The other day I was doing something as simple as making a cup of tea, and I started to imagine, what would it be like to have Jesus physically standing beside me in my kitchen. God has been revealing and healing a lot in me lately, I had been praying for Him to make it easier. I didn't want to struggle any more, for it to be a hard slog to find the 'new creation' I know is in there somewhere.
And so I was imagining how much easier it would be if Jesus was right there next to me. How much peace I would feel, how changed I would be without even trying.
Then - perhaps with a little holy prompting - it dawned on. Jesus is there.
Maybe I can't see him with these physical eyes, but don't we as Christians believe that the Holy Spirit was sent to us for exactly that. To be the presence of God with us - not just beside us, but living in us?
How had I forgotten this simple but profound fact?
I ran straight to my computer, because it seemed too important, that moment, that I wanted to capture it in words, to post it as a blog so that others could be reminded too. But as I tried to write I couldn't find the words. I left the post unfinished. It just didn't seem to be the time to write it.
Instead I went and danced around my living room with a intense - if fleeting - feeling of joy that Jesus was right there with me.
Little more than a week later - unaware of these thoughts and ideas I had been pondering, for I had not told anyone yet, still unsure how to express it - my mum pointed me in the direction of Forgotten God by Francis Chan.
That is where I read these words, expressed exactly as I had been thinking but unable to put in to words:
"Right now, imagine what it would be like to have Christ standing beside you in the flesh, functioning as your personal Counselor. Imagine the peace that would come from knowing you would always receive perfect truth and flawless direction from Him. That sounds amazing, and none of us could deny the benefit of having Jesus here physically, guiding and enabling us every step of the way.
"Yet why do we assume that this would be any better than the literal presence of the Holy Spirit?"
This is definitely a theme lately - and it is a challenging and life changing question. Why are we not living as if Jesus is right beside us, when He has done one better - He lives in us!
That fleeting joy I felt that morning, shouldn't that be a permanent thing? God was not any more real or any closer to me that morning than He is every other minute of every day. I just don't notice most days.
It baffles me how I - how many of us - have been living as Christians for so long with such heavy blinders on that we have not noticed that we are missing something.
If our lives are not radically changed by the knowledge that God actually lives IN us - something that is even better than being a person physically beside us - why aren't we saying, "This doesn't seem right. This isn't enough."
I am in no doubt God is doing a new thing, that He wants to reawaken the Spirit within us.
Are you ready? Are you willing? Or have you let yourself become content with sleepwalking through your Christian life?