My friend Nick and I used to talk about driving fast cars and motorcycles. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Nick’s mom is a doctor who knew the very real consequences of motorcycle collisions – he was therefore forbidden from owning or driving a motorcycle. When you always see the worst, it’s easy to think that tragedy is normal.
In my work as a pastor I can get disappointed by how weak and fickle people are. In my position of trust I hear many stories that don’t surprise me but they can get me down. I must admit that sometimes, just like Nick’s doctor mom, I start to think the worst. It’s easy to think that a life of up and down, compromise in sin and fleeting moments of enjoyment with Christ is normal.
Why we face opposition to living in joy
I have a friend who recently became a pastor at a medium sized church, he says, “Don’t judge a church by it’s board.” Not saying that your church board is unspiritual or unemotional, but certainly there are members of many churches who will see a flame of life in a young believer and try to put it out. These sincere and influential believers have come to the disappointing conclusion that feeling a pleasurable and enjoyable walk with Christ is something you only need in your immaturity. Don’t believe them, God has a better plan for your life.
The secrets to walking with Jesus every moment
We are so esteemed by God that we are given a threefold strategy to living and working in the ongoing and enjoyable presence of God. From the beginning, he made us to be his perfect partner. Psalm 139 says that he knit us together in our mother’s womb. He made us like this, and he knows how we best function.
1. Bring God pleasure. You were made to bring joy to God and in that activity, you were made to experience the greatest pleasure. No other pleasure comes close to what Christ gives us. Set your focus on Him.
Song of Songs 3.6-11: No one even talks about the bride here, she’s with him and that’s all we see.– in the safety of the Lord – everyone is keen to see this one that the Lord loves and has put in his care – every pleasure she has is from the Lord, even with all the attention she’s receiving, it’s Him she’s enthralled with. – We are beautiful because we’re clothed by God (Colossians 3.12)
2. Believe that God sees you more clearly than even you see yourself. You have a place and a partnership with God that He is calling out of you. What he says may not be visible to you, but it’s real. He didn’t make a mistake with you.
Song of Songs 4.1-5: This is one of the embarrassing passages in the Song, the bridegroom enjoys the physical beauty of his bride. The Lord, in all his beauty and glory, looks at you, weak believer, and finds in you beauty.– You are beautiful – You are wholehearted – You are honourable – You devour the deep truths of God – Your words kiss the heart of God – he loves your voice. As hard as it is to believe, it’s the only way. As Anselm & Augustine taught us, believe so that you can see.
3. Be confident that God wants to be with you more than you want to be with Him. It’s him that enticed you to loving Him, you didn’t fool him or impress the God of the Universe into saving you.
Therefore, anywhere he is sending you, he’s going with you. Song of Songs 4.8 & Matthew 28.18-20– Jesus first says: All authority is given to me – Then he commands us: Go into all the world – Finally he ensures us: I am always with you.
The truth about how the Lord sees you
You are the one that the Lord loves. He chose you. He formed you. He’s filled you with his Spirit. You are his favourite one. It’s now with him that you walk. There’s no where you can go that he can’t find you and there’s no place he’ll send you that he’s not already gone.
When the Lord speaks these truths about you, it’s because when He sees you, he sees your beginning and your end. Therefore, you can have confident that you bring God pleasure. Find your pleasure in him today. You can be confident that with him is better than without him.
Let go of anything that hinders your love and keeps you from running with Him.
Walking in Confidence
With the many voices speaking at us today, it is a challenge to believe that Jesus has made us to live in continuous union with Him. It’s a challenge to believe before we see. Will you join me in seeking to live in the confidence that the Lord wants to be with us. Would you meditate on the thoughts that Jesus has about you this week?
Tell me, which is the hardest to believe? What resonates with you as you read and listen to the Lord?