After writing Jesus’ invitation to “come to Me” earlier this week, a reader asked, “Can you share how to do this?” This reader wants to take the idea of meeting with Jesus and make it a reality. When Jesus says “Come to Me…take My yoke…learn from Me” its natural to ask how. Just thinking about or imagining meeting with Jesus is not really meeting with Him. You can actually experience it by involving your body and heart.[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
For years, I’ve been meeting with Jesus in the following way. It is a simple and effective way to answer Jesus’ invitation.
It begins by spending time with Him in solitude.
Solitude: Occupy a quiet, isolated place away from other human beings where you can be with Jesus
- Create a “sacred” place/space to become quiet with Jesus. In an isolated space, place a chair, table, candle and image of Jesus (picture, icon, painting).
- Light the candle (this helps you establish routine, focus, and beauty).
- Sit with Jesus in quietness and stillness.
Time Commitment: at least 5-10 minutes every day
Objective: to experience Jesus as a human being and quietly enjoy his presence.
The secret to learning to be with Jesus…(you’re going to love this; only a PhD could come up with this stuff!) is to be with Jesus! A quiet environment enables the development of a quiet heart where Jesus meets with you.
Time is Rewarding
5-10 minutes? Piece of cake!!? Not so fast. This could prove to be difficult for you. Perhaps you spend little time in solitude or quiet. You have gotten used to the “companionship” of radio, TV, CDs, computer, conversation, your own thoughts, music, or talk. Being quiet with someone can be intimidating. It may be uncomfortable at first.
But the rewards of being alone with Jesus are life-changing. As you begin to experience Christ’s love, joy, kindness, acceptance, grace, light, and life, you become more like him. You also learn to become gentle and humble as you commune with him and with the Father and Spirit with whom he communes.
Be Aware of Potential Struggles
This sounds easy. Yet, the greatest struggle you will face in this time of solitude with Jesus is the rampant, unbridled thoughts that want to take over. They will try to control your heart. Don’t allow them. When thoughts invade, repeat the ancient prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” As you do, you will find your heart returning to communion with Jesus. This prayer will help keep your mind on Jesus and will keep your thoughts in check.
You may be tempted to use devotional books or other writings (even the Bible) during this time. Resist. Imagine having a dinner engagement with someone special. But, in the middle of your time together they pull out a book and start reading it. You can read at another time. This time is for Jesus and you. Together. Nothing in between.
You may also be tempted to talk to Jesus. As good as this is, now is not a time to talk. This is a time to listen. However, its a different kind of listening. You’re not listening for words. You’re listening for silence. It’s in the silence that you learn to hear Jesus’ heart. His language is silence. You’ve already heard His invitation. Now, come to Him in solitude, be quiet, learn from Him, and find rest.
After meeting with Jesus for a few days, share your experience. Is it a struggle? Is it easy? Is it too new to say?