For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:40, NAS95) In my life “belief” has held different meanings. Initially, I assented to the fact Jesus died for my sins and then rose from the dead. Belief had a cognitive feel to it. I held a firm conviction about this belief in Jesus, but I had no idea how near or present God had come to me. Actually, He didn’t come to me, but He awakened me to His person through Jesus. God had invited me to believe, but I didn’t behold or understand Jesus. I believed God had done something for my benefit through Jesus, but it seemed like a transaction with God more than the reality of His presence with me. God’s invitation to believe, though, took root in regular times of reading His Word and engaging in prayer — pretty much daily, and I wouldn’t trade those practices for anything. God worked through them. My experience, though, lagged way behind. In retrospect, I wish I would have had a guide who would have taught me early in my walk with God how to become familiar with God’s interactions with me. Nonetheless, someone planted, someone watered, and God caused the growth. God’s word began to take shape in my soul and prayer slowed to listening. Jesus started to come into full view. What changed? I don’t know, but I link it to an instruction I received many years ago: “Go take a walk and see what God shows you.” This instruction from a friend, took shape so I could hear from many saints, present and past, who helped me become familiar with God — to behold Jesus. A little whisper also invited me to more slowly and intently dwell in the Gospels. I wish I could relate all that I am gaining from this. Beholding Jesus allows me to see God, to see Him as love, as interacting (perceptively if I attend with prayerful openness) with me, as an advocate for me. Jesus also came into view as the example of what it means to be in relationship to God. Beholding Jesus informed my heart that conversation with God, conversation on-the-fly-in-life, smacks of God’s intention and design for all those who believe. Now I expect God to interact with me as normal, rightfully deserving an appropriate in-the-moment response from me. Beholding Jesus invites me to such interactions with God. Belief has become real and deeply rooted, more like Jesus’. Warmly in Christ, Doug Mitts
“As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.” (Psalm 17:15, NAS95)
How do you recognize God’s voice to you? What feel does His interaction with you have?
What interrupts your sense of God’s presence with you? What helps you return to His embrace?