Last weekend, I was singing with the church choir. I like to look out at the congregation and talk to the Lord about what He’s thinking. He might point out a specific person to pray for or, He might tell me how “that man worships before my throne”, how “I love this church, and they love me.” On this occasion, I looked out and asked this question – “Where are you Lord?” He said to me, “Everywhere!” Then, He began to show me His face in the face of His bride, the church. There a man with eyes overflowing with joy, like Jesus’ eyes. There, a woman weeping out of devotion for God, a heart much like Jesus’. Even as I looked at the faces of people I didn’t know, Jesus said, “Here I am!” I love these fun question-answer, ask-find times with God. A pastor and friend of mine once described a “game” he would play with the Lord. “Lord, I love you this much,” he would say, gesturing with his hands. The Lord would reply, “Well, I love you this much,” conveying a much larger capacity of love. The game would continue and of course, God always won on love since He himself is fully love! However, if He wins, we win too because we are found in Him! In playing this love game with the Lord, our hearts increase in our understanding of God’s vast love, and our own love for Him is expanded. [John 15:9] – “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”
Singing in the choir, I stood before a large congregation. I know the Lord has given me His voice to declare His revelation to and over others in song. However, I primarily sing for, and to my Lord Jesus. When Jesus said to me that night, “Don’t forget to sing, Kristen,” He was specifically talking about how I enter His gates with thanksgiving and praise [Psalm 100:4]. I’ll sing when I’m joyful, and I’ll sing when my heart is yearning. When God’s presence surrounds me and lifts me up, when I feel as though I’m walking in the wilderness, still I will lift up my voice and sing. Even when I feel no stirring of the Spirit, I choose to open up His word, sit at the piano or in my bed and sing praise to Him. I’ve found that as I pursue Him, He opens up the gates of His revelation. It might take a few seconds, or perhaps a couple of hours, but not many sessions have finished without the Holy Spirit revealing God’s heart to me. “Don’t forget to sing, Kristen.” God was reminding me that I should remember who I’m singing to. The primary reason for my singing is not ministry. The primary reason for my singing is to sing love to Jesus! When I look into the congregation, I want to see Jesus and sing to Him. When I close my eyes, I see Him still. He sings to me, and I sing to Him. He’s my Lord and my God, and He is worthy of all praise!
As I was singing last weekend, I pictured my relationship with Jesus. I realised that though there are specific times when I see myself as His warrior, as His bride, as His daughter, or as His messenger, there are two primary images that come to mind when I think of “Jesus and I”. These are the pictures that most immediately, most vividly, and most commonly play through my mind as I walk my life with Jesus.
- Cuddled up close to His heart. He’s always bigger than me, though He seems to stay the same size. However, sometimes I’m smaller than His hand, just perched up close by His neck and atop His shoulder. Other times, I’m about half His size and cuddled up close with my arms around His neck, my ear right on His heartbeat. Sometimes, He’s only a little bit bigger than me, but I’m still completely enclosed within His wonderful embrace. I might be smiling, laughing, crying, looking at Him, or looking elsewhere, but Jesus’ eyes are always on me. He never takes them off me. He appears more like a Father sometimes, but at other times He appears more as my Bridegroom lover.
- In a lively dance with Him. Again, this has some variations but it’s always the same theme. Jesus always has my hand. It might be a slow dance and I might be weak or tired, but He dances with me on His feet and He carries me. It might be a dance of great joy and celebration when I’m enthusiastically spinning and jumping and dancing here there and everywhere. Still, Jesus never loses my hand and He continues to lead me in our dance. As He leads, so I follow. He’s a perfect leader, and a perfect dancer. He always catches me. Yet, as He dances and leads with His steps, I dance my own steps too and they fit in perfectly with His. When He sings, I sing too and it makes a beautiful duet.
When I got home, I shared these things with my family and asked them a question – “How do you see your relationship with Jesus?” I loved hearing their descriptions of Jesus, each a testimonial mural composed of their individual, relational encounters with the Lord. He’s the one who is all glorious, worthy to be praised. He reveals safe places, and unveils intriguing revelation. The universe is all around Him.
I have an art book at home containing paintings and poetry by a young girl named Akiane. She is the artist of “Prince of Peace”, a painting of Jesus that has gained much attention for being the closest resemblance to the man himself. In the book, “Heaven is for Real”, this is the one painting young Colton Burpo looks at and finds nothing wrong to comment on. The painting resembles exactly, the Jesus he remembers meeting. Akiane paints Jesus as He reveals Himself to her, but she also paints herself as Jesus sees her. In one painting, she is pictured painting the universe with Him. How do you see Jesus? How does He see you? I could share testimony after testimony of how Jesus has called me partner, study buddy, princess. I’m His pen as He is the writer [Psalm 45], I’m His instrument, His voice. He says to me, “…Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.” [Song of Solomon 2:14] I know who I am in the Lord. I know His faithful love and each day, I desire to grow more and more in my capacity to receive His love. I will walk with my Lord through valleys and over the mountains. I’ll walk with Him through tribulation and in celebration. I’ll mature in my love for my Bridegroom King, and grow in my understanding of who He is, but I’ll always still be the dependant, trusting daughter of God my Father. So, now that you’ve heard my story, I have a question for you – How do you picture your relationship with Jesus?