I was telling Wendy that I get a little nervous every time I go to write one of these preach letters, and sometimes have no idea what’s going to come out. I told her, “I do know this much: If I just show up, He shows up.” Later, I got to thinking about that statement. We all have certain places we can go where the Lord meets us, a certain chair we like, a bench out in the yard, a path in the woods, or behind the wheel of the car on a favorite roadway. For me, it’s in my chair at my desk where my laptop lives. If we show up, He will be there every time.
Our Lord Jesus had His favorite places to go, where He could talk to God alone. One of those places was a mountain. “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone” (Matt. 14:23). And John 6:14: “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.”
John 7:53 to John 8:1 tells us that after a long day of preaching and ministering to the people, “every man went unto his own house. Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.”
Just think about it a few minutes. When you have a really tough situation you’re facing, where do you go to get calm, or clear your head? Jesus had his favorite locations. You do too. You may not have recognized it as such, but let’s start paying attention to what touches our souls. Intimacy with the Lord has to look like something in our natural realm.
Jesus went to a mountain, and sometimes He went to a garden. “When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples” (John 18:1). “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, ‘Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder’” (Matt. 26:36).
Where is it that you feel the closest to God? Sitting in your bed in the middle of the afternoon, when there’s no one else around? Or is it on a brisk walk around the block in your neighborhood? Or is it sitting quietly in your church on a day and time when hardly any people are around?
Inside of you, you already know where one of your special places is, a physical place where the Lord has met you before. If you are really trying to think of where it is, and you don’t really think you have one, that’s okay; this will be a new adventure for you to find it.
Prayerfully ask the Lord to show you and then do the first thing that comes to mind. Often when we’re learning to hear the voice of the Lord, we practice by asking a simple question and then just doing the first thing that comes to mind. 99% of the time, it will be the Lord. He wants you to hear His voice even more than you do! Don’t second-guess yourself. Take the first thought and go for it. Don’t be afraid. If you just show up, He’ll be there the first time and every time after.
Our real-life intimate locations already exist. We don’t have to go overseas to find them. They are within easy reach of where we live. Recognize and report for duty. The Lord is waiting for you.
God is everywhere, but intimacy with Him needs to look like something. The relationship needs to be real to us.
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