Plugging into Jesus
In a recent talk I used the following illustration:
I had in my left hand my iPhone. In my right hand I had the white power cord that came with the iPhone. Next to me was the podium. In my illustration the iPhone represented me, the podium Jesus, and the cord my spiritual practices that help me to connect to Jesus.
I am like my iPhone. I have all sorts of apps. I have a dad app, a husband app, a shepherd app, a friend app, a pay-all-the-stupid-bills app. I go about my day doing all my apps. But I get run down. My battery slowly goes dead.
So I grab my power cord (spiritual practices), plug one end into me and the other end into Jesus and I expect him to recharge me. “Jesus,” I pray, “I need more grace. Give me power. Give me wisdom. Heal me. Strengthen me.” Then I unplug myself and go out and do all my apps…..
This is really poor spirituality. And it is an apt picture of how many live out their walks with God. Plug in, get the juice, then go out, and do life. We tend to objectify grace, wisdom and all we need from God when it is a Who we are seeking, not just all “the goods.”
Abiding in Jesus
This is where in my illustration I paused. I very strongly stated that this is not the type of relationship God desires with us.
I then took my iPhone, sat it on the podium and then moved the podium across the stage as I went about my day as an illustration of me being in Jesus and abiding in Jesus throughout the entire day.
This is the relationship that we are invited to. One of constant connection, constant dependence, constant communion, constantly being loved, cared for, taught, guided and so on. And it’s important to remember that this is not all up to me. God always initiates, I always respond. That is why Jesus simply said, “Remain in me.”
How do you Abide?
One of the desired markers of maturation is integration. I have my “devotional life” and then my “real life,” yet those two worlds may or may not connect. What I am invited into is a walk with God through all of life all of the day. How can one grow in integrating spiritual practices into the rest of life? What does it look like to walk in constant attentiveness to him? How can that be best facilitated amidst life? I have become aware that it is far too easy to get caught up in my day and live off of adrenaline and my own best efforts. God is merciful and allows that – for awhile. But he desires more. He draws us into a life with him.
What practices help facilitate abiding in your life?
As shepherds we have the wonderful privilege of shepherding people deeper into communion with Jesus as we tend to them. In fact, all of life is an opportunity for this to take place. Our growing communion with God in Christ is his greatest desire and thus as shepherds it is ours too. We desire to guide people into an ever growing communion with God as they go about their daily responsibilities.
What has God taught you about communing with him amidst life?