I want to stay on the mountaintop. I need to pound stakes into the beautiful place. Like David, my soul thirsts and pants for the living God. Like Peter, I’m ready to erect tents and settle in.
Let’s mark this spot, linger here, and stretch out this time of blissful communion, terrifying conviction, and revelation.
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and Elijah,” Peter told Jesus (Mark 9:5).
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1-2)
That’s me. Lord, let’s just plunk ourselves down right here.
Nothing need ever change. I’ll teeter in this exact spot of realization of my deep and abiding need for You, this place of crying out for Your help, mercy, and sustaining grace, this worshipful spot where my soul meets Yours in the most naked and intimate way.
Your presence can fill me to overflowing, exactly as You are right now. Lord, this is what I want all the time. It’s good that we’re here! Let’s stay.
But life isn’t like that.
Human beings can’t maintain the deep intimacy we find in Jesus in some of the hardest places or most glorious moments of human existence. We can’t put these in our pockets to take with us, to keep like photographs. We can’t awaken every morning in that place of blissful communion.
But, oh, how we yearn for it!
We yearn for heaven and for life in God’s presence. As C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
This past winter, spring, and summer, I spent a lot of time in that place. We came through difficult trials, surgeries, pain, and a cross-country relocation. I clung to Jesus. His presence was the only way through.
And then, life became more routine. I felt better. The crises passed.
On the day I penned this post, I didn’t think of Jesus first when I woke up. Instead, before I even crawled out of bed, I grabbed my phone and looked at social media.
After I ate, I had my daily time in God’s Word. Most days I make that connection and linger over it, meditating and coming back again and again to that intimate time with the Lord.
But, on that day, I coasted through, not thinking of Jesus in the beautiful moment or the urgent need. I behaved in a detached manner, as if I wasn’t in a relationship with Him and He wasn’t shaping and overseeing my entire day from start to finish.
The Lord didn’t depart. It was me. I had wandered off again into practical atheistic behavior.
Do you do this, too?
Jesus is the only human being ever to live a life completely and totally preoccupied with God. My preoccupation with Him is far removed from that standard. It consists of moments of deliberate turning toward Him, rather than natural reflex. It’s made of Spirit-led moments of conviction and then reaction on my part.Jesus lived a life totally preoccupied with God. My preoccupation consists of moments of deliberate turning rather than natural reflex. It's Spirit-led moments of conviction and then reaction on my part. But I want it to be the norm. Click To Tweet
But I want turning to the Lord to be the norm, the natural reflex.
I want to be preoccupied, to be obsessed.
To that end, the cellphone has been relocated across the room from my bed. I’m adjusting my work and nighttime habits yet again. I don’t want anything to hinder me from interacting with Jesus in those first and last moments of consciousness, as well as throughout the day. That first and last turning of a day should be toward Him.
As I strive toward more God awareness, I know the Lord is tender with me. He knows that I’m but dust. This isn’t a heart transformation I can complete on my own. Only He can work this miracle in me.
I yield to the work.
How about you?As I strive toward more God awareness, I know the Lord is tender with me. This isn't a heart transformation I can complete on my own. Only He can work this miracle in me. I yield to the work. Click To Tweet