I love gadgets. Those veritable wonders of technology. Typically overpriced with a short lifespan, but they still amaze me. I saw something a few months ago that clicked with me; it was incredible. (But I can be a real geek sometimes.)
It was a platform, made to look like a classic varnished wood tray. But what it was, was a charging station. You laid all your iPods, cell phones, Blackberrys and Androids on this pad, and in the morning they would be charged and ready to use. No need to plug them in, they were instead were juiced by lying on this special platform.
I’m not certain that this constitutes one of life’s necessities. But a few days ago I began to think about the spiritual significance of this, and how we receive our strength. It’s not really often that this happens to me.
The Apostle John was one who was energized with his contact with Jesus. He drew strength from being in close proximity with Him. If there was ever a discipleship challenge it was John–one of the “sons of thunder”. Full of energy, he could be vindictive, intolerant, self-righteous and very ambitious. He was confronted by Jesus on more than one occasions for arrogance. And yet, he was perhaps the man most transformed by being with Jesus.
John stood at the foot of the cross, holding and soothing Mary. He went on to preach several notable sermons in the Book of Acts (with Peter). He wrote much of the New Testament, including Revelation. His books of 1, 2 and 3 John are known for the subject of Christian love. Ten times he told early believers that they were to “love each other”, and that would be their mark of authenticity.
Something happened to John. He was energized by love for Jesus, his Savior. We see him at the Last Supper, leaning on his Lord. It appears he just drew close, and rested his head on his friend. He became known, as “the disciple that Jesus loved”. I believe that love very often begets love.
As a struggling and imperfect believer myself, I find that when I’m near Jesus, I become strong. Psalms talks about “the nearness of God is my good.” Christianity is different than other world religions in that it is built on a living (resurrected) Lord who we are to be in communication with, and to have an ongoing relationship with. There should be a deliberate and planned intimacy between God and believers.
Its a lot like that charging station I spoke about earlier. I come to Him, and rest, just enjoying His presence. Something happens. I am encouraged and energized. Leaning on Jesus I become strong. Being in close proximity with Him gives my Christian life a vitality. I get drained, and functioning isn’t possible (I try). I get the urge (like John) to call down fire from heaven on my enemies, and then push myself into the limelight to be noticed.
Dear one, I beg of you to draw close to Him today. Get into His presence, just be with Him; and all of hell will try to stop you. But Jesus has promised that “He will never leave us, or forsake us.”
“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,That I may tell of all Your works.”