alive. He saw him die, how could he be alive? Well, that is what the resurrection is all about. We, like Thomas, have to come to the same conclusion; that Jesus is alive. He is a real person with real substance. He isn’t an angel or some ethereal legend. He is a living person whom you can relate to and talk with. Okay, sure; he isn’t flesh and blood like the people you see everyday even though he can materialize when he chooses. None the less, he is real; he is alive. He is a living personality and until we really and truly embrace that idea, there is no way we can intertwine with him and him become an integral part of our everyday life. Jesus can become your best friend and your closest ally but first we must believe that he is real right now today and that he is present to interact with and in our lives.

The single thing that was most important to my walk was learning to commune with God the Father. Jesus is the way to him but eventually we have to reconcile our feelings, understanding and beliefs about God. Is he a religious image, a deity or is he a Father? I discovered that although I had a good relationship with Jesus, I had almost none with the Father.

In 2005, I learned that the fullness of truth is that God is every bit as much my Dad as my biological father. That revelation became very real to me. It was through communing with Him and getting to know Him that I came to understand that. The revelation was possible because some years before I chased God down. I knew others could hear Him but I could only occasionally hear Him speak to me. I was frustrated and angry so I flew out to LA to a conference I knew He would be at. I like to say, “I sought Him until He found me.” The Bible says if we will seek Him, we will find Him. It’s true. When I set my heart and mind to seeking Him, He revealed Himself to me in some awesome ways. So, first, let us seek Him out with all our hearts. Second, we must learn how to commune with Him. I will tell you how I was able to learn that tomorrow.

Waiting to Fly

Isaiah 40: 31

Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

I have been learning a lot about this verse recently and I discovered that I had no idea as to its real meaning. We all want the result that this verse promises. Some people think this is just poetic language with no real meaning. Well, they would be wrong. This is an actual promise from God that you can begin living today.

It took a bible teacher to unveil what this verse really stands for. Dr. James B. Richards of Impact Ministries reveals that the word that we translate into the English word “wait” has a much richer meaning in Hebrew. The Hebrew word used in this verse is qavah. It does not mean to sit around on your hands waiting for God to do something; far from it. In fact, the NIV Bible translates this word as hope. Both of them are right but each is only a nuance of the fullness of the Hebrew meaning. Dr. Richards explains that the most illustrative rendering of this word would be to intertwine. And now following his cue and doing my own brief study on the word I can concur. One of my sources says “to bind together by twisting.” Doesn’t that sound like intertwining? The word also expresses expectancy and looking patiently. We wait not because we are waiting on God or that He is tardy but rather that we are expecting something to happen. We have a hope, a joyful expectation that God is on the scene and about to show Himself.

There is also, within this word, a sense of unity; getting together, binding together. Think of it as harmonizing. It is getting together in one accord. We are one, we harmonize. We are of one mind, one voice. It is to bring into unity, oneness.

I would also interject into this verse and this word the sense of stillness from Psalm 46: 10 where God tells us to “Be still and know that I am God.” The New American Standard Bible reads, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” In other words, when we cease striving in our own strength, when we still our hearts and minds for a moment, then we can experience God and His strength. Then we can be united with Him, intertwined around Him. When our lives become intertwined with God, when we stop running off half-cocked, then we can actually experience what is promised in today’s verse. We will, “gain new strength; … mount up with wings like eagles … run and not get tired … walk and not become weary.” This isn’t a metaphor. This is God. When we bind ourselves together with God, entwine ourselves with Him, wait in expectation of the good that He is, when we bind ourselves with Him in harmonious unity of heart and mind, then we will have a real experience of His strength. 

We can run around in our own strength going places God isn’t even leading us and completely wear ourselves out. It is so like listening to an orchestra where one person is out of tune. Your whole day is loud with the cacophony of discord. Instead, we can start each day listening for the sweet sound of His voice singing in our hearts and join our voices to His. We allow Him to sing the lead and we set ourselves in harmony with Him. When we do this we really do enjoy the power of His might. We get more done, with less time and effort. He has ways that we may not yet understand but this I know, His answers and His blessings flow to us when we are intertwined around and with Him. We enjoy life. We breathe more easily. Everything is better. 

Dad is waiting for you to come connect with Him this day. He has been waiting on us for years. Before you run out of the house, wait a moment. Take a deep breath and join yourself with the Father. Get in harmony. I think you will find your days much more melodious and smooth.