That Holy Gasp

Jeff joy 2 Comments

There needs to be something that takes your breath away.

In each life there must remain something outside of you that, when experienced, so profoundly affects you that you notice a difference taking place.

Whatever this thing is, it’s your passion.

Trusting that you are a follower of Jesus Christ, I hope you will understand that I’m not talking about something you can purchase or polish or upgrade or inflate.  My hope is that you have gone deeper than being thrilled with things. My hope is that you have been graciously granted from God some special blessing that He shares with you in such a way that part of the thrill you experience is knowing that this special thing is from Him. Maybe one of the sad and subtle realities of much of the modern Christian experience is that many no longer find God to be breathtaking. Let’s not let that become our own reality. Let’s live with the holy assumption that the God of the Bible is still able to take our breath away.

God’s interactions with His own children should occasionally be able to completely blow us away.  Honestly, I don’t believe the majority of Christians understand the degree to which it pleases Father to lavish His children with clear evidence of His goodness.  Part of this desire of God manifests in our lives through the experience of true pleasure.  Because of the sensualization and trivialization of the word “pleasure” by our culture, many Christians have an adverse reaction to even hearing the word, much less associating pleasure with God.  Many church-folk believe that God is holy, and pleasure is inconsistent with true holiness, therefore pleasure must be wrong – maybe even sinful. Many wrongly believe that, the more stoic (or unhappy?) they are, the more in tune with the Almighty they have become.  They have been conditioned to be suspicious of pleasure.  People like this fail to remember that Jesus Christ taught a prayer to His disciples that included the plea that the Father’s will would be accomplished on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10). Let me ask you then,

“Is Heaven happy or sad?  Is Heaven full of joy or listlessness?  Is Heaven the paradise of supreme pleasure or the dust of divine disinterest?  Friends, if Jesus taught us to pray that Heaven’s purposes would be experienced upon earth, should not we expect to enjoy large amounts of pleasure in Christ?”

So, then, in your interactions with the God of holy pleasure, what takes your breath away?

I could list a handful of things that bring me supreme pleasure.  Some of them are intensely personal, but here’s one I feel comfortable sharing today. Recently, as I was putting the finishing touches on a sermon outline for an upcoming Sunday morning, I sensed the partnership of the Holy Spirit motivating my thoughts, and the growing joy of what the Scriptures were teaching me in that hour. I realized that I was smiling broadly as I approached the bottom of the page on my screen where I was typing out what was being downloaded to my mind from the Lord. God the Spirit was moving in the room around me. I sensed Him teaching me, calling me to think deeply about what I was placing in the notes. He showed me a handful of people, calling them by name, who would be present when I released the message. He told me how they would be impacted by what He was giving me. Listening to the keyboard clicks as I worked my way through a handful of verses and handwritten notes, I finally hit the save button and let out a long sigh of satisfaction…still smiling.  Literally, I heard my own gratified sigh, and it was then that I “woke up” and realized what a joy it had been to hear His voice, to sense His heart, to prepare a message for Him (and about Him), and to envision the people with whom I have the privilege of sharing it.  It was not a difficult thing to picture Jesus standing right beside me saying to me, “That was fun, wasn’t it?”  While you may not personally connect with that clarified moment wherein I was momentarily engulfed in the pleasure of my life’s calling, for me it was really meaningful. It was enriching. It had some spiritually-gooey substance to it which stuck to my heart. God stooped down in grace, came to my office, whispered His thoughts into my mind, and then affirmed His pleasure in what we did together. For so many years, my calling was done for Him. Now it is done with Him. He was not in Heaven watching me. He was in my office speaking to me. The pleasure was not so much in the activity of cultivating a Sunday message. The pleasure was in the intimacy of partnership that took place.

I’m not trying to be dramatic or over-spiritualize things. We shared a moment together, He and I. And It was good.  It was very, very good.

Maybe my moment doesn’t necessarily get your motor going.  But something does. Something moves you. There is something He has made you passionate about.

Ask Him to create a moment just for you and Him in the arena of your passion and pleasure.

Ask Him to show up big in something little.

Ask Him to take your breath away again.

Comments 2

  1. Well said Bro. Jeff. It seems the closer you get to him or I get to him the greater the feeling. I would like to wake up everyday with him so close I could eel the coolness of his breath. The breath he used to breath life into me.
    God Bless my brother!

  2. This brought joy leaping up from within me while reading it. I’m so happy to hear of your glorious experience with HIM! It brought tears of Joy actually.
    I often think about His presence through The Holy Spirit and long for it. Once we’ve experienced Him, we really come to understand our need for more of Him…because, simply put, there’s nothing like Him. When we’re in the presence of God through His Spirit moving, we never want the feeling/experience to end! Infact, I realize how much more lonely I am w/o Him.
    Now that’s something good to be addicted to ☺️ .

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