Is this not the challenge for all of us? I am in the ministry business and yet I can find myself having been focused on work all morning, and had no conversation with Jesus during that time. Oh sure, I am working on Jesus stuff, but if I am not careful I can slip into “If I don’t, it won’t” mode in a flash.
But if there is to be any real transformation in my life, I simply must figure out a way to bring Jesus into the details of my hour to hour, day to day, talking and walking around life.
My favorite author puts it like this:
God wants us to be in a “conversational walk through life,” talking with Him about what we are doing together. Then we begin to understand that God’s whole purpose is to bring us to the point where He can walk with us quietly, calmly and constantly, leaving us space to grow to be His (often fumbling) collaborators – to have some distance from Him and yet to be united with Him because we are being conformed to the image of His son, bearing the family resemblance. (Dallas Willard, Hearing God)
If you would begin this “conversational walk” today, pausing throughout the day to chat with Jesus about what is going on in your life, wouldn’t this transform your day? And then your life. And then who you are?
I might even go so far as to say beginning this conversational walk is more important than understanding doctrine and theology. (I’ll likely get some emails for that statement.) But I am undaunted in this conviction.
Of course you want to read your Bibles daily. Of course you want to learn and understand the theology and the doctrines that emanate from the scriptures. And yet the value of this conversational walk – at the 10:30’s on Tuesdays and the 3:30’s on Wednesdays – is absolutely immeasurable.
I heard a story years ago about three holy men who lived on an island, separated from civilization, and therefore “civilized” church doctrine. They were renowned for their powerful prayers and the resulting miracles that accompanied them. But they were simple men, not schooled in the theology and the doctrine of the church.
The Bishop of that region heard about these men and their powerful prayer life, so he decided to visit them. Upon arriving, he asked them to show him how they prayed. The three men began their simple, elemental prayers, but the Bishop soon interrupted them.
He said, “Men, you sound as though you are just having a conversation with God. This won’t do. Let me teach you and train you so that your prayers will be more organized and sophisticated.” He spent much time with them doing just that. After he was satisfied he got back on his boat and proceeded to sail away.
Shortly he noticed what looked like a fireball coming towards the boat from the direction of the island. Suddenly he realized it was the three holy men running to him on the water.
They exclaimed with great angst, “Your Holiness, we have already forgotten your last outline on prayer! Please teach us again!”
The bishop regarded the men standing on the water, glowing with holiness, and lowered his head and said to them, “Please go home and forget everything I said. Just keep your conversation with Jesus going as before.”
So here is another “January challenge:”
May you begin your own personal conversational walk throughout your day – today, yes, today – talking with Jesus about what you are doing together.
It will change your life.