As is often the case when I write these blogs, I have to find some inspiration. Jesus has to speak to me about what I am meant to write; otherwise the words take hours to fill the page and not minutes. It has to be His presence, His words, or else it is just a string of words of who my brain knows Jesus to be and not an expression of whom my heart knows of my friend, Jesus. And so I was waiting and praying, waiting and praying about what to write when my sweet husband sends me a link to a Bethel podcast with guest speaker Abi Stumvoll titled “How Do we Manage Our Emotions.” Jesus and Ben tag team me in life, often… it’s great! Seriously though, you should take a listen to her podcast if you have some spare time.
I know what you’re thinking—really, come on… does every fresh idea, new, cool revelation have to come from Bethel? No! No, No, No. But, there is something mysterious and beautiful to the fact that God is breathing, and speaking, and giving fresh life-giving revelation to that church time and time again filling the well there.
I made the decision to listen to this lovely podcast while I was working in my home office—I thought this was a great idea, do some work and spend some time with the holy spirit. A two birds one stone sort of moment. Except that I start listening and God starts gently crashing in and disrupting my work. How dare He?! Before I even know what is happening, hot tears are rolling down my cheeks and the screen on my laptop is growing a little fuzzy because I didn’t prepare myself with water-proof mascara. You would think after years of walking with Jesus I would be more prepared to encounter him, but in this moment I was totally caught off guard. He spoke to my heart about some past hurts, experiences I had with unkempt emotions as a freshman in high school. He tenderly put healing balm over my feelings and covered those hurt places I didn’t even know still existed with His perfect love.
These moments, that I am by myself with Holy Spirit and He ministers to my heart, they are by far my favorite. His truth is so pure, so piercing, that no stone is left untouched—He is the minister—there is no pastor present, no famous speaker, no extravagant worship service…just Him straightening me and growing me. I am experiencing His Love, His Grace, His Voice, just Him and I acknowledging each other, experiencing and learning to know each other.
The word acknowledge has a few different meanings as defined by Google Dictionary, first is to accept or admit the existence or truth of, second to recognize the fact or importance or quality, and last show that one has noticed or recognized (someone) by making a gesture or greeting. In Proverbs 3:5-6 it says Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
When Jesus walked with the disciples He talked with them daily. They took time to acknowledge each other. He revealed to them in small lessons, many parables, and daily interactions how to walk through life with Him. Now, in 2018, acknowledging Jesus looks different. He isn’t standing in flesh before us. I can’t gesture and wave him down at Starbucks as He walks by. Yet, sitting down and having a cup of coffee with Jesus is exactly how I begin to acknowledge Him best. Let me unroll this a bit before you think I am sleepily having a hallucination of Jesus while I drink my morning coffee.
When I take time to sit down and accept who Jesus is, and acknowledge His presence, I begin to invite Him to have space in my life. I oscillate through seasons of having daily quiet times and bible studies and journaling. But currently as a wife, mama to two under four, daughter, sister, career woman, dog owner, and ( I think you see my point here). It can be difficult to make space for these moments—and so I listen to worship music in my car, I say breath prayers as I change diapers, and I occasionally listen to podcasts as I work quotes in excel. In all of these ways I am inviting Jesus in, acknowledging, gesturing Him in. “Hey, friend!! Come to work with me, it’s going to be grand? Will you come stand with me at the changing table? Will you come drive in the car with me while I drop off my kids? Will you come sit at the breakfast table with me?”
Acknowledging Jesus, accepting the truth of who He is, and gesturing Him to come in to your daily life is the first step in building a relationship with Him. When allowing Him to encounter you becomes natural, your heart begins to know Jesus in a new and intimate way. As I take time to posture my heart to invite Him in to my mundane, He shows up. Even if that space is squeezed between two babies, a husband, the mess of Hot Wheels cars, train pieces and baby dolls scattered on my living room floor, and excel spreadsheets on my laptop. I acknowledge Him and He meets me—sometimes He overwhelms me to hot tears and fresh healing, and sometimes he just waves back to me. All I did was say, “Hey!!!”
When we begin to recognize the importance of Jesus in our life and say “Hey, I saved some space for you here Jesus, will you come sit beside me? “ We begin to let Him make our paths straight, we begin to know who He is by allowing Him to influence our lives. We begin to not only know who Jesus the biblical character is, we begin to experience who Jesus, the man in flesh, my dear friend is. So I wave Jesus down at Starbucks and he sits down next to me. We share a cup of coffee and I am left more energized, more full of life, more put together than any earthly cup of coffee could ever leave me.
Flip 180 Pastor