1.2.15–>”What God Wants & What Keeps Us From It”

What God Wants and What Keeps Us From It

Think of someone you love dearly, who you absolutely love spending time with. Now imagine that you start to see them less and less. Then you stop hearing from them, and after a while, they don’t even return your calls or messages. You are so saddened by this and wonder why the rejection. And one day, you discover that it’s because of their guilt over not being a good enough friend to you (in their view). Perhaps they feel bad about wronging you years ago. But you tell them you just wanna hang out, you just wanna be together. You’ve forgiven them for wronging you. Your relationship and connection are way more important than wrongs of the past or even the present. Perhaps you bailed them out of trouble at some point and they never paid you back. But you don’t even care about that because being together now is so much bigger than that. You long for them to pay attention to you.

Could this be how Jesus feels about us?

In reflecting upon Eucharist, the Lord’s Table, could this be one of the things we are to be reminded of? Do this in remembrance of Me. That Jesus wants to be with you? That what He wants most of all from you is your heart? Which can translate to paying attention to Him.  Paying attention to someone who loves you crazy, unconditionally, naturally lets you forget all the other perceived negatives in your life. Our happiness is largely related to what or who we pay the most attention to. Jesus knows this. We are wired for connection at birth, it’s just science.

To be fully known, fully accepted, unconditionally loved. Wouldn’t that be nice? If only someone was all that toward you…you’d throw all your focus on him or her, any price being small to pay for such a healing, soothing presence. To just bask in their subsistence.

Is this all God wants from us? For us? First and foremost?

Remember that there is nothing in the way of your connection with God. Sin is not in the way. That has been dealt with long ago. If it’s guilt, that’s totally your choice. There’s nothing at all keeping you from peace–except your refusal of it, except your rejection of connection to God through Christ. Hey, “Rejection of Connection”, that kinda rhymes.

Isn’t this what God wants? Connection. To pay attention to Him. For us not to focus so much on the sin we are saved from, but rather the life we are saved to. The early church seemed to be more focused on the victorious life than they were the mere saving from death.

Throughout all of history, God has gone to any length to be with His people. He has removed all obstacles and provided a clear path for us to be with Him. How are you holding yourself back from Life with God?

And through Christ, God has brought all things back to Himself again–things on earth and things in heaven. God made peace through the blood of Christ’s death on the cross. At one time you were separated from God. You were His enemies in your minds, and the evil things you did were against God. But now God has made you His friends again. He did this through Christ’s death in the body so that He might bring you into God’s presence as people who are holy, with no wrong, and with nothing of which God can judge you guilty.
Colossians 1:20-22

In the Name of Jesus, 
Soli Deo Gloria

1.1.15–>”Only One Thing Matters”

Only One Thing Matters

Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His teaching.
Martha was frantic with all the work in the kitchen. “Master,” she said, coming in to where they were, “don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to give me a hand!”
“Martha, Martha,” He replied, “you are fretting and fussing about so many things. Only one thing matters. Mary has chosen the best part, and it’s not going to be taken away from her.”

-Luke 10:39-42

Mary sat at the Master’s feet, which is the position of a disciple. That word might best be translated as “student” or “apprentice” for us today. A key element of a disciple’s life is attention to Jesus. Sitting and listening to Jesus’ teaching is the only thing that matters, as we see here. This is not a self-centered piety. As we authentically fill with Him, we will no doubt affect those around us and make the world a better place, bringing more of heaven to earth, just as Jesus Himself did.

Jesus is asking us to order our affairs properly. Time with Jesus is more important than preparing an elaborate meal for Him. Activity, even ministry, can prevent us from more important endeavors–such as hearing God’s word so He can touch us and teach us.

“Service of the hand cannot supersede service with the ear, since the ear guides the heart and hand,” says Darrell Bock in his commentary on this passage. “The disciple who reflects on Jesus’ teaching receives a meal that is never removed. To sit at Jesus’ feet is the disciple’s priority. The worries of life should never prevent one from consuming God’s word. This is Luke’s message to disciples: sit at Jesus’ feet and devour His teaching, since there is no more important meal.”

What if we actually lived our life in light of this?

What we are talking here is a reorientation of one’s life around the reality of the spiritual realm. The reality that Jesus is a real person, and that He is Lord of all and the reason we are here. This is what many call “soul care”. We each have a soul that is living and it requires nurture through authentic connection with God. We are made for connection, for consanguinity (great word).

I love Mindy Caliguire’s words on this, so I’ll just quote her:

“Through that nurturing connection, our souls receive rest, healing, strength and power for transformation. But how do those connections with God happen? They are cultivated by intentional, deliberate activity of carving out time and space to pay attention to and become open to this ongoing work of God in our lives. And when we carve out that time and space, it has the effect of helping us to ‘sit down’ at the table with God, to ‘get quiet’ and to ‘lean in’ expectantly to receive what He has to offer our thirsty souls. We are no longer striving; we are resting and open.”

Beautiful. Again, what we’re really talking about here is a reorientation of your life around the reality of the spiritual realm. What if only one thing really does matter? What if it’s much simpler than we make it? Perhaps Jesus was right–that carving out time to sit at His feet and listen to His teaching is the one thing necessary to follow Him because all else will flow from this. Maybe the pathway to peace really is that simple.

Could it be??

What would happen in our souls and all around us if we started to schedule our days, our lives around time with God? Time spent sitting at His feet, listening, soaking, absorbing His teaching and Life? Instead of the other way around–fitting Him in when it’s convenient.

A reorientation of your life around the reality of the spiritual realm. Around the reality of Jesus of Nazareth.

In the Name of Jesus, 
Soli Deo Gloria