The ornaments and lights are boxed away in the basement as Christmas fades into the new year. The hustle and bustle of shopping, cooking and family gatherings around the Christmas table are behind us and stored away in our memories.
Some see January as a let down to all the previous festivities and have packed away the presence of Christ with the Nativity scene. If this is you, may I remind you that Christ came as Emmanuel, God with us. He desires that we be with Him.
I love Mark 3:13-15, “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to Him those he wanted, and they came to Him. He appointed twelve designating them apostles that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” (NIV emphasis, mine)
There are many sermons, lectures and books that teach us about God’s plans for us, they explain how He longs for us to be involved in bringing others into His kingdom. There is an abundance of material explaining how we determine our Spiritual gifts and how to use those gifts in our ministries and everyday life that we may be more effective in our witness for Christ. I’m grateful for these and I’m especially grateful for God’s Word that directs us in His plans. I want to be a part of His kingdom work!
However, those sweet words from the Book of Mark, “that they might be with Him” are like a cool drink of water on a hot, thirsty day. They encourage me to focus on my relationship with Him, Emmanuel, God with me. It relieves my self-imposed pressure. We have done a great disservice by not teaching more on this subject. Our “doing” for God tends to overshadow our “being” with Him.
The Creator of the Universe wants to be with us! Let that soak in for a minute.
Our relationship with Christ is the most important aspect of our lives. What are some ways we might be with Him?
- Make an appointment (and keep it) to spend quiet time with him daily. Read a portion of scripture, or a daily devotional and still yourself in His presence. Talk to Him and allow Him to speak to your heart. Journal your conversation.
- Talk to Him throughout the day. Tell Him what thrills you and what disappoints you. Ask for direction. Ask for forgiveness right away when you blow it. Ask Him to give you a keen awareness of His presence even while in the company of others.
- Look for Him in your daily activities. He reveals Himself in the most unique ways, often in interruptions. Look for His character in those you come in contact.
- Simply enjoy Him! Enjoy His beauty in His creative handiwork. Don’t rush through your day and life checking off the items on your To-do list. Slow down. Eliminate the unnecessary to be with Him.
I’m convinced that when we refocus our attention on “being with Him”; “doing for Him” becomes more effortless, productive and effective.