This morning, I’ve been dwelling on Philippians 3:10 where the Apostle Paul writes, “I want to know Christ.” The idea behind the word ‘know’ here is to know experientially. As I’ve been pondering Paul’s words, I’ve been considering the question, how? How do we, as humans with very busy and sometimes stressed-out lives, experience Christ’s presence and enjoy Him in the chaos of our lives?
How does the young mom chasing toddlers experience Christ’s presence?
How does the lonely widow who sits in an assisted living facility experience Christ’s presence?
How does the woman who is battling cancer and chemo treatments experience Christ’s presence?
How does the career woman who is putting in long tedious hours at the office experience Christ’s presence?
As I’ve been considering these scenarios, I’ve returned to Genesis 3:8 where Adam and Eve heard God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. Randy Alcorn, author of the brilliant work Heaven, suggests that God was in the habit of walking and talking with Adam and Eve before sin entered their lives. Now imagine with me for just a moment that sin had not entered the world. No one was sick. No relationships were yet fractured. No financial burdens. What do you imagine they talked about every evening?
I believe understanding Genesis 3 gives us the key to what intimacy with Christ looks like in our daily lives. To put it simply, it’s walking and talking with Jesus throughout our day.
Intimacy with Christ is
walking and talking with Jesus.
When I was younger and I studied Paul’s words, “I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings,” I used to get freaked out. Did I want to suffer like Christ? Nope! Sure didn’t! Now, however, looking back on my life, there have been seasons of suffering in one way or another and what I can confidently say is that in those seasons, I have grown to know Christ more intimately.
Paul isn’t saying, “Set your heart on suffering like Christ.” He’s saying, set your heart on knowing Christ as intimately as possible. Suffering of some type will come. But don’t worry about that. Because when you are called to suffer, Christ will be there and you will know His presence more deeply because you have intentionally nurtured intimacy with Him. The key is to walk and talk with Jesus moment by moment. Here are just a few practical suggestions for how to do that:
Start your day with prayer. You can pray while you’re making breakfast, drinking coffee, or getting ready for work. Prayer is simply a conversation with God. Learn to talk with Him about everything.
Take a walk. If you have babies or toddlers, put them in the stroller. Instead of being on your phone on your walk, talk to Jesus.
Pause for a brief moment of praise. Take a moment at different points in your day. Stop and give thanks for just a few seconds. What’s good about your life? Thank God for that.
End your day with prayer. As you drift off to sleep at night, talk with Jesus. Tell Him you love Him. Thank Him for His faithfulness and ask Him for rest as you sleep.
Cultivating intimacy with Christ is not as hard as it may seem, but it does take a bit of intentionality. However, the sweet relationship you’ll enjoy with Him is worth everything!
For more secrets to living a life of joy, preorder your copy of Rooted Joy. This short book releases May 2nd and is designed for you to do with a few good friends. So go ahead and gather the girls and dive into joy together.
This week on The Connected Mom Podcast we are having a conversation with Katie Westenberg about how to give God your full attention even in the chaos of parenting.