This study is about having what Max Lucado calls a “God-intoxicated heart.” In his book Just Like Jesus, he describes how we are workers together WITH God and as such are always in His presence.
If my daily communion with God never ceased, I would have the “sense of being led by an unseen hand.” Lucado quotes extensively in his book from a journal of reflections written by Frank Lubach and recorded in a book titled Practicing His Presence. Lubach became dissatisfied with his spiritual growth and, at the age of 45, resolved to take action. While engaged as a busy, dedicated instructor, he penned these words,
“I am feeling God in each movement, by an act of will – willing that He shall direct these fingers that now strike this typewriter – willing that He shall pour through my steps as I walk … This sense of being led by an unseen hand which takes mine while another hand reaches ahead and prepares the way, grows upon me daily … sometimes it requires a long time early in the morning. I determine not to get out of bed until that mind upon the Lord is settled.”
And I may well feel as Lubach that “for a day I saw a little of that marvelous pull that Jesus had as He walked along the road day after day ‘God-intoxicated’ and radiant with the endless communion of His soul with God.”
If I am like Jesus, I don’t just make an appointment with God but I am constantly aware of his presence. I don’t commit any deed or make any decision without consulting God. Lucado characterizes this frame of mind as being “so close that he can literally speak through you and all you need do is translate; so close that tuning in to him is like putting on headphones; so close that when others sense the storm and worry, you hear his voice and smile.” (P. 62)
I act differently from those around me because I can hear what others do not hear. I hear the voice of God calming my soul, slowing me down and helping me to see what is really important in this life.
As repeated several times in this book, God loves me just the way I am but refuses to leave me there. He wants me to be just like Jesus! He desires the same abiding intimacy with me that he had with Jesus!
David describes it so well in Ps. 139:1-6 (NLT).
O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
The secret to living in constant communion with God:
- Give him my waking thoughts – before I even get out of bed
- Give him my waiting thoughts –being silent with God
- Give him my whispering thoughts – time at stoplights, opening junk mail, looking for lost stuff – standing in various lines
- Give him my waning thoughts – as I end my day give thanks for the good and ask questions about the hard parts – seek mercy – seek strength
I have the following poem sitting on my desk at home to remind me that, if I ever begin to think that I am too busy to come into God’s presence, I need to re-evaluate my priorities.
I got up early one morning
and rushed right into the day.
I had so much to accomplish
that I didn’t have time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me
and heavier came each task.
“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered.
He answered “You didn’t ask.”
I wanted to see joy and humility
but the day toiled on, gray and bleak.
I wondered why God didn’t show me.
He said, “But you didn’t seek.”
I tried to come into God’s presence.
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
“My child, you didn’t knock.”
I woke up early this morning
and paused before entering the day.
I had so much to accomplish
that I had to take time to pray.
God wants us to enjoy the same intimacy with him that he has with his Son. How do you try to keep parts of your life hidden from others? What would you like to keep hidden from God? Does it embarrasses you that you are tempted in ways that should not tempt you? Or are you not so much embarrassed by your weaknesses as you are about YIELDING to the temptations in those areas where you are weak? Do you try to hide those weaknesses from others because you think it is an admission that you are not as strong spiritually as you should be? In the light of this lesson, if you approach every moment of your life as if God was standing right beside you, it should help you shun those things that he would not have any part of. When you fall into sin, you are acting as if you are keeping those sins hidden from God.
Consider every moment in your life a potential time of communion with God. How is your sense of worth affected by knowing God will never leave you? If you can truly keep that in the forefront of your mind, you approach every incident and every decision with confidence and with calmness of spirit. You realize how important that work is that God and you do together.
First Corinthians 6:1 names believers as God’s “fellow-workers” or to put it more commonly, God’s “co-workers.” What would happen to your everyday work ethic if you truly believed yourself to be working right alongside the one true God? Would you work harder? Would you do your best at everything with God at the next workstation?
Try letting that concept drive your behavior. At times in my own life, I have been guilty of believing that I could not really be a co-worker with God when I am engaged in “ordinary work.” I have changed that view and now believe that I can. I work an ordinary job in the oil & gas services industry, but I am influencing the people who work for me and I am trying to mentor, coach and serve them. We can all work to develop the servant’s heart that Jesus had. When I lived in the Kansas City area, I was involved in a school-based mentoring program as part of my attempt to influence a couple of boys who needed a positive male role model in their lives. I am mentored a third-grader who lived in a broken home, whose father was dying of cancer and whose step-father had been deployed to Guam. He was having a tough time getting interested in school. I also tried to approach my work in the local church there with that same mind-set of service. I tried to greet as many at services as I could. When I came to Park Hill, the elders asked me to serve as a deacon and to take on the Treasurer role. I continue to view all of these opportunities as working together with God to do what I can to grow and to assist others to grow spiritually.
Next Month: Having a Heart Just Like Jesus (6): A Worship-Hungry Heart.