The Imagining Jesus Challenge

Faith, Jesus, Christianity, ChallengeI’m going to share with you the one thing that has completely changed the way I view Jesus. It involves some imagination so get your thinkers ready!

What I do is imagine Jesus with me throughout my day. I have friend dates with Him, think how He would react to a situation I’m going through in the moment, and do simple tasks with Him by my side.

The reality is that He really is with us all day every day, yet we often forget about His presence.

When we realize this truth, and start living our lives with this knowledge, our views on everything will change for the better!

I mean, just knowing that Jesus is on your side, and by your side is a game-changer!

Here are a few examples so you can try for yourself:

Eat breakfast together. Some mornings I imagine Jesus sitting next to me at the table, sharing in the food I’m eating, encouraging me for the day to come (I also like to think that He likes doughnuts and coffee, but maybe that’s just me).

Dance together. Imagine jumping up and down and celebrating life with Him. Imagine spinning in circles out of joy for a recent miracle or answered prayer. Throw your hands in the air in worship. Sometimes during church worship services I’ll think of this while singing out in praise. It’s very helpful for staying focused (because let’s be real, there are times when lunch is the only thing you can think about when the music plays).

Let Him comfort you. This is one of the imaginings that has changed me the most. When I feel like things are just wrong, I imagine Jesus putting His arms around me and reminding me that there are great things in store for my future. That He’s preparing me for my next step in life, and that He’ll be there through it all. I deal with chronic pain, and when it’s bad, thinking of a hug from our Lord is so helpful.

Another way to do this is by imagining you’re doing things for Him, just like it says in Colossians 3: 23-24 (ESV):

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

The way I like to implement this verse in my own life is by doing tasks, especially the ones that are less enjoyable, while imagining Jesus right there with me, smiling at me proudly for doing what’s right. For example, when I do chores or know that I need to hold my tongue in a certain situation, thinking of an encouraging hand on my shoulder helps do what needs doing.

 

I want to encourage  and challenge you to try some imagining this week. Remember that He’s with you in the good times and the bad. You may be surprised at how much of an impact this makes on your daily life!

I hope this is as helpful to you as it is to me.

What are some things that you’ve done that have drawn you closer to the Lord? Share in the comments below, and have a blessed week!

The Discovering God Challenge

The Discovering God ChallengeShow me who You really are. Those words echoed in my head and stayed in my heart ever since I heard them years ago at a church service. A challenge had been issued, one that changed the way I thought and prayed. The challenge was this:

For one week, every day, ask God to show you who He really is.

What a question! It caused me to stop and question who I thought He was, His characteristics and core principles. To me, God was all-powerful, just, wise, and loving. But, I knew with a God this infinite, there just had to be more.

Pause for a moment and ask yourself who you think He is. Maybe write these things down so that you can look back on them later. If you’re anything like me, the list you have is full of “Sunday school” answers, the typical traits we’ve heard in church over and over.

This is where most of us stop. We’ve been told who God is and we don’t bother to dig deeper because the answers we’ve been given are satisfactory. With this type of thinking, we’re immeasurably limiting how well we could know our Father.

But fear not, my friend! That’s where this challenge comes in. It is very possible that after this, your life will change.

For the next week, each day, take the time to ask God to show you who He really is. And then, stay on the lookout for His presence.

He will. Don’t be afraid that this prayer won’t be answered. Maybe you feel as though God never answers your prayers (I’ve been there, I think we all have at some point or another). The thing is, He always answers. Sometimes we don’t see it because we have narrowed our minds to think the answer must be something big, not subtle as is often the case.

That was my problem when I first took this challenge. I was in a tough spot in my life and I assumed Him showing me who He is was going to be giving me a miracle, showing how big and powerful He is. Deep disappointment came upon me with this mindset, but that’s when I remembered part of a powerful verse:

“Come near to God, and he will come near to you…” (James 4:8 NIV)

Not He could, but He will. From that point on, I began to look for the subtle signs of God showing me who He is.

He gave me beautiful sunsets on hard days, meals that tasted particularly good just when I needed it. Amongst terrible stories in the news, a random act of kindness by a stranger. I’d be listing to a playlist on God Gives Joy Through The Small Thingsshuffle and the perfect songs would come on to inspire me.

You see, God isn’t just all mind-boggling miracles, He’s a giver of joy through the small things. Sometimes He’s not a powerful gust of wind carrying the sound of thunder, but rather a light breeze that cools you on a hot day. He’s not just all-seeing, He’s personally interested in each and every one of us.

So, this week watch for big things, and watch for little things. He’ll come.

Once the week has passed, I invite you to share your experience in the comments below. Tell us how God showed Himself to you! I am so excited to hear what He does in your life!

BONUS CHALLENGE!

What I began to do after I prayed this for myself was to pray it for others. For example, if another believer is struggling, pray that God will show them who He really is, and that they’ll be open to see it. Another way to do this is by praying for those who aren’t believers, whether that’s a specific person in your life, or strangers, pray for God to show Himself.

Maybe you’re the person who doesn’t believe. If you are, you may be feeling a tug on your heart right now, an intrigue or curiosity that you can’t seem to push away. That’s God calling you to Him. You may not believe that, but I challenge you to try this week of prayer. What do you have to lose? Just think what you could have to gain.

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