How did I get to this place of Peace anyhow? It was both simple and required work at the same time. You remember the story about the rich young ruler in the NT who comes to Jesus, asks what he must do to be saved and Jesus replies ‘give up your wealth, your lifestyle, give all your money to the poor and follow me.’ (Matthew 19:16-30 Anita paraphrase) Yeah well.
I didn’t have any wealth to give up, only garbage, but after Jesus gave me a good scrub- which was the easy part- I still had to learn how to hold the ground and this was where the work came into it.
Anything worth pursuing requires effort. It is no different when it comes to our relationship with Jesus.
We know about reading the Bible and prayer, however it seems in some places the veil between God and people which Jesus tore down at His death and resurrection has been replaced by a lot of systems, and we have forgotten both how to be in intimate relationship with God and how to share Him with others in a way which makes a difference. If it’s not making a difference for us, how can it make a difference for others?
Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ Luke 15:8-9 (NIV)
I was already in a strong relationship with Jesus before this change happened for me. I had accepted Christ for myself before the age of 5 and had an audible conversing relationship with Him even through the worst periods of my life. We were mates. I wasn’t doing a very good job of being a Christian, and I lived an internal hell, but Jesus loved me, even though neither of us liked what was going on in my life very much.
Around the time I turned 30, Father God brought people into my life who understand and live the power of the Presence of God. Through their example, (including that darn good clean out), I learned to live a powerful, peace-filled relationship with Jesus. It was a new level of intimacy with God; a long, slow, deep, second-by-second relationship unlike anything I had previously understood a relationship with God could be.
I had spent all my life searching for this. Wondering where the reality of the God of the Bible was, where the answers were to the questions I was asking, where the solutions were to the trouble I was having. I knew I knew Him, I knew an amount about Him, I had seen something of His interventions- enough to indicate He really was God Of All Things- but not the experience I knew in my GUT we as believers should have.
So What? What has this got to do with you? What does this have to do with anybody else? What is the point of saying all that?
Because I’m not the only one.
I am not the only one who had or has been sitting in pews or looking in different places, wondering how to deal with a bunch of questions and life situations which aren’t necessarily being answered from the front, or in small groups or among friends, even if we’ve been asking the same questions, and asking them together…
I needed peace, and nobody knew where it was.
Father God brought people to me who knew how to walk the Narrow Way, who had experienced the Power of His Presence and deliberately cultivated that experience in their own lives. They lived their relationship with Him as their first priority not just as a part of their lifestyle.
These people also knew how to pass along their experience. They didn’t sit me down and teach me so much as they mentored. They lived an every-day relationship with God which was both practical and powerful. It was focussed, individual, messy, creative, fun, liberating, encouraging, disciplined, powerful, prayerful, worshipful, loving, healing and growing.
I have more tools from these people and their intimate relationships with Jesus than I thought possible. What grieves me is these tools are easy and accessible for all believers, but we have largely either forgotten how to find and use them or we don’t understand the power they have, because we don’t remember how to maintain an intimate relationship with God.
If you have any fear or pain, any unanswered questions, problems which have no solutions, sleepless nights, torment, if you are convinced there should be more to your Christian life and experience than “this” (no matter what “this” is…), then you are absolutely correct!
There is more! There is relief, there are answers, solutions, sleep, freedom, peace!
It begins now.
[It is written] I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV)
[One of my favourite tools is “It is written…”. Some people call them Sword of the Spirit verses. It’s important to understand the words of the Bible have power, Jesus himself used them against the lies of the enemy during his time of testing in the desert, always saying “It is written… “ prior to repeating the words in order to reinforce the truth of the text. See Matthew 4:1-11]
This week. Take this verse, write it down, carry it with you and repeat it, out loud or under your breath until you not only know it but it is printed on your heart. Until you believe it. It’s just about you and Jesus. That is all. Don’t bring anyone else into it, this is about your relationship with Him, and He with you.
Can you understand and believe He came to unlock the secrets of the universe just for you? To give you access to the full resources of Heaven? All of the Peace and Power He has, not just before the cross, but after it? All for you? All your dreams and potentials, all the things you were made to be, He created.
He made you, and wants you to have not only everything you need but also everything which would set you up to be deeply happy, deeply content, completely fulfilled in life, in all aspects of it- physically, mentally, spiritually, psychologically, financially, emotionally, creatively, familial-ly (not a word)…whatever you think of, He already thought about too and would love to be able to partner with you to see happen.
Start here… with the idea of life in all it’s fullness. Concentrate with Jesus on the life you and He can have together. One week. One verse.
I guarantee there will be enough brain bending work in this one verse to keep you occupied for at least a week!
God Bless You Very Much
I would love to know how you go, if you have any questions, would like more information or if you just want to chat, drop me a line!