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Enjoying Communion with God
When the disciples walked the road to Emmaus twenty centuries ago, Jesus concealed His identity so that they didn’t recognize the “stranger” at their side. These men were not in a garden. There were no roses covered with dew. But they walked and talked with the risen Christ. What was their experience like? When their eyes were finally opened and they recognized Jesus, He suddenly vanished and they said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32, NASB).
That is the normal human reaction to the immediate presence of Christ—“hearts burning within us.” My heart would be scorched to a cinder if I could hear His voice. My soul would explode in joy if I could walk with Him and talk with Him. I would travel the world to find a garden where He was visibly present.
But the truth is that I can’t see God. I can’t even see His shadow. He leaves no footprints in the sand, no fingerprints on the doorknob, no lingering aroma of aftershave in the breeze. He is invisible because He is immaterial.
What I crave is a relationship with God that is both intimate and personal. The great barrier to intimacy is God’s invisibility. Because I cannot see Him, I tend to doubt His presence. But He is there and promises communion and fellowship with Him. The tool He provides to overcome the barrier is the tool of prayer.
Prayer offers us a link to intimate fellowship with God. Here is where we find what the saints call “mystic sweet communion.” One need not be a mystic to enjoy this sweet communion. Prayer is access to God. He hears what I say to Him in prayer. He responds, though not audibly or with a vision of Himself. When we move beyond speaking our requests or placing our petitions before Him, we enter into the arena of sweet communion. Here we penetrate the invisible and delight in the glory of His presence.
The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries and Dr. R.C. Sproul is to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness. For more information, please visit www.ligonier.org or call them at800-435-4343.
© R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved.