God’s Voice #4– Leaning Into His Presence

“What if I told you this man, Jesus Christ, requests the pleasure of your company; that this incredible person, the only true and living God, not only loves you, He likes you. He created us, mere humans, because He wanted a family, not distant servants.

“It is relationship He desires. Intimacy. Family. When we worship, He is captivated by the singer, not the song. Our company is what He longs for. Enlightened worshipers know this. They also know that when they approach Him, He responds; and the pleasure of His company becomes their reward. Make it yours.”*

The Lord declares, “I remember the devotion of her youth, how as a bride she loved me and followed me through the desert. Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her (back) into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor (Valley of Trouble) a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth.” Jeremiah 2:2 | Hosea 2:14

I have been allured into a love relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. The sweet sound of the word allure speaks to my heart of someone drawing me away, into a desired place, a place of quiet and peace, a place where I will be cherished. I desire that quiet place in my spirit, my heart, my life. A place of refreshing and stillness. A place where the distractions and pains of this life can be set aside and I can just be. Allure me, Lord. Pull me aside and give me a refreshing. In this place of refreshing, I am alone with God.

It is a struggle to get to that place. I must find that inner dwelling place where my spirit can push away all of the distractions, the emails, the phone calls, the texts, the noises of the house and of work, the voices of all the expectations and demands from life.

My heart cries out, “Help me, Lord, to find that quiet place and that quiet space. Help me to carve out time in the busyness of life to be with you – to just be with you.” But I realize the quiet within my spirit does not exist. I am restless. My mind is filled with lists of chores, activities, failures, worries. I try to still my spirit but soon realize that being still requires more than just a few minutes. So to help focus, I visualize myself sitting on a bench with Jesus overlooking the ocean. I talk with him as I would talk with a friend. I sing a song and imagine him singing with me. In focusing on Him, I am able to shut my ears to the many distractions and I sit there – in the presence of the One who has purchased my forgiveness of sin.

I enjoy the quiet; the stillness. I find a place of rest and peace that I have never known before. That is when, after many years of searching, I realize that my greatest desire, even above hearing the voice of my Savior, is to be in His presence. I have finally found that place in the depth of my spirit where I can meet with Him.

And then, there comes a still small voice in the depth of my being that begins to speak to me with tenderness and comfort. Sometimes He speaks in words and sometimes He speaks through the peace that inhabits my spirit. He becomes personal to me and I become aware that that I am significant to Him. I begin to trust Him more without having to strive so hard in prayer; my worries are lightened, and I learn that I can lay my burdens at His feet and trust Him to take care of everything in life.

It is in being in His presence that I have grown to understand who He is and who I am. It is being in His presence that I have learned to trust Him, to believe Him, to love Him, to lean into Him. The still small voice of the Holy Spirit, living in me, gives me strength and direction. Through abiding in Christ, through resting in Him and listening for His voice, I am like a well-watered garden – refreshed, fruitful, alive and beautiful.

When I am in that quiet place, I know that He has brought me there to just be. To breathe. To relax. To practice being with Him. I close my eyes and imagine that I am leaning against Him and He is holding me tenderly. I don’t have any expectations of that time together. I just want to be. And He doesn’t have any expectations of me – He just wants me to be with Him.

*  The Pleasure of His Company, by Dutch Sheets.

Questions for Reflection:

1. Does your heart long for quiet time to spend with the Lord, but you don’t know where to start?

2. Do noises and distractions rob you of the peace that you seek? Make a list of the distractions so that you can empty your mind of them.

3. Have you used your imagination to help you focus your mind? As you read scripture, use your imagination to put yourself within the scene of the scripture. Allow your mind to take you to the feet of Jesus and to just sit.

4. Would you say that your spirit is more like a well-watered garden or a parched and dry land? Why?

5. What must you do to rearrange your days so that you have time to devote to having a daily quiet time for scripture reading, prayer and reflection?

Prayer:

Lord, still my heart and mind that I may focus on you. Help me to drown out all of the voices and the distractions so I can enjoy being in your presence. Let me be like a well-watered garden, refreshed, fruitful, alive and reflecting your splendor. Teach me, O Lord, to love you and trust you more. Amen.

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