Be Still my Heart

Psalm 46: 10       NIV

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

It is always fascinating to me when two ideas or projects I am working on come together. It seems to be a confirmation that I am on the right track. That happened to me this week.

I have been ministering on this verse from Psalm 46. I am also reading a book on Moses. Interestingly, the two have come together. The author wrote these words, “That voice still speaks to those whose hearts are hushed to hear . . . and seeking hearts that are still enough from their own plans and activities to listen” (Meyer, Moses: Servant of God, Whitaker House, 1909, 2014, p. 42 – 43). One of the most central aspects to hearing God speak is stillness.

We live in a busy world, finding ourselves going this way and that. We get a lot done and our lives are filled with richness and diversity. Unfortunately, that busyness can also conspire to inhibit our time with the Lord. My own experience was that even when I took a few minutes to sit down and commune with God, I was so keyed up that I could not hear Him. Both physically and mentally I was like a metronome, in constant motion. It, literally, took an act of God to teach me how to slow down so that I could come to know Him as God in my life. And that is the point of this, letting God show Himself as God.

I believe in praying at all times. For example, I like to pray while I am driving, pumping gas and riding my bike. However, communion with God also requires those quiet times; times completely devoted to visiting with Him. That, I believe, is where it becomes hard for many of us. It is hard to set aside quiet time to be with the Lord. There are so many things vying for your time and hard to find time alone. And then even when you do find the time, perhaps the pressures of your schedule and task list invade your stillness making it difficult, if not impossible, to hear the voice of God.

If being still is a challenge for you, if you have a hard time hearing God, contact me and let’s get that worked out in your life so that you routinely hear the voice of your Father.

Getting to Know You

John 14: 9

Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me?

Philip was one of Jesus’ hand-picked apostles. He was on the executive council, if you will, of Jesus’ ministry. He walked, talked and lived with Jesus everyday for three years. They ate together, traveled together and ministered together. One would think that anyone in that position would know Jesus pretty well. None the less, Jesus accused Philip of not knowing him at all. Jesus sounds pretty astonished that they spent so much time together and yet Philip still did not have a revelation of who Jesus was.

Of course, my reaction is if Philip walked daily with Jesus while Jesus was in the flesh, on the planet and didn’t really know him then what chance do I have? The truth is, many of us call ourselves Christians or followers of Christ and yet do not know him very well at all. It should be our goal, though, to become intimately familiar with him. We can do that, you know. Jesus is still very much alive and although he is not here in the flesh he still talks with his people every day.

In many ways we have even more of him now than the apostles did. He has now made our hearts, your heart, his temple. We can, and many do, have daily fellowship with him. Reading Jesus’ words to Philip makes me cringe. I sure don’t want Jesus to say those words to me or worst yet the words he spoke in Matthew 7: 21 – 22: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness”.

So what is the point? The point is that we, like Philip, can hang out in all the right places, partake of all the right feasts and rituals and yet come to the end and find that we don’t know Jesus and he doesn’t know us. So how do you get to know Him? Well, John 1: 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So we start with the Word, but you knew I was going to say that didn’t you?  Next, jump over to Joshua 1, verse 8 and see the advice God gave Joshua: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” So, step 2 is to meditate on what you read from the Bible or ponder it, we might say. This really isn’t an intellectual exercise although it may sound like it. We aren’t analyzing, cogitating or thinking about what we have read. It is more like mulling it over, rolling it around inside of you for its deep meaning. Through this process, revelation arises.

And then we should have the word in our mouths. That’s what God said. We speak as he speaks. We keep His words in the forefront of our thoughts and in our heart. Lastly, pray but when I say pray I really mean spend time seeking Jesus. Talk to him as you would a dear friend. Take him with you everywhere you go. Spend the day talking with him and listening to his responses. The more you hear him, the more you will get to know him. Seek him, that is the real key. If you seek him, you will find him. I promise.

The greatest reward of Christianity is getting to know Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit. They can become your closest friends if you like and it is nice to know they are always there with you. Don’t get caught out in the cold. Get to know Jesus.

How Do I Know You?

John 17: 3

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

You know, when I read this recently it gave me pause. We have a lot of ideas about what eternal life means. I think, though, that some of our ideas are more cultural or religious than they are scriptural. What I mean by that is that we have created a picture of eternal life as sitting around heaven or on a cloud somewhere. Jesus comes along and disrupts our thinking. Eternal life, he tells us, is not about what we do after we leave here. Eternal life in knowing God and knowing Jesus. So, the question we must ask ourselves is, “Do we know God, do we know Jesus?”

This perspective could change our evangelical approach too. Our goal no longer would be to get someone to say “the sinners’ prayer” so that they can punch their ticket to heaven and eternal life. Now our aim must be to introduce them to the person of Jesus and to lead them into knowing both he and the father. This approach would seem to mean that leading them into a relationship with the father and son is the key step. That means that discipleship takes on a new role as well as a first prayer. We must from the beginning teach that the key to eternal life is not a one-time prayer. It is the pursuit of the father and the son. We should teach that having accepted Jesus as one’s lord is the mere beginning. A life lived with Jesus and with the Father in close communion is what the father intended when He sent Jesus to earth. This is not burdensome. This is the delight of Christianity. It is an invitation to enter into a personal relationship with the creator of all.

This is pretty serious stuff. Saying the sinners’ prayer and then sitting on a pew for the rest of one’s life is not going to gain eternal life for any of us. Knowing Yahweh, the only true God and His son Jesus is the only path to attaining eternal life. That revelation may even shake up a few of us. Whom do we know that professes their Christianity, shrouds themselves with the religious trappings but in truth knows neither the father nor son? It is time for us to shake things up and encourage people to move forward in their relationship with the trinity. Otherwise, there may be a great multitude left behind.