Saturday, 2 April 2016

How to Have Communion with God — Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” — Psalm 16:8.

God is an eternal being and life and reality. He is not a mere term or a philosophic concept–God is. He is a person, and I want to go into His presence. I want to know Him; I want to speak to Him. I will approach Him just as I visit a friend. I am going to visit God and commune with Him; I am going to have fellowship with Him. This is what David means by setting the Lord always before him.
Of course, there are many ways of doing this, but none is more important than the Word, the Bible. God has revealed Himself to us there; so as we read it, we obtain knowledge about God. He is speaking to us through the Word about Himself and about ourselves, so that the more we know it and read it, the more it will take us into the presence of God. So if you want to set the Lord always before you, spend much time in regular, daily reading of the Bible. And let it be systematic reading, not just picking it up at random and turning to a favorite Psalm and then to somewhere in the Gospels…I think any Christian should be ashamed who does not go through the entire Bible once a year. Go through it systematically. Many schemes have been designed and can be purchased that will tell you how to do this and will help you do so…
Also read biographies of godly people. When you see the kind of life they were enabled to live, you will feel, “Oh, that I were like that!” You will discover that the reason for their living as they did was that they always set the Lord before them. And so you read that when they were taken desperately ill or when bereavement and sorrow came, it did not disturb their equanimity, they were not finally upset. They were not inhuman; they did feel these things, and they felt them very acutely. But they did not lose their balance. They did not feel that all was lost and gone. And when trials and calamities came, even wars, they did not feel that everything had collapsed. Not at all! They went on, and there was a kind of added sweetness and beauty about their lives and a still greater joy and peace. That is what you find as you read their biographies, and you will find that their secret was that they spent a great deal of time every day reading the Scriptures and praying to God.
My dear Christian friends, is this not the trouble with so many of us today? We are much too busy. We are activists. We are running to meetings or organizing them or busying ourselves in various organizations. We do not even read as our forefathers did. We must always be entertained; we must be looking at something, or somebody must be doing it for us. The secret of the saints in the past was that they read the Word themselves and prayed and meditated and read good books. Not snippets, not mere devotional commentaries–they got down to doctrine, to the depths, and they lived in those depths and not merely in the shallows, producing glorious lives.
Oh, that we may all resolve to be like that! Do not let life control you. Never let any organization control you. Do not let “the thing to do” control you. And when I say that, I do not only mean it as it applies in the world. I mean “the thing to do” even in evangelical circles. Set the Lord always before you–the Lord Himself, not merely activities in His kingdom–because if you do not do this, you will become very dry in all your activism. Your heart will become cold, and in the time of need and trouble and trial you will not know where you are, and you will be a poor witness to the faith and to the grace that you have received and that you hold.
Lloyd-Jones, David Martyn, and Christopher Catherwood. Seeking the Face of God: Nine Reflections on the Psalms. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2005.

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