Posted by Jerry White on Feb 24, 2014
A busy mind kills heart relationship. Heart relationships take time—unhurried time —focused time. Our self-life presses our minds to be perpetually occupied with the next things we must do, and our soul obliges. We sacrifice eternal investment now on the altar of pressing immediate demands while never realizing the long range loss that will be ours.
The Lord Jesus took much time to be with His heavenly Father (Luke 5:16). Repeatedly in the Gospels we see Him going aside for unhurried time alone. In Gethsemane he asked His disciples, “So, could you not watch with me one hour (Matthew 26:40)? He spoke as if one hour at this critical time was so brief to watch with Him.
There are times alone with the Lord when we must wait (Psalm 130:5). We come to meet with Him, but we are unsettled. Our soul is disquieted and our mind is distracted by many things, much like Martha (Luke 10:40-41). What should we do at such times? Take time to be still for recollection. Recollection is “the act of remembering something or the ability to remember something.” Further, it is ” tranquility of mind, religious contemplation” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Often we are prone to read our selected Scripture or devotional reading, pray over a few concerns, and then get on with our day with little consciousness that we have met with the Lord of the universe. Perhaps we haven’t but have just gone through a devotional exercise. The benefit for our inner being is minimal at best.
With age and experience I have learned what I must do at such times of distraction.Take time to be still and remember what is true according to God’s Word. He is my Father who has been waiting for me to come. I am unworthy, but He has freely given me through Jesus Christ complete forgiveness, His own righteousness, and He counts me as His beloved child. He is Almighty God, my dear loving Heavenly Father, with whom nothing is impossible. He is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable. He already knows my heart, but He delights for me to share it with Him. His Spirit is within me and is present to teach and guide me.
As my heart becomes stilled by remembering these foundational truths, my soul becomes awakened to seek Him with my whole heart. Disquietude becomes quietness. Distraction turns to focus. Anxiety becomes trust. Worry becomes thankfulness. Threat becomes rest. It is less about me and more about Him—who He is, what He has done, and His worthiness of my complete submission and worship.
It takes time to recollect, but oh, how helpful—even necessary—it is. Communion with God is far more than merely doing a devotional routine.
Posted by Jerry White on Feb 17, 2014
Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.
Luke 10:42 (ESV)
“‘Oh, but you don’t understand, Mr. Carroll. you don’t understand my responsibilities.’
I understand them very well. I have lived in literally scores of homes in the forty years of my ministry. On one occasion, I lived in the home of a woman who had seven children and a very unsympathetic husband. She had lost two other children at birth. Though she had a large home to care for and attended to the family business in her spare time, I never saw her disturbed once. There was always the fragrance of Christ about her life, and I marveled at it.
Whilst staying in her home during a conference, one morning about five o’clock I noticed light filtering in past the door, so I opened it very quietly and saw this woman kneeling by her piano. I quietly closed the door. The next morning the same thing again.
So, I asked her, ‘What time do you rise to seek the Lord?’
She replied, ‘Oh, that is not my decision. I made a choice long ago that when He wanted to have fellowship with me I was available. There are times when He calls me at five; there are times when He calls at six. And on occasion, He will call about two o’clock in the morning, I think, just to test me.’
Always she would get up, go to her piano stool, and worship her Lord.
I asked, ‘How long do you stay?’
‘Oh, that is up to Him. When He tells me to go back to bed, I go back. If He doesn’t want me to sleep, I simply stay up.’
She was the epitome of serenity. She had made a choice, a choice that was not easy for her to make, for God had to take an idol out of her life before she made it; but when He took that idol, she was Christ’s and Christ’s alone.”
Joseph S. Carroll
How To Worship Jesus Christ, 17-18
Posted by Jerry White on Feb 10, 2014
Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness [deserted places] and pray.
Luke 5:16 (Updated NASB)
The Son of God became fully human and was known as Jesus of Nazareth. In addition to coming to be our Savior, He came to reveal God’s character as a man so we can see what our character should look like. He teaches us by truth and example how we can become like Him, which should be our determined goal as a Christian.
As a human He retained His divinity, but He chose to deny Himself use of any of His divine power in order that He might live a human life exactly like us and only use the spiritual means available to us. The nature of His wilderness temptation was, “If you are the Son of God, prove it by using your divine power to meet your own need” (Matthew 4:3-4). He would not, but instead He purposed to depend on His Father like we must and live by the Word of God through faith and obedience. He could not have identified with us if He lived by His divinity instead of by dependence on His Father like we must.
The Son of Man’s first priority in life was time alone with His Heavenly Father (Mark 1:35). He did this out of necessity for His own walk, but also because He loved His Father and wanted to listen to His Father’s heart and pour out His soul to Him (Matthew 14:23; Luke 6:12-13). He did this often, as indicated by the verb tense used in the original language (Luke 5:16 above).
This choice required time. It required a place alone. It required turning from busyness and demands put upon Him by needy people in order to go to a quiet place for meditation on God’s truth, to spend time alone with His Father, to pray, and to listen quietly for His Father’s will. He made this His priority. His life and ministry depended on it. It was not optional. It was as vital as breathing was for His physical body.
From the Lord’s teaching and example we learn that we must also make choices to slip away often to worship, to meditate on God’s Word, to listen to His heart through His Word, and to pour out our soul before Him. Like Christ, it will require time. It will require a place. it will require turning from busyness of schedule and demands by others that press against us. Jesus made necessary choices—and so must we. If it was essential for Jesus of Nazareth’s spiritual life, is it not just as necessary for ours? The Spirit is our Teacher. He can show us how if we ask and listen and obey. Not only will He guide us, but He will also give us the desire and strength to often seek His face (Psalm 27:8).
Posted by Jerry White on Feb 2, 2014
The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
Exodus 34:5 (ESV)
Walking with God for a Christian begins with knowing who He is and what He is like. All other Biblical doctrines rest on this solid foundation— the knowledge of God.
YAHWEH (the LORD) in humility descended to Moses to be with him. He descended to seek Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He descended to dwell in a special way in the tabernacle and the temple. The eternal Son of God descended to become flesh when He came as a helpless baby and lived as a human being on earth. This displays God’s perfect and beautiful lowliness. He is both high in glorious majesty, but also lowly and gentle in heart like Jesus (Matthew 11:29). To see Christ is to see Sovereign God, our Heavenly Father (John 14:9).
The LORD descended in a cloud because there is always a mystery about Him. He reigns on high far beyond our comprehension, both in His being and in His ways (Isaiah 55:9). We only see and know what He chooses to reveal (Matthew 11:25), but He lovingly reveals whatever we need to know so that we can reverence Him, adore His beauty, worship Him, enjoy His Fatherly love, and experience His presence. He hides some knowledge from us for reasons known only to Him (Deuteronomy 29:29). He hid evil from Adam and Eve for their good and earthly bliss. The evil one tempted them to want what God in love had chosen to withhold (Genesis 3:5). Tragedy followed.
The LORD proclaimed His character (Name) to Moses. God knows that knowing Him intimately will be our greatest joy, our deepest fulfillment (John 17:3). Sin causes us to run from Him (Genesis 3:8; Isaiah 53:6), but with love He humbly pursues us. He does not need us, but marvel of marvels, He wants us. So with humility He comes after us. With infinite tender love, whatever circumstances may be yours at this moment, the Lord is present in order to reveal more of Himself to your heart. This He does through His Word by the Holy Spirit who came to communicate the presence of Christ (John 14:21).
James, the brother of Jesus, wrote, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8, ESV). Draw near, and the Lord will come near to you so you can know Him more intimately.