I really want to hear Jesus. Did you read that? I mean, did you really read that? Go back and read that sentence again.
I really want to hear Jesus. I want to hear everything He is saying to me.
I want to hear everything He is saying to me in every situation, at all times, with all peoples, everywhere. I desperately want to know what’s in my Lord’s heart. What He loves. What He desires. What He is planning. What He is thinking. What He delights in. Who He is pursuing. What He hears from the Father. What troubles Him.
Yes, what troubles Him….
“After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in His spirit and testified, “”truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”” John 13:21.
“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in His spirit and greatly troubled.” John 11:33
“Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb.” John 11:38.
“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “”sit here while I go over there and pray. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, “”my soul is very sorrowful, even unto death,; remain here and watch with me. And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:36-39
Because I desperately want to hear from the Lord, and have “upped my ante” in doing so, I asked the Lord where to start in His Word for 2019. First, lets cover what the phrase “up my ante” means: It is a British phrase used in the sense of, “to increase the costs, risks, or considerations involved in taking an action or reaching a conclusion.”
So let’s start there. Hmmmm….am I willing to increase the cost, take risks, and have considered all of this in desiring to do whatever it takes to hear from the Lord?
This morning I awoke a bit somber…a bit heavy…a bit forlorn…and this is all quite unusual for me. Just about on any given day, at any hour, you could ask me how I was feeling on a scale of 1-10 and my answer would most likely be, “10.” I contemplated whether or not to add an explanation point to that “10” but decided a “10” speaks for itself, no emphasis needed. It’s simply a fact that no matter what my circumstances are in life, I am a “10” because of Jesus and all that He has done for me in my life. This verse sums it up,
“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with JOY!” Psalm 126:3
As I reflect on my journey with My Lord over these last 42 years of my life, and more intensely the last 22 years of my life, I cannot think of a time the Lord has not done great things for me. He has always been good to me.
So even though I was feeling a bit somber, (which I no longer am) after spending a couple hours with my favorite person, the Holy Spirit, I was still a “10.” I have come to know that status is unchanging in my heart. You might argue and say, “Trish, your life is good right now, you aren’t going through anything (at least that I can see) that would cause you to feel otherwise. You are healthy, secure, in a good marriage…everything seems to be going your way…”
And often that is how it all appears to observers, onlookers…
The truth is there are circumstances in my life that I continually pray for breakthrough in. That I continually sprint through that torn veil into the holy of holies on bruised knees, and with heavy head, and anguish of spirit, cry out, travailing in tears and tongues, “your kingdom come in this situation, Lord! Show me your face!”
And I arise a 10 in Christ who makes me complete in Him, no matter what I am facing in the natural. You see, this is a burning, intense joy, ablaze with hope, that cannot be extinguished by the cares of this life.
Not in Christ anyway…
And that’s a good start and even better finish….in Christ. If you are “in” Christ, you have been given the mind of Christ, through the Holy Spirit, and are therefore able to hear from Him. There are several ways we hear from the Lord. And I keep using that particular reference to Him, as Lord, because when we come to Him as Lord, we are giving Him Lordship over every area of our lives in an attitude of willingness and humility to allow Him to have His way in every spiritual and natural area of our lives. The spiritual flowing into the practical….He is LORD.
His closest friends and companions referred to Jesus as Lord.
They called Him Lord.
So how do we hear from the Lord? The first and most reliable way we hear from the Lord is through His Word. We cannot possibly get to know Him or know His heart unless we literally devour His Word.
“Your words were found and I ate them, and your word was to me, the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Jeremiah 15:16
If you believe for a second that you do not have time to devour His word and dedicate time to nurturing an intimate relationship with Him through His word, then you have bought into one of the GREAT lies of the deceiver.
WAGE WAR ON BUSYNESS.
“The thief comes to kill, rob and destroy, but I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.
If you say you don’t have time, you have just allowed the enemy to rob and destroy an intensely joyful relationship with the Lord. You have just forfeited your own joy, and your key to unlocking the treasure of hearing from the Lord. You have forfeited deep, satisfying, intimate friendship with the Lord, a kind of friendship He tells his troubles to, his secrets…
“The Lord confides in those who fear Him and reveals His covenant to them.” Psalm 25:14.
Some versions say, “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him…
What that word friendship conveys through the beautiful Hebrew language is, “to recline with and have familiar conversation with as one speaks to a friend face to face.”
Let that seep into your being….don’t even keep reading until that seeps deep down into your innermost being…your deepest part…where deep cries out to deep!
Do you hear what the Lord is calling us to in 2019? A deep, unfettered, well of the knowledge of our God! A deep well where the secrets of God’s heart are drawn out through returning to the place of familiar conversation with our Lord, day after day, morning after morning, walking with our Lord, communing with Him day and night, fearing Him rightly as Lord, but conversing with Him in sweet, uninhibited friendship!
So I asked the Lord this morning, where do you want me to start? And I heard start at the last supper. What was the last thing Jesus wanted to tell His closest friends before He left? Who would He tell them to? Would He simply give them instructions? As vital to their coming survival and example in Christ those instructions were for what they were being called to… Was there anything else He would choose to reveal to His most closest and trusted friends?
Yes. Jesus would not only teach them what was going to be expected of them and how they would live out those expectations, he would also reveal to one closest to Him what troubled him so…
Jesus is about to be betrayed and reveals to his disciples that one of them will, in fact, betray him. We all know the story. Jesus doesn’t come right out and say, “Judas is going to betray me tonight.” I imagine if He would have said that, Judas would have denied it,”Never, Lord!” Arguments may have broken out among the 12, and disruption surely would have taken place at the last supper, hindering the Lord from furthering his last words of encouragement and comfort and instructions to his friends. He had more important things to say, rather than in haste point out his betrayer. Yet there was one….one who He would tell…
One he could ultimately trust not to blab…not to pridefully point his finger at…for now was not the time, it would be revealed soon enough. One who had patience and trusted His Lord with his heart, his secrets, his anguish of soul….
to this one, Jesus whispered to…..
He whispered because it wasn’t for everyone to hear. He whispered because John was close enough to Jesus to hear His whisper. John was seated next to Jesus. I don’t believe for a second that was by chance. For just like Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet, I believe John “saved his seat” by His Lord. He may have even told the others, “I’m sitting next to Jesus tonight.” Or the others may have known and not even questioned that John would sit anywhere else in the room except right next to his Lord, his closest friend. John wanted no distractions that would divert his attention from hearing what his Lord wanted to say. He would stay as physically close to Him as He could, even to his death. Had he been at the other end of the room, he may have missed something. Had he decided to sit next to a chummy friend he wanted to have a few good laughs with that night, he may have missed something…. had he been entangled with getting up and serving or making sure things were “just so” for the dinner, (after all he was one of the three in charge of preparing it), he may have missed something.
Instead, John chose to sit right next to Jesus. He wasn’t about to miss a thing His Lord was saying,
even when He whispered…..
and that required a position that was unwilling to be anywhere else other than right next to Christ. A position so close, he was close enough to press in even more intimately…
so close he was able to lean into Jesus’ chest. unashamed. uninhibited. As if to say,
“Why are you so troubled, Lord? Tell me! If there is a secret you are willing to share with me, I am leaning in! I’m pressing in! I won’t get up from this place or attend to anything else until you tell me! I’m listening, Lord. I care about what troubles you! What grieves you! It grieves me, too!
I am convinced this is the kind of friendship Jesus is looking for in each one of us. But not everyone will find it. Not everyone will sacrifice busyness, distractions, time….not everyone will slow down enough to hear not only the troubles of the Lord’s heart, but also the glorious, astounding, soul trembling, hidden things of His heart, He longs to reveal to those who sit near enough to hear His whisper.
“Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3