Thursday, November 17, 2005

How Often is Jesus with You

Was reading Josh's blog... a very masculine, artsy and X-y blog from a brilliant and somewhat tortured soul....his post about prayer was refreshing. It reminded me a of a question I've been meaning to ask for awhile....

How often do you actually feel Jesus is with you?

I don't mean when are you mentally convinced and, in faith, believing that he is with you....I mean, how often do you feel like he is actually there with you and that you could just have a conversation?

I have to be honest and say that this is a new phenonema for me. I have known so much about Jesus for so long, and heard what other people say about Him, and tried to feel what modern hymns say they feel, but in all honesty, I don't often feel that close to Him. It is becoming more frequent, but I wonder if I am alone in this.

I think that part of the reason for this is that for a long time, I kind of felt like Jesus was like my pastor: Growing up and in college, I felt that they were nice people who liked me and would listen if I had a problem, but that I couldn't actually be myself around them or that they didn't really know ME. I certainly didn't want to just hang out with him. To talk slang, wear sweats, make jokes. I didn't think that he would approve. Of course I wasn't hiding these things from Jesus, I just had my game face on when I prayed or read my Bible or taught in Church. I was raised to IMPRESS, and I guess I was trying to just show Him my good side and leave my real self out of it.

9 years of marriage to my Pastor has taught me a lot, and has recast who Jesus is completely. Turning 30 helped a lot too. Leaving an established church behind didn't hurt either. For the first time in my life, I think I actually have a relationship with Jesus. I think I sense his presence more because I don't mind being myself around Him. I'm not planning on meeting him "In the Garden," but I do have a joy and a peace that I didn't previously have. I wasn't consciously holding back on Him before, but being wholehearted with Him is a new and amazing experience.

19 comments:

klasieprof said...

I have more to say, but what is Josh's blog address??

gmdkqu: the stuff Helena keeps throwing up in the toilet today

courtney said...

I don't think I actually felt any closesness to Jesus until after a few years of marriage. In much the same way that we view God the Father based on our relationship with our earthly father, my concepts of how much I could tell Jesus was colored with my comfort level with myself, which I have to thank my husband for a great deal.

tvxcheil--tickle on the bottom of your foot

Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elizabeth said...

each time i feel my life torn up, or that my family is torn up, i am convinced of Jesus' presence close to me. last night i sat in my car crying and screaming, and knowing that Jesus was right there with me--that He has felt the same hurt, and that i could say whatever dumb questions i needed to, like "Jesus, why do i have all the crappy relationships?" and, "why can't i be more godly?" and He is listening. it's enough for me.

if nothing in my life ever makes any more sense...it is enough.

ness said...

oahh...poor helena...

though this is the first time I'm glad we are far away....

jayhp: street talk for Jesus Hype

josh can be found at dogdays.blogspot.com

ness said...

so Beth, which would be better...to feel close to God in crappy times or to not have crappy relationships?

what's crappy about it?

Robb said...

I am with Beth on this one. I definately feel closer to Jesus in the hard and difficult times. Didn't Paul say something in Philippians about the "fellowship of his sufferings." Maybe that's got something to do with it.

wrlnqh - old English spelling for "wrinkle"

A said...

Ok, not meaning to stir up controversy, but I don't think I am as "wired" toward feeling something like this. Not that I never feel the presence of the Triune, but I think some people are more prone to an emotive response to what they sense as His presence than others.

I do agree that during difficult times (specifically the entire year of 2002) that I am more prone to sense the presence of the Triune in some sort of etherial way.

I also will strongly state that the thing I like most about Fellowship Bible Church is that 95% of the time when I am there on Sunday morning, I feel something that I can only describe as the presence of the Triune. He is there, in the people, in the worship, in the message.

I also will say that the strongest sense of His presence I have had in the last year was the last 30 minutes of the U2 concert in Dallas on October 29. They sang "All Because of You", "Yahweh", and "40" to finish the show and I felt what it must be like in heaven for those few moments. I get shivers when I watch the DVD.

ness said...

A, that is exactly what I am talking about. I'm the last person in the world you will see raising my hands in church, or showing much emotion at all...I tend to be very suspicious of all of that....I guess that is what I am wondering about. I know people, thoughtful people, who experience this kind of closeness on a regular basis and it isn't a hooey kind of thing...that's why this "experience" lately has me alittle "hmmmm." It's not the "single set of footprints through the really hard times" kind of thing. I'm happier than I have been in a long time. I guess with everything in my life being pushed back to the edges, I am pleasantly surprised to find Him right here.

A said...

Guilty confession: I have never felt the urge to raise my hands in church, but Tuesday night while watching the new U2 DVD, during "40" at the end, one hand was suddenly in the air. I felt very confused since I couldn't tell you how it got there.

ash said...

someone once told me that any time i ever get nervous i should just picture jesus in my peripheral vision. he's just watching, encouraging and loving me..he's saying that no other thing matters more than who he is at that moment.
as long as i've given him my best, he is proud of me and pleased with what i've brought him.
i think about that constantly and it has overflowed from times of concerts, recitals, chapels or huge church services to when i'm simply teaching my students or mopping my kitchen floor.

it's not even a feeling to me. it's a fact. i'm constantly talking to my savior beside me...i don't say "jesus looking down on me..." i say "jesus looking across at me".

yes, i am a hand raiser. i use it as an act of pure, beautiful surrender. it's saying "i'm giving up my personal concerns of how this looks or how awkward it might feel". it says "i am nothing without my source of strength. come fill me because i am broken and empty. you are holy."

there's a beautiful song that says "search me, know me, try me and see every worthless affection hidden in me". i'm terrified of worthless affections..in my ministry it's too easy to just sing songs and miss their power. but seeing jc out of the corner of my eye during those songs makes the words fresh every time.

Courtney said...

I have had a struggle with the ability to physically display worship in the past few years simply because of my phobia of "getting caught up in the emotion and missing true change" aspect that was so prevalent at college....worship services would be great and all the girls would be crying but nobody was any different as soon as they walked out the doors. Now,I find that I actually enjoy when others can raise hands (and trust me, in a non-denom in the south, there can be alot more than that) but I know I'm in a right heart for worship when I can close my eyes and see the cross and see the Father with outstretched arms and poetry just flows through my brain....because that's how I know to express true beauty---color and painting and poetry. For you Ash, music IS your art, so being able to release into it is natural. I don't have that gift so I go in another direction, if that makes sense.

ejasbve-muzak in a beehive

ness said...

ash, you are so sweet... I wish I could be more like you.

Has anyone ever read a book by Brother Lawrence, I think called "Practicing the Presence of Jesus" A friend has mentioned it to me before, but I haven't. I wonder if it is about what we are discussing...

I think I was taught to not bring my emotions into worship. Baptist churches especially are not too keen on all that messy emotive crap...tears, hand-raising, questions, problems...Come on now...just say a prayer, walk and aisle and get over it, right? I think I just recently brought emotion to my worship.

For me, what captures my emotion...delight, praise, hope...is beauty. Beauty is so sadly lacking in most modern church buildings...esp. poor IBC...there is no lavish outpouring of stained-glass windows or (this is for you babe) flying buttresses...I digress...anyway...that is one of the reasons I love living at HH...every morning, I wake up curious and excited about how it will look this morning, and every night I go to bed with one last peek out of the windows thinking how splendid it is. I start and end the day with praise, adoration, wonder, awe and gratitude that God would have brought us here. That's one of the big reasons I would love to stay.

aefbfnx: a breakfast cereal for dumb jocks.

Robb said...

Couple of comments:

1) I am a handraiser who fights self-consciousness to do it. I find it easier to raise my hands while I am leading worship on stage then whent I am in the crowd. Is that weird?

2) Picturing Jesus in my peripheral vision? Yikes. That sounds to me like a camp speaker illustration trying to keep the teens from feeling each other up. "When you start to get that urge and want to have roaming hands and rushing fingers in the darkness, just picture Jesus in your peripheral vision." What a mood killer. And I'm pretty sure his face would be full of condemnation and scorn, not love and acceptance. Yeah, I am weird, huh?

rbyddy - the sound "My Buddy" makes when he is running low on batteries

Ashley Bowersox said...

actually a dear lady in our drama department told me that when i had to play piano for a huge good friday service and i was scared out of my shorts.
condemnation and scorn if you're trying to feel up a girl....duh...luckily i've never tried that..
it's just something to remind myself of in good and bad times....whether i'm doing the right thing or not..
plus, i spend the majority of my time with 2nd-8th graders....visual examples always work better.
but i promise to never use it as spiritual blackmail...however, i have been guilty of yellling "do you think that makes jesus happy?!!!
poor little kid never knew he had it coming...

klasieprof said...

OOHHHH I remember when Vanessa and RObb just got back from California..OH YES I do..NESS..IN church..while singing up front..YOU DID INDEED raise your hand...YEPPPPP

qcskiol=a fast working lysol type product

Sara said...

I definatelly feel closer to Jesus when i am suffering, when i am crying, and i don't have anything left to give...i think those are the moments when i know he is whispering in my ears..."i am here."

Sara said...

I also feel him though when i stop and think a bout all the things he has done in my life. I feel close to him then when i think about him and i realize how much he love sme, and i realize how much i want to love him.

Josh Powers said...

Hi Vanessa, yes I have Brother Lawrence's book I read it recently

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