If you could have anything you want, what would it be? A new car? A bigger house? A billion dollars, so you could have both of those, and more? Or would you prefer perfect health, a fitter body, or the ability to eat all you want yet never become overweight? Maybe you’re yearning for a spouse, or a child, or you dream of spending more time with a loved one who has passed away.
Now think about heaven. Yes, perhaps we’ll have material items (we don’t really know). We will certainly have perfect health in our new bodies (2 Corinthians 5:1-4). We look forward to being reunited with people we love. But most of all, heaven means that we’ll be with Jesus.
Paul considered being in the presence of God to be more important than anything else, even his very life. He longed to be “absent from the body and at home with Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)
Do we long to be with the Lord so much that we’re willing to die to be with Him?
The good news is that we don’t need to wait until Heaven. We can experience the presence of the Holy Spirit, now, here on earth. (Of course, we’ll experience Him more clearly in Heaven, as we see in 1 Corinthians 13:12: “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”)
Have you ever had an encounter where the manifest presence of God was so overpowering, you are totally overwhelmed with his love and peace? If so, you know what I’m talking about. And if not, maybe it’s time you did.
How is this possible? Through prayer.
How much time do you spend with your best friends, or your spouse, or your children? And how much time to you spend talking with God? Just as with any relationship, we need time together. Lately, the Holy Spirit has been convicting me that I need to make more room in my daily life for just being with the Lord. Not praying for my needs, not interceding for others, not asking for direction, but just… being together. Telling Him how amazing He is. Holding an attitude of thanksgiving. Sitting in His lap and letting go of everything else.
So much of my prayer life is focused on people—either those around me or, primarily, myself. My motivation is personal. Even the things that sound so spiritual are actually about me. I pray for direction so that I’ll feel fulfilled. I pray for others for their welfare, not necessarily God’s. I want my unbelieving friends and family members to come to faith for their sakes, not because God deserves their worship. I want a healthy husband for his sake—and mine. I want God to provide for our financial needs so we can be comfortable, not because that provision would glorify Him.
Even many of our “praise and worship” songs are focused on ourselves. The next time you’re listening to contemporary Christian music, notice how often the words “I” and “me” appear in the lyrics. We’re telling God how much we appreciate Him because of what He’s done for us, not for Who He is in Himself. There isn’t anything wrong with appreciating God’s gifts, of course, but don’t stop there. He’s worth so much more than that.
I need to get my mind off me, and simply be with Him..
If I could have anything I want, let it be God.