The birds were singing and it was a brilliant warm sunny day. A hike in the beautiful, lush, green mountains of San Luis Obispo, Ca. was the order of the day for Greg and me. All evidences of Spring were on the horizon and I cannot stay inside for very long at this time of the year. It means new life to me.
I simply love being out in it; Really IN it. It was a new trail for us so the added adventure of exploring and navigating new territory had us excited.
I am constantly amazed at the fact that when I am in the beauty of the outside how very close to Jesus I feel. He woos me, courts me, and wins me over every time as I ponder Him while walking. In the beauty of His holiness, in the presence of His creation He meets me there. His splendor is always there when I open my heart to His presence.
1. The first way to really know Him is in the beauty of your surroundings…notice it, ponder it, lean into it. He is speaking. The key is to be aware. Think on Him. Invite Him there. Talk to Him. He longs for relationship with you and is waiting.
Knowing Him is not pledging ourselves to religious service. We can talk about Him, teach about Him, even tell others about Him, but have no intimacy with Him ourselves. I did this for years. I was addicted to “ministry”. I needed to be validated by people, because, even though I was born again, I did not know Him intimately. So I stayed busy “working “ for God to prove how spiritual I was. True grace is knowing and walking in His freedom to be who we are without thinking we have to earn our way into Heaven. There is a difference.
We must learn to yield to our Groom’s gracious embrace.
2. The second way to really know Him is to yield to Him. We (the church) are the Bride and He is the Bridegroom. We have to learn to welcome His entrance into our presence the same way a bride welcomes the man she is in love with. True intimacy means we warmly, beautifully, vulnerably receive our Lord’s presence.
A bride can’t hide herself and still be known by her husband. To unite with Him she has to give of herself. In the same way we have to be totally committed to make Him our priority.
3. The third way to really know Him is to make Him your constant priority. If you do this you will find His constant presence in your life a tangible thing.
He wants us to lose sight of ourselves enough to be overwhelmed by the presence of Him. He longs for more of his children to jump out of the boat and join Him in the supernatural and enjoy Him, as a bride enjoys her bridegroom.
4. The fourth thing we must do to walk in His presence is to have an unguarded trusting abandon to only Him.
Holy, intimate encounters with Jesus is not for those who are only seeking signs and wonders from Him like the men who wanted to follow Him in the gospels but only because He had just fed 5000 people. He knew their hearts. He said it is a wicked generation that seeks signs and wonders but are not committed to only Him in their hearts. They had it all backwards. If He is our only priority and we follow Him with a whole heart, then signs and wonders will follow US!! We won’t have to go looking for them.
5. Intimacy requires commitment, which is the fifth way to stay in His presence.
Commitment is to not allow anything else to get in the way of your devotion to Him. This is not a religious activity. Remember Galatians states it is for FREEDOM He has set us free. He came to set us free from the legalistic ways of religion with its rules and control. He came so that we are free to walk with Him and obey His voice because we trust Him with our whole hearts.
Now, how about it?
Are you ready to slip away with Him, your Bridegroom? You’ve taken His name. If so, don’t be concerned with techniques and prayer manuals. Just talk to Him. That is what prayer really is. He knows everything about you so you might as well pour out your heart. You will be amazed to find He will answer you back, reason with you, show you things to come, and give you different perspectives. He is more real than your next breath. In my chatty moments I actually sit at my quiet place and have coffee with Jesus. I journal to Him and He answers me. I have a notebook full of things He has said to me. I have sung to Him and had Him sing back to me….a profound thing.
Express the passion of your love and listen to his heartbeat. Don’t be scared to give all of yourself to Him. Lift the veil of your heart. Let Him in to enclose you in His presence. He wants to be known.