When we read the entirety of Ephesian 2, we find the true message of God’s workmanship. Without Jesus, we wander aimlessly. We are incapable within our own instincts and desires to be the masterpiece that the world tells us to see in the mirror.
The truth is that we are all born waiting for the moment of redemption, when the dirt and stone of our true nature is chiseled away by the hand of the Master. In Christ, a masterpiece emerges. In Him, we are given the privilege of participating in the good work of serving, loving and sharing the truth.
This week, I submit myself to the good works, in Jesus, that make me beautiful.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
As 2016 has drawn to a close, I have reflected on the resolutions I made a year ago. There was really only one, and it was to somehow, some way, draw closer to God. James 4:8 tells us to…
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Do you see the common thread in these two verses? The nearness of God, or what I have come to think of as His immediacy. Immediacy is defined as “the quality of bringing one into direct and instant involvement with something, giving rise to a sense of urgency or excitement.”
Very quickly in the first days of 2016, this was what I realized I lacked. I have consistently prayed about large and obvious concerns, but the smallish things I left to my own self-discipline. And really, to a daily state of tolerating a less-than closeness to God. I have learned in these three hundred and sixty something days to accept the Holy Spirit’s sensitivity to the reality of God’s nearness instead of my own. In myself, I am aware that He is near but in a sort of spiritual static when it comes to the everything manner of Him. I began to allow the Holy Spirit to raise my awareness of bad moods, sadness, unwellness, worry and just plain old day to day life. And I found a new kind of prayer, one of immediacy. I have practiced the prayer of right now Lord. If I find myself frustrated with others, instead of working out how to tolerate my frustration or to work out my relationships, I have started to pray immediately, “God, check my emotions.” Once in check, I’ve become better (by baby steps) at tolerance and the skill of building worthwhile relationships with others. I’ve prayed for increased strength and energy on tired and mopey days. I’ve prayed thousands, perhaps millions, of prayers to the immediate God.
I encourage you to find the Ever Present God in the coming year. There is no moment of your day in which He is not interested, and immediate in His desire and ability to be nearer to you. Consider the smallest obstacles in your life, and talk to Him continually about them. This is right relationship with Him, earned through the sacrifice of Jesus. We can be closer to Him than we realize, this is the very reason the veil was torn (Matthew 27:51.)
There is sweetness and relief to be found in the immediacy of God.