Breakfast with My King
I came to know Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was 40 years old in 1990. On that day, over 21 years ago, I began to read the Bible. In John’s Gospel, the first verse in the first chapter tell us “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Further in the chapter, John writes in verse 14, “The Word became flesh and lived among us.” So, early in my new spiritual walk, I was introduced to not only the Bible (The Word), but also His Word. That is why I like to call the Bible “the Word” –- it reminds me over and over that it is His message of love to me. I had never read the Bible before. Yes, I was aware of snippets introduced in the Catholic Mass and had heard homilies on a verse or two, but I had never before read the Bible from cover to cover. So since 1990, I have enjoyed His Word every day with my breakfast and every night before sleep. No matter if it’s rainy, cloudy, or freezing cold, I begin my day outside–-alone with God and His Word-–blankets and all!
A Divinely Inspired Communication
Each one of us has a personal way we communicate with the Lord. I believe He too has a special way to communicate with us that is Divinely structured for us as individual sparks of His creation. I would like to share some of the special ways that work for me in drawing close to Him to receive His love, His inspiration, and in many ways, His instruction, direction, and personal communication to me for my own life.
Reading His Word Brings Spiritual Growth and Greater Intimacy
I will never forget the day I read the story about Mary and Martha for the first time. (Luke 10:38-42). It is a story about Jesus visiting a home and Martha was all worried about the preparation and upset with her sister Mary who was just sitting and listening to Jesus. Jesus replied to Martha that Mary had chosen the best way. I was literally stunned. I thought to myself, “I’ve been Martha all of my life. I want to be Mary!” This personal revelation literally changed my approach to life. There are times when I need “Martha” to be in action, but when it comes to the Lord, I want to be “Mary.”
Since that fateful day of reading the Bible as a personal message to me, I have become very hungry for Bible Study. As a baby Christian, I “cut my teeth” on the King James Version which uses all those thees, thous, and shouldest, but being a lover of poetry, I soon caught on. My first Bible was a Thompson Chain Bible that notes keywords and follows them throughout the 66 books from beginning to end. So, if something really struck me, I could follow it to get to the real meaning of what was being said. In the Bible Helps, there were countless topics that led back to Scriptures.
Since 1990, I have read probably 10 different versions of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Currently, my go-to Bible for relaxed reading is the New Living Translation. But, my let’s-get-deeper Bible is the New American Standard Word Study Bible with key words identified with Strong’s Hebrew and Greek original words. Oh, my goodness! Rich, rich, rich! As an example, here is a word study I did on the Greek words “take courage,” which is tharseo. Today I am going even deeper as I’ve begun a study of the Hebrew Alphabet. Every letter, even how they are formed, is His language of love and revelation. You will find that as you read His Word, you will feel a “nudge,” like a “hmmm – what does that mean?” Follow that nudge and feed on His richness.
HEAR THIS! We are all made up of a body, soul and a spirit. The spirit is the place where we connect with God. Every time you read the Bible (His Word), the Holy Spirit draws near to you and deposits more in your spirit. You are literally feeding your spirit with His. 1 Peter 2:2 tells us, “like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Other Personal Practices in Intimacy
Since the beginning of my walk with the Lord, I have journaled. In fact, my daily Bible sits on top of my current journal. My journal is like my “Dear Diary,” but more importantly, it has become my “Dear Lord.” When I am struggling with an issue or a trial in my life or when I can’t speak what’s in my heart, I write it in my journal. I find it to be very therapeutic. I believe it’s because He is with me in the writing. Holy Spirit knows our thoughts and our hearts — even better than we do — and I believe, helps us “sort out” what’s going on.
I also use my journal to write down inspirational thoughts, record my dreams, and words the Lord speaks to me. (My Daughter) I bring my journal to church, Bible study, or other meetings to record key things that are spoken. I leave a page or two at the beginning of the journal to record key dates and revelations or important days in that particular journal.
You all know me as the gray-haired lady bopping up and down in the Praise Pit, enthusiastically beating my tambourine. But what you don’t know is how important worship is in my life. As soon as I finish my “Breakfast with My King,” I head into my bathroom to get on with the day. I always put on my iPod to my worship music. Sometimes it’s just background, but most times I sing along. I’m always touched by what songs are featured. I do believe Holy Spirit deliberately plays a certain song to catch my ear and my heart. When I’m in the shower, I usually sing songs from my heart — little ditties that I make up just for Him. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’m in my “birthday suit” and literally get down on my knees with my hands raised to Him in praise and adoration.
Worship brings His angels and changes the atmosphere of my home. Believe it! I have my car stereo tuned to worship. I have favorites saved on my computer. I fill my home with worship. I even garden with worship music. BUT, when I’m on the treadmill, I pray, praise, and worship with my own songs. When I go on my nature walks, I don’t take music. That’s my time to love Him, appreciate His creation, and listen to HIS songs. (See Zephaniah 3:17) Just yesterday I was listening to Phillips, Craig, and Dean’s “Favorite Song of All” in my car and broke into tears and prayers for those who don’t know the Lord as their Savior. “HIS favorite song is the song of the redeemed.”
Oh my, oh my… THIS is the hardest for me! I have always been a mover. I think I’m just a bundle of energy, like that Energizer bunny, I just keep going. When I was working, I couldn’t stay sitting for very long. After I completed a task, I just got up and did something. Every leader I know says stillness is the key to intimacy. “Be still and know…” Well, MY God knows I have real difficulty with this. So, I’ve learned to “listen” while doing. Yes! It is possible. Remember when Moses “turned aside to see” the burning bush? I’ve learned to do that… I’ve learned to recognize His voice, His emphasis, His nudge… and I turn aside. Thank God He communicates with us personally, knowing our makeup.
However, there ARE times when I DO sit quietly, turn off my thoughts, and deliberately listen. Usually, these are times of particular turmoil in my life–when I’m burdened with many prayer needs. After I take them before the Lord, I just sit in my special chair and cover myself with a rainbow blanket some friends gave to me. It reminds me of God’s covenant promise to Noah that He would never flood the earth again. (Genesis 9:12-16) And then I listen.
God doesn’t always show up. I have to be honest. BUT, I am rested and at peace and can then go about my day. And yet, I have also had tremendous experiences that have taken me on marvelous journeys with Him. This year, in these quiet moments, the Lord has brought a song to my mind. I kid you not! In January it was “I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy.” In February, it was “The hills are alive with the sound of music.” This month, it was “I’m a little teapot.” Isn’t He wonderful? With each of these songs, the Lord spoke to me, personally.
Listening, Recalling, Recording
The last area in which the Lord has been developing intimacy in me is in my sleep. It has been said that although our body sleeps, our spirits never do. Early in my walk, after I had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is the evidence of a new language, commonly called speaking in other tongues, my husband said that I spoke in tongues in my sleep. (See Acts 2:1-4) Imagine that! The Word tells us that the Holy Spirit ever makes intercession for us. When we speak in tongues, we are communicating spirit to Spirit. I think that’s pretty cool.
During the last five years or so, I believe the Lord has given me dreams — some just for me, but some for others. Many, many times I will wake up at a certain hour (usually it’s during what is called the 4th Watch) between 3 and 6AM. I will feel a nudge to actually look at the digital clock. I know I’m to look up that time as a Scripture. One of my favorite books is Isaiah. That’s usually where I go to first in the morning when I get one of these “digital messages” and I’m enjoying my breakfast with my King. Other times I sense it’s a section in the Bible such as Matthew or Revelation or even Genesis or Psalms for that time on the clock. I just know it’s a message for me. That’s how He is intimate with me. I have also actually heard a phrase just as I’m waking up and feel the urge that it’s something I need to look up.
There are so many ways to develop intimacy with God. Don’t stress about it. HE is ever-present and ever-longing to be intimate with you! Each one of us has a “special” way to communicate to Him and to receive communication from Him. BUT, the most important thing, for me, is to give Him my time and my attention. So, tomorrow, try inviting the Lord to your breakfast. You’ll find He’s hungry to meet you too!