During our recent time at the Power to Change biennial Zone Conference I had an interesting conversation with one of our newer staff members. He was telling me all about his favourite hobby restoring an old car. His wife, apparently, doesn't share his same passion, referring to the vehicle as his "mistress". She could always tell when he'd been spending time with "his mistress" because when he came in he brought with him a certain "aroma". (Eau de engine oil and axle grease)
This was the comment that caught my attention and I spent most of the conference pondering it. As a follower of Christ, do I "smell" like I've been spending time with Him? I've been reminded recently that we can't say we have a relationship with someone unless we actually know them.
As a follower of Christ, do I "smell" like I've been spending time with Him?Furthermore, you can't really know someone unless you actually spend time with them, talk to them, hear their heart and passions. So using those criteria I've been challenging myself: "do I have a relationship with Jesus? Or do I just know OF Him?" When others interact with me, can they tell that I've been spending time with Him? Can they smell His presence on me?
I have many struggles in putting this into action. I know that the most important way I can learn about Him is through reading about His life and ministry in His word, the Bible. I know that I always enjoy it and feel refreshed and renewed when I spend time reading and in prayer and yet it's so easy to postpone it due to the busyness that I create. It takes a lot of strength of will to stop and force myself to spend time in His presence, even though I know I always enjoy it. There are always other things I could do, or think about, or resolve.
Another problem is that of superficial familiarity. "I've read it all before!" When I think about starting to read His word, my first thought is often "I already know how that story goes." I've actually found it really helpful recently to read other books ABOUT Him that perhaps have opened my eyes to see Him in a new light. One such book I read recently was "The Shack". After reading that, I couldn't HELP but go back to the Bible and read more about this Jesus, the man, the carpenter. The Gospels are also a fascinating read, especially when you focus on who Jesus was and what he was doing. It always makes me smile when He leaves the "religious leaders" speechless. You can't deny that He had a pretty decent sense of humour.
Another way to find time to spend with Him is while commuting. (plus it may help combat road rage ;)) Buy the Bible on CD (or digital download) and listen to it on your way to work. When I drive to work, it's an hour each way and usually I can make it through more than one book of the New Testament per trip. (when I'm not carpooling)
I'm starting to get preachy so I'd better stop. (that wasn't my intent) I hope you've found this inspirational. Maybe you have some ideas that I haven't mentioned on how to "keep it fresh". I'd love to hear them. Hope you have a great day and week.
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