If I am really honest, I would tell you that my lived reality does not ALWAYS line up with what I know God says is true. I worry about finances (when I know that He's my Provider). I often shift into self-reliance (when I know that I should be God-dependent). I get impatient with my family (when I know I've been filled with the Fruit of the Spirit). So what gives?! Why do we have these discrepancies between what we say we believe and how we actually decide to live every day?
What if we could live more of the 24 hours of each day in God's reality versus our own?
What if we could slip on a pair of virtual reality glasses that allowed us to actually see GOD'S REALITY in our every day lives. How would life be TRANSFORMED for us if, when we were tempted to worry and fear, we could ACTUALLY see angels at work all around us? And when we felt isolated and alone, we could put on our special glasses and see the Holy Spirit at our side - loving us and helping us!
I believe that living in God's reality is possible through Christ-centered meditation!
Romans 8 describes it clearly. We can either SET OUR MINDS on our natural reality and inclinations (our flesh), which leads to death. Or we can SET OUR MINDS on the "things of the Spirit", which is LIFE AND PEACE. It goes even further to say that if you are a believer, you don't have to operate in your fleshly reality because the Spirit of God dwells inside of you. Christ-centered meditation is the regular practice of setting our minds on the Spirit and living in God's reality!
This morning, when I closed my eyes to spend time with Him in meditation, He showed me this scene that I will describe below. It's not from one particular narrative in the Bible, but you can definitely see where He pulled from many stories and truths in the Bible to compile them into this story He shared with me (see the list of scriptures below).
Please join me in envisioning yourself in this scene as well, I believe it will encourage you!
As I closed my eyes, I saw myself as an ordinary young girl....my feet running quickly up the dusty road, making my way up a mountain side. Stepping over and around crowds of people..."Excuse me....sorry...pardon me," I say. Their annoyance and disregard thick, as I gently but determinedly nudge my way through the people. I can barely hear Jesus' voice, and yet, just the thought of Him seems to physically pull me forward, drawing me nearer. I just need one glimpse, just want to hear Him for myself. And then I see Him - and all the world around me blurs as only He comes into focus. He continues talking to the crowds, and yet somehow, at the very moment I see Him, He is already looking at me and whispers to my heart..."I see you....I know you...I love you".
I have to get closer now. I can't take my eyes off of Him. There is nothing particularly extraordinary about Him from the outside, everyone is simply sitting and listening to this great teacher. But the spirit inside of me recognizes that He is the epitome of love, purity, and goodness. From the corner of my eye I see the men around Him begin to move toward me. They don't want me this close. I'm disrupting the teaching and distracting the crowd. But with the slightest, almost indistinguishable move of His hand, He waves them off - telling them without words, that it's okay, they should allow me to come nearer.
I have come all the way to His side now. I sit there, kneeling right next to the side of His leg. I am speechless and in awe as I gaze up towards His face which seems to exude light and peace. As though I've known Him my whole life, I lay my head against His knee. Unexpectedly, He lays his warm, gentle hand on my head and shoulder. My eyes burn and immediately fill with tears, as his touch sends warmth and love through my whole being. I am a child in her Father's embrace. I am a sheep, held by her Good Shepherd. His love pushes all doubt from my mind.
After the crowds are gone, He motions for someone to bring me food and something to keep me warm. He talks with me and makes me laugh. He asks me questions and listens attentively. Although I'm sure he's heard a thousands stories like mine, He makes me feel like there is no other place he'd rather be.
When finally He has to go, He stands and begins to walk away. But before he gets too far, He turns back and says sweetly, "Come...follow me." My heart leaps and I run to Him without looking back. As we walk along the way, He invites me into His work by giving me simple instructions..."Go tell that girl over there your story and pray for her, she has been through something similar and it will encourage her...Watch how I handle this matter and then I want you to do it the same way next time...Let's stop here for now and rest awhile." And the best thing is...He never leaves me. We are together, walking together, working together - and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves me!
This is my reality today. I sense it's TRUTH in every fiber of my being! How?...
I experienced every detail of this scene in a Holy Spirit-led moment of Christ-centered meditation! When we experience the truth of His Word, it changes our perception of reality. I can honestly say that since starting this journey of Christ-centered meditation over a year ago, many more of my waking hours have been spent in a peaceful place in God's reality than my own.
When we read, hear, and study God's Word, it's like filling our hearts with divine ingredients. Then, when we quiet ourselves before the Lord, His Spirit takes those ingredients, puts them together, and makes something that nourishes our soul, empowering us to live life to the fullest that day.
Does your reality line up with what God says is true for you today?
If not, I encourage you to engage Him in a quiet moment of meditation and experience His truth for yourself.
Every part of this meditation experience lines up with a Biblical truth that had already been stored in my heart. Here is a list: