Have you ever imagined that Jesus is right next to you?
I don’t simply mean believing that He is with us always (because He is) but rather really, really tried imagining him sitting, eating and walking with you?
Up until about two years ago I had never thought about it either, but that all changed one snowy, winter day in Breckenridge, Colorado.
I was right in the middle of something I was calling “God Week.” Jordan was traveling for the next seven days, and I was by myself in our RV. I wanted to take advantage of all the extra quiet time by spending it with God.
On day 5, a friend from the small group I was leading asked if we could meet up. To be completely honest, I almost cancelled. There was a massive blizzard, and we had already gotten a foot of snow with another on the way. I had a lot of work to get through. By the grace of God I saw through all of those excuses and kept the meeting.
During our conversation, he told me about the practice of actually imagining Jesus being with me. He told me to invite Jesus into everything I was doing and imagine Him physically being there, sitting in a chair across from me.
So for the rest of the day - in the truck, working out, eating, etc. - I did my best to “imagine” that Jesus was right there with me (yes, even doing a few bench presses too).
When I was by myself, I would talk out loud and ask Him things or pray as if He was right there. I even took a dip in a hot tub and since I was the only one in it I continued talking to Him. As strange and even awkward as this may seem (and as crazy as I must have looked if anyone walked by me in that hot tub...) I was more focused on Him for a consistent block of time (9+ hours) than I ever had been.
Still something was missing. I hadn’t fully surrendered my time that day.
Sure, I was inviting Him on the truck ride and for dinner, but it wasn’t until I said (and really meant) “this time is Yours” that I encountered Him in a way that I never had.
I simply told him this, “Jesus, from 8 pm on I am Yours.” Even when I reflect on this now I find it interesting that I waited until 8 pm. Needless to say, 5 minutes later, from 8:05 on, I felt the presence of God fill the room.
To describe it all would take another email but I’ll just say this: I have never been so present in His presence in all of my life. I just couldn’t get over that!
Friend, here’s the truth: God rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
He says if you look for Him in earnest you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13), but can I be real for a moment? It’s a daily challenge.
It’s hard to be diligent. It’s a struggle to be earnest in the search. The world in which we live offers so many quick hits that we can easily forget the reward on the other side of pursing Him wholeheartedly - God himself.
And is there anything greater?
Tell me friend - have you ever tried this? Comment below & let us know if you have, or if you're going to give it a try!