Thursday, September 18, 2014
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Every once in a while my wife and I would get to choose what we wanted to do with an evening. You notice I said, "Every once in a while." It was pretty rare when the kids were still at home. They had such busy schedules that kept us running, and we, of course, have always had a lot of ministry responsibilities. Well, there was this one evening where we were actually able to decide what we wanted to do - with each other! We talked about being with friends. Someone had said, "Oh, there's a movie you ought to see." We finally decided we'd stay home and talk. You say, "Oh, boring." We said, "Great!"
See, there are two problems I've always noticed with a movie theater option for example. First, it's the junk that's usually being shown. That's enough reason to stay home. But the second is we can't talk there. We're watching somebody else talk on a screen. A lot of couples are together more than we are, but when they're together they're watching TV for three or four hours straight or they're going to a social event or they're following the kids around to something. And they may be missing what really keeps a relationship alive, including the ultimate relationship.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Around But Not With."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from John 8:38 where Jesus talks about one of the secrets that drives His life. He says, "I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence." "In the Father's presence." Boy, there's a powerful sense of authority in Jesus' personality, and He says, "It comes from being with My Father." Well, certainly that refers to His existence in eternity before Bethlehem ever happened, but we also know the way that Jesus started every day.
You know the disciples would wake up by what was left of the campfire, kind of rub their eyes, and go, "Where is Jesus this morning? It's so early." Well you know He was always off somewhere alone in His Father's presence before His busy day started. That's where every day should begin. That's the way it was meant to be since Adam walked in the cool of the day with God in the Garden of Eden.
There's something I've learned from my relationship with my wife; it's easy to be around someone, but not to be with her or be with him. Like a couple at a movie or watching television, they're around each other, but are they really with each other? There's no dialogue, there's no transaction, and there's no difference. I've done that with my Lord so many times. I've been around Him a lot in His Book, in His building, in His work, in His meetings.
It's easy to fool yourself into thinking that being around the Lord is being with the Lord, but you could be all of the above but not in the Father's presence; which means you are really getting in touch with His heart. You open up your heart with its hurts, worries, joys and dreams; and then you're quiet as you listen for His response through that inner voice.
Then there are transactions where you consciously, maybe painfully, turn over something to Him and release your control of it. You focus on the Lord exclusively and you just kind of let His majesty happen to you. That's being in the Father's presence. And do you know what the result is? You leave that room with His perspective, and then as you go through the day you can say to people, "I'm telling you what I have seen when I was in my Father's presence."
There should be no higher priority in your personal schedule than to experience your Father's presence at the beginning of each new day. You see, being around the Lord isn't necessarily being with the Lord. And He is so great to be with. Don't you miss Him?