I used to think that I couldn’t have a deep relationship with God until I had met certain criteria: Grow a bit more, overcome more sin, know more of my Bible, was better at prayer, you know-matured. But what was wrong was my focus, I was looking in all the wrong places. If I could just increased my spirituality then God would feel closer, was I alone in thinking that?
I have realized that when I look differently I discover that Christ is all around me. I don’t know if I can quite capture it but I have said it before; music moves me like nothing else can. I really feel it is a this side of heaven heavenly experience. I sit and just listen. Music recharges me like no other thing can. Even though It may not be Worship necessarily or even christian, the talent can draw me away from this temporal place. The melodies take me away to a special place where I transcend this realm to a somewhere free from physical and sinful chains of carnal thinking. Can you capture it?
A crescendo in a piece of music can steal me away to a better horizon. A rightfully placed fill emphasizing that which wasn’t formally in the mix. A drop of the layers of melodies to emphasize that which only helped fill out background bringing new perspective to the harmony. An angelic voice that draws us up to the stars and reminds that we must not be alone. We know music makes it into heaven don’t we?
The signature of heaven is all around us. The heavens declare the glory of the Lord. I don’t know what it is for you. Maybe it is nature that does it. I also know holding a new-born does this as well, especially if it is your own. My second son Augustin was just born and I again find myself reflecting on the eternal. I don’t know what it is for you but take the time to find the place that takes you to his face. The place that leads you out of the turmoil of the grind of the now.
What makes the run to Jesus not seem like such a race? Find that place and rest in it because there are enough things to take you away from focus. It is easy to always look at ourselves or at what is not yet what we want it to be. But I believe there are signatures of heaven all around us that unless we take the time to read them, to reflect on them, to engage them, they pass us by as another blip on a full radar.
This is an important habit to establish because there is so much in the world to take us out of communion with God. There is continual distraction, continual set-back, and even heart breaks. There is always something there, if we allow it, to convince us of distance between us and God. If we aren’t in the habit of looking to God in the good times, we won’t make much distance on that road when times are hard.
Has he been faithful, has he been good all our days? Learn to recognize.
1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain. (Ecclesiastes 12)
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (Psalm 34)
Take the time now when the clouds have not covered the sky to acknowledge the Lord’s goodness. Take the time in a season of peace to see that it comes from God. Take the time to rest while the rest is readily available. Take the time to invest in building your confidence and trust and hope in the Lord, because the days of trouble will come. Will you establish a beachhead to look back to, or will you be blown over in the storms of life? One resource that really helped me find God’s watermark in my life is the book Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Go check it out.
In Ecclesiastes I believe Solomon is giving us a utilitarian truth. Don’t live your life as if we are just plotting along only under the sun as the refrain goes. If we are living under more than a natural sky and a material sun, then live like the King is real and that he is raining his mercy upon us. It is like how we store up supplies in a time of plenty. It is like how the ants stores up food for the coming cold season. Store up faith for the coming trials of life.
The more you do this the more you realize that he was there all along. It is not something you graduate to. The conclusion is live you life understanding that God is over us, it may not change the nature of your work as you toil but understand that God is there giving it all purpose and extending his love to us. Enjoy what he has given and acknowledge him as the giver, serve him. This is the conclusion of Ecclesiastes.
Look for the signatures of Heaven and invest your hope in the traces of God while he can be found. Look to the Lord and pray Christ be all around me. Lift up your head. Don’t come to the end of your life and say I wish I had spent more time pursuing God. Don’t wait, find him now. Receive from him now, build yourself up in him now.
I was not being entirely honest earlier, because I made it out to be something that we do, but I don’t think it is something that we only catch, because it is an intentional relational smile from God. We don’t merely find it, we adjust our focus to see that Jesus has left his markings for us to see. The band Ours gives us a teaching:
Don’t spend your whole life, waiting for your whole life, thinking that it’s all right waiting for your whole life, thinking that it’s over.
Your life can now have that vibrant relationship with Jesus that I once thought wasn’t possible till I had matured and grown a bit more. It is available now if you go and find where he is. Look up and see that Jesus loves you. Look out and see how he loves us. Stop waiting, you can have that relationship with God now, so go and seek and search him out, see how he speaks to you, also read his Word.
God isn’t waiting for you to level up your spirituality but to merely pause and look up. Look to him. Do it now while the tide is low.