Episode 06 – FaceTime with Jesus

Transcript from the Life-on-Life Podcast: Episode 06 – FaceTime with Jesus

*Show Notes are at the end of the transcript.

Hey there friends, come on in!

One of the most important God truths I’ve ever comprehended is this: My God is alive and he wants to communicate with me personally and intimately. Nothing in my life has meant more to me than God’s son, Jesus Christ, saving my life and nothing has done more to transform my life and saved my mind like God’s word.

Well, when I discovered that the God who sent his son to die for me and cover my sin, also desired to have a relationship with me and communicate with me…. well, it changed everything. But, it didn’t happen by accident and I played at it for a long time. Then, I decided to get serious and intentionally put into practice the things I had studied for years.

In particular, a theme in the scriptures started to stand out to me in a big and loud way, seeking God, but how do you seek what you already have? How do you seek Emmanuel, “God with us” when he’s already promised us that he’s always with us and will never leave us?

Well, Jeremiah 29:13 became a life verse for me at that time and I’ve shared it with you in previous episodes. It says this, “And you will seek me and you will find me when you search for me with all your heart, I will be found by you.” So, what does it mean to seek God in order to find God?

Well, Jesus tells us over and over again that we are to askseek and knock. He says, “ask, and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find and knock and a door will be opened to you.”

So, ask, seek and knock. It takes time, intentional time through talking to God and having conversations that involve spending focused time with him. Time to listen to God and his word, time to talk to him through prayer, time to think through what he said or meditate and then time to acknowledge and respond to what he tells you to do. This is how we develop a deeper intimacy with the Lord.

I was studying the book of Exodus in preparation to teach it several years ago and I’d studied it before, but this time, the dynamic relationship between Moses and God came alive for me. The conversations they had and the way they talked with one another intrigued me in a way, and I wondered if it was possible for anyone in this day and age to have that kind of a relationship and conversation with God.

If Moses had that kind of intimate relationship with God, could everyone? Could anyone?

I wondered if it was possible for me and then I got to Exodus 33:11 and it says this. “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend.” The term face to face doesn’t mean that Moses literally saw the face of God. We know that God had already told Moses that he could not see his face and live. The term face to face can be understood to mean intimacy with that kind of friend-to-friend familiarity.

That’s the kind of intimate relationship that develops over time and it’s tested through trials of life and… well, Moses was at no loss for trials of life. Other verses that jumped out to me were from the gospel of John in chapter 10:27 where Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.” Another from Matthew 17:5, “This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.” Throughout the gospels, Jesus says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Clearly, God is trying to communicate with us and he wants us to communicate with him and to seek him and deepen our relationship with him. So, one of the most important God truths you can comprehend is this:  Your God is alive and he wants to communicate with you personally and intimately. That’s the great privilege of the Christian faith y’all. That our God is alive and we can have a relationship with him.

It’s the only religion in the world who worships a living God, the one true God of the universe, and because he is alive, there are some profound implications for our lives. God wants his children to hear his voice, to recognize it, and to be able to know what he sounds like, to discern his voice above all the other voices out there that are crying out to us.

God lives so that you and I can have a relationship with him and the great privilege of that relationship is that we can engage in communication with him. He speaks to us and we can hear his voice, not the kind of communication you hear with your physical ears, but with the spiritual ears of your heart as the Holy Spirit stirs your heart and mind as you read God’s word. “He speaks to me in his word and I can hear his voice.” John tells us. “And declare the truth that he has already spoken over me and my life.”

Does that sound crazy to y’all? Well, it is exactly what saved me from crazy. The living Lord Jesus has truly saved my life and the living word of God has come in and saved my mind in a big way. Learning to hear him speak to me through his word caused me to begin to think differently, to believe God’s word and then to live differently as a result.

And so the most important truth I can share with you is that God saved my life through his Son and saved my mind through his Word, in the practice of hearing him speak to me in the pages of scripture and then speaking his word back to him in prayer.

Our God is alive and he lives so that we can have a relationship with him and hear him when he speaks to us. So “she who has ears to hear, let her hear.”

As we’ve already discussed, the primary way God speaks to us is through his word. He also speaks in other ways, but those ways must always line up and be in agreement with his word. We will never grow in our relationship with God apart from knowing him through his word and spending regular intentional time with him.

Remember, the goal of seeking God through time in his word is not to become full of information about the Bible and about God. God tells us in his word that we are to “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ,” that’s 2 Peter 3:14-18. The word knowledge here doesn’t mean a studious intellectual pursuit, but a deepening intimacy to become better acquainted with God. That’s the goal of your time in God’s word. It’s to spend time getting to know God and to become better acquainted with him.

So then, we’ve got to have a plan to make this happen. I’ve put together 7 steps for y’all to have this quiet time or what I like to call my “breathing room” with the Lord to deepen my relationship with him, to hear him, to hear what he thinks and to start thinking the way he thinks. That’s the beautiful thing about age. We care less about what others think, and we care more about the way that God thinks.

God wants to have this time with you and here’s how you can make it happen.

1. Pick a regular time and a place – it will help you to be consistent if you do. Your time with the Lord is more likely to happen when you have that regular time and place to meet with him face to face intimately for prayer and Bible study and then jealously guard that time with Jesus. Y’all, make it a priority and commit to it.

2. Get a Bible, a real Bible with real pages. As you pray to fall in love with God through his word, also, pray to fall in love with your Bible, but please use an actual Bible in book form as your main source of study, not an electronic version on your phone.

If you’re new to studying the Bible, get a good study Bible and a good translation that you can easily read and here’s another tip. Make a copy of the table of contents in the front of your Bible so you can easily look up the scriptures until you become familiar with their location.

3. Be prepared. You’ll need some basic supplies and things to keep in your place so that you’re not using up your quiet time hunting things down. I keep my supplies in a basket beside my chair where I meet with the Lord each morning in my breathing room.

So some of the things you’re going to need for your time in seeking the Lord are a journal or a notebook to write in and record what the Lord has been saying to you in his word and what his activity in your life has looked like… what he’s doing in and through you. Record scriptures and verses that you’re studying. Record your thoughts and prayers as you study, write down questions you have, things you don’t understand and record how God is speaking to you about them. When God speaks to us through his word in a specific way that touches us, we should have the good sense to write it down.

Jeremiah 50:4-5 say this, “The sovereign Lord has given me the capacity to be a spokesperson that I may know a word to sustain the weary. He wakes me up every morning to listen attentively as disciples do.” It just may be that the thing he’s teaching you and saying to you maybe the same encouragement someone else needs, so pass it along to a friend.

Okay, you’re also going to need pens, pencils, highlighters, that sort of thing. Yes, mark up your Bible and if there’s something that really jumps out at you, use your highlighter. Be sure though to get gel pens and highlighters that won’t bleed through the pages, and if you use reading glasses, keep an extra pair of those in a basket or container right there in your place.

Keep your calendar or planner nearby and a notepad. Distractions are just going to happen. Usually, thoughts about things you need to do that day or what you’re out of in the kitchen. When that happens, just stop and jot down a reminder note and continue on with your studying.

4. Eliminate distractions. This is critical y’all. In Matthew 6:6, Jesus teaches his disciples about prayer, but before he tells them how to pray, he tells them where to pray and he says this, “But when you pray, go away by yourself. Shut the door behind you and pray to your father in private, then your father who sees everything will reward you.”

We are distracted people living in a distracted world full of distractions. We’re addicted to distractions, but pay attention to what Jesus says here. Shut the door behind you. That’s really telling us, “Leave all the distractions behind. Get to a place where you can fully focus on me.” And I don’t have to tell you that the biggest distraction in our life is our smartphone. So, cellphones need to go away in another room while you have this time in the breathing room with Jesus.

5. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Time in the breathing room is more than just gaining knowledge of God’s word. It’s developing a relationship and true intimacy with God’s son. His Holy spirit is the one that opens our mind to understand the scriptures to know God better so begin by asking the Lord to help you understand his word. Use your own words or pray with the scriptures themselves say, “Lord, thank you for your words that I may know you and what you desire from a life. Now I ask you to please give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know you better. Lord, open my eyes that I might see wonderful things in your law and open my mind to understand the scriptures and help me to do what you want me to do.”

6. You’ll need some kind of a Bible reading plan to follow. You can find them online or one of the many different Bible apps that are available. It gives you a structured, daily reading of the scriptures in context.

Now, this is not the same thing as a daily devotional. Personally, I love the Daily Walk Bible. It’s an actual Bible, but it’s segmented out into daily portions of scripture readings along with a short devotional. I think you’ll really like it.

Read and reread the scriptures over and over again. There’s just no other book like the Bible. It is the most important book you will ever read. A message from God who created you, who loves you, and who wants to have a relationship with you. So, train your ear to listen to your Shepherd’s voice as you prayerfully, purposefully, thoughtfully, inquiringly and slowly read and reread his love letter to you.

Start small. Maybe just a verse or a paragraph of scripture to begin with and then you’ll work up to more, but there is great merit in taking small bites and chewing them up thoroughly.

7. Talk to God. This is the best part y’all. Talk to God through prayerfully reading and digging into the scriptures. Prayer is conversation. It’s a dialogue with God, not just a personal monologue from us. By dialoguing with God, as you read and study the scriptures, you deepen your relationship with him.

Remember that as you read and study with God about God, don’t forget to ask God– ask good questions of the scriptures. Tell him where you don’t understand something and ask the Holy spirit to help you gain understanding. Praise God when you read something that strikes your heart in a way that brings joy and thanksgiving.

Confess anything the Holy Spirit might convict you of as you read. Don’t put it off. Just do it right then and ask him for what he tells you in his word that he already wants for you.

Ask, seek and knock. Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be open to you.

Here are a few questions that you can ask as you’re reading the scriptures and spending this time in the breathing room.

Just ask:

“Lord, who are you in this scripture?” So what does that scripture teach you about God?

“Lord, who am I?” What does the scripture teach you about yourself? What’s it telling you about who you are? ”

Lord, help me to obey your word.” What does the scripture tell you to do?

“Lord, today I will respond.” And how will you respond to what you’ve just learned and what you’ve heard him say to you and his word?

This process takes time y’all so be patient with yourselves and stay at it. I promise that you’ll see beautiful fruit develop from your time with God and his word and your appetite and your love for his word will continue to grow stronger too.

So just keep asking for a hunger and a thirst for God and his word as you spend time in the breathing room with him, and I think that you will come to know this kind of face-to-face familiarity and friendship with God.

My husband John prays, and his prayers are sweet. When he prays, his words are few, simple and honest. They’re not all wordy or loud and quivery. He just simply talks as a man talks to his very close friend, one who knows him well and whom he knows intimately and has walked through life with for a very, very long time.

So I hope that this is going to be fun for y’all! I hope you’ll find it exciting to start to pick out a place and create your space and then pick a time and gather all your things together for your basket or whatever you use and just make this happen with the Lord.

It is the thing I look forward to every single morning when I get up and I hope that this becomes a place that you enjoy and just a thing that you truly look forward to with Jesus. So take pictures of the space that you create, snap some pictures of your breathing room and tag us on Instagram or post on Facebook (@punkytolson or #lifeonlifepodcast) and let us see what you’re up to.

I think that would be really fun and we’ve got something else fun to share with you. Check out this YouTube video that we did where I share with you in a little more detail all of the things that are in my basket and just what it looks like where I have my breathing room time with the Lord every morning.

All right, one more thing and this is the best! We’ve got as super fun surprise giveaway for you on December 2nd and here’s what you have to do to get in on it: You’ve got to like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram to find out what it is.

So, now that I have you in suspense, just go run and do it and we’ll get back to you. That’s that for that and don’t you forget that you are greatly and dearly loved by the King!

x0 –P

 

SHOW NOTES for Episode 06 – FaceTime with Jesus

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by! Remember to subscribe where you listen and come back next week for a new episode.  Xo –Punky

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:

There’s just no other book like the Bible. It is the most important message you will ever read from the God who created you, who loves you, and who wants to have a relationship with you. Follow the 7 steps mentioned in the podcast to start spending time with the Lord to become better acquainted with him, to hear him, and to deepen your relationship with him.

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