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How To Focus On Being With Jesus

My heart has been heavy these past several days. There is so much going on in the world - politics, economics, social and culture unrest - it seems unending.

resting together in nature
Find your people and be with them

On top of the worlds concerns, I feel there is a message screaming at us as believers on a daily basis. "Get ready!! Be prepared!! Get your house in order!!" These who are propelling us into action are looking around at all the things happening in the world, combined with prophecy and conversation, and urging us to be ready, at any moment, for Jesus to return or for the world to completely upend.

Is there reality in this call? One hundred percent! Is the urgency to be prepared, as instructed in the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1-13, still valid? Absolutely! Jesus has assured us that no man knows the day or the hour, and our task is to occupy until he comes - being prepared at all times for the welcoming of our Bride-groom, the King of Kings.

My concern is this.

In our efforts to warn, to compel, to implore people to make sure they are prepared, preparing, or getting ready - I am afraid we are losing some people in the process.

Is our message spurred on by the religious spirit of doing, rather than being overshadowed by Holy Spirit's call for being in Jesus?

See, getting ready, being prepared, etc. - all of these require doing, while in many ways, I believe Jesus is calling us to focus on being with him in the process of the preparation.

As I lay down last night, my mind was racing with all the thoughts of what I should be doing to make sure I am ready for the return of the King. Was I praying enough? Have I been studying enough? Am I telling enough people about him? Rather than create anticipation and excitement within me, it was creating chaos and fear. It was not a spirit of abiding, trusting, and resting in the all-sufficient power of Christ to work and move in me to accomplish these things - it was a frantic race in my mind to ensure I completed the tasks.

With that said, I have struggled most of my life as a disciple of Jesus to take my hands off the wheel and let him drive. Not intentionally, but this spiral of doing is an easy trap for me to fall into. There is a lot of Martha in me, when Jesus is calling me to become more like Mary. I think that is true for many of us.

Last night, my heart began to ache for new believers in Jesus. These beautiful, tender souls who have just recently come to faith in Christ, trusting Him as their Savior, and rejoicing that they will spend eternity with him. They are in the early stages of tasting and seeing that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). They have only begun to read the Word with revelation from Holy Spirit, they are testing their spiritual legs, and have started crawling towards the Father, rejoicing and seeing him move in their lives.

There are also many disciples of Jesus who have grown weary of the burdens of life in their path. They are stumbling under the weight, just trying to keep up - seeing all those who can run faster and with more freedom - so much farther along the path. At times, they collapse under the weight, crying out to the Father from the depths of their souls, "I just can't take another step Abba - it is too hard!"

As we issue messages of preparation, and we compel people to ensure their house is in order, let us not loose sight of those coming on the journey with us who are yet infants, those who are sick, lame, or weary. Is the message we are sending out inclusive to these? Is our message spurred on by the religious spirit of doing, rather than being overshadowed by Holy Spirit's call for being in Jesus?

How can we focus on being with Jesus as we prepare our hearts and souls to be ready for whatever he asks of us, or whenever he returns for us?

  1. Abide. Abide in him. This is not just a visitation to church each Sunday, or a few minutes in prayer each day. We are not just called to prepare ourselves for a stranger. We are being called to ready ourselves for a bride-groom. We would not soon marry a stranger. So why would we be preparing ourselves for someone whom we do not know? Abide in Jesus - come to know him on a personal and intimate level through time spent in the Word, in prayer, and in reflection. He tells us in John 15:5 that he is the vine, and he will bear the fruit of our lives. but we must abide in him. He longs for us to know him intimately.

  2. Call to him. So many times in Scripture, the Lord tells us to call to him, to turn our eyes to him, to focus on him, to reach out for him. He invites us repeatedly to come, and promises he will respond. He will bring his peace, and will restore our hope. It is not something we do, it is what he does. It only requires that we open our mouth and our hearts to receive his answer.

  3. Go to the Word. In these days, more than ever before, we need strong faith. Everyone has a measure of faith that has already been given to them. But our faith can get tramped by the trials of life. We must keep our faith living and active, and this comes through the hearing of the Word (Romans 10:17). In order to hear the word, we must speak it out loud. There is such power to your soul as your voice goes forth, proclaiming the promises of God, and your ears hear. You are speaking words of life to yourself, and making declarations that truly resonate in the spirit.

  4. Do not isolate. Although the temptation to recluse may be strong, especially if you feel like you have fallen behind the other runners, do not shut down. Get up and keep going. Find your people. You may already have them in your life, but if not, pray and ask. The Father will not withhold community from you if you are open to receive it. You may have been deeply wounded at some point in your journey by those in the church. But this is a new day, and you can build new relationships with healthier believers. We need one another to run with, to pray with, and to prepare with.

Be prepared in all things. But above all, seek to know Jesus. Seek to rest in Him. Matthew 11:28-29 has become such a life verse for me in this season:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls."


Would you pray with me?

Father, I pray we will seek you while you may be found. That one day in your presence, in your house, is better than 1,000 days elsewhere. That we would truly learn from you, taking the example of the life of Jesus to prepare ourselves for your coming, and for the work you would have us to do as we occupy until that day. Let us not be consumed with worry, fear, panic, or turmoil, but let us rest in you. Let us find joy in community and be the first to offer words of encouragement and exhortation to others. Let us bear one another up, and run this race together, not striving to be the first across the finish line. Let us keep our eyes fixed upon you Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, of our race, and let us run to your arms every time.

1 Comment

Tracey Dirden
Tracey Dirden
Sep 26, 2023

This is such a good word for today. So many times I get caught up in the have I’s. Have I done enough? Have I shared your love enough? Have I prayed enough? Have I read enough? And on & on….I love this learning to abide takes time for us in this works driven society we live in. I pray that when I finally see Jesus, I have learned to abide enough to know him without even asking why didn’t I get to know you more.

Such a great blog…💕💕💕you

MPB - Headshot - Jennifer Gainer_2_edited.jpg

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by :)

I am so happy you are here! Life is a journey and it takes courage to face the day. My hope is found in Jesus Christ, and I would love to have you stick around so I can share why.

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

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