Week 4: Day 22: Commune with Him

Nearer Lord

I’ve been pondering the Lord’s presence more recently.  My desire to have His love and His presence growing in me.  It’s has become my habit to light a candle during my morning devotions to remind myself of Jesus’ presence with me.  He’s right here.  

Christmas is all about God’s presence with us.  Immanuel – God with us.  I love how The Message puts Jesus’ visit to earth, 

The Word became flesh and blood,

    and moved into the neighbourhood. – John 1:14 – The Message

I love this idea that God’s in the neighbourhood.  There’s great opportunity.  

It reminds me of when we were kids when the ice cream man was coming down the street on his bicycle.  The distinct tingle, tingle – the bell that was ringing.  I can still hear it now.  One of us kids would hear it first.  Head cocked, mouth open, freeze, listen.  Thinking, “Is that what I think it is?”  Waiting.  Listening.  The bell ringing again.  It is!!  Ice Cream!!  Other kids would pick up on it and join in, everything we were playing with was all of a sudden forgotten because something more important was happening.  We’d start running around losing our minds, yelling “ICE CREAM!! ICE CREAM!!.”  Then remembering, we’ve got to find a parent.  We need money!!  Mom!?!  Where’s mom?  Can we get ice cream??  Please, please mom?  John, get out there and stop the ice cream man before he rides away.  Back to pleading.  Mom?  

Ice cream was in the neighbourhood.  There was great opportunity

The Lord of hosts is in our neighbourhood.  But the Lord doesn’t want to just visit our nearby, he wants to come into our home, our life, and be intimate.  He wants to be invited closer.  My neighbours wave as they drive by, but they cannot just wonder into my home.  But my kids can.  Those who are intimate to me.  They can come and go whenever they please.  The Lord wants to do that same.  Can He?

James 4:8 says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” 

There you have it.  You cannot get close to God, intimate, really close, when your loyalty is divided.  You cannot come to God when all kinds of worldly, fleshy things are still attached to you.  They are spiritually distracting.  Nobody can connect when they are distracted.  I know I cannot connect with my kids if I or they are preoccupied.

So, here’s what I’ve be working through.  Joy.  Where does my real joy come from?  What’s the bedrock, the absolute foundation of my joy?  Sometimes I have to admit it’s not the Lord.  There are often pleasures, food and drink, money and possessions that can hit higher up on my joy scale – that distract me.  This is not good.  Purifying is needed.  Repentance is in order.  Do I really believe that my real joy in life is found only in Jesus?  I’m asking Him to show me how it does.  Lord give me the desire and ability to lean more into your joy.  

I’ve found that at Christmas time I can often be distracted and living more fleshy than any other time of the year.   Opportunities abound to carry on like this.  

God’s word reminds me that God is the source of all my joy.  In His presence is the fountain of joy.

There I will go to the altar of God,

    to God—the source of all my joy.

I will praise you with my harp,

    O God, my God!

Psalm 43:4

Lord help me to live into this truth.  Help me to experience your deep joy.  Father help me to leave all the distractions outside and come into your presence, your table and commune with you.  Come and draw nearer Lord and may my will be lost in You.

Nearer Blessed Lord

I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,

And it told Thy love to me;

But I long to rise in the arms of faith,

And be closer drawn to Thee.

Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To the cross where Thou hast died;

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To Thy precious, bleeding side.

Consecrate me now to Thy service Lord,

By the power of grace divine;

Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,

And my will be lost in Thine

Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To the cross where Thou hast died;

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To Thy precious, bleeding side

O the pure delight of a single hour

  That before Thy throne I spend,

When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God,

  I commune as friend with friend!

So draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To the cross where Thou hast died;

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To Thy precious, bleeding side

There are depths of love that I cannot know

  Till I cross the narrow see;

There are heights of joy that I may not reach

  Till I rest in peace with Thee.

So draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To the cross where Thou hast died;

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To Thy precious, bleeding side

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