One of the many bold statements that Jesus made was that if we are not with Him then we are against Him.
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” Luke 11:23
Jesus wants us to be with Him. Jesus doesn’t want us to just know about Him, talk about Him, or even say that we’re with Him or for Him. Jesus actually desires that we are fully present with Him. Doing that is what changes us, and that change becomes evident to other people.
The disciples Peter and John had been with Jesus and it was noticeable. If you struggle to have a bold faith, a faith that other people take note of, spend time with Jesus. If you feel unqualified to do what God has created and purposes you to do then spend time with Jesus. When you spend time with Jesus people will marvel at your life! Jesus had returned to Heaven and now His disciples were out testifying to the world what they had experienced over the past few years.
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13 KJV
Peter and John did not have a formal education, they did not spend their entire life studying the scriptures, they just spent time with Jesus. The Bible goes as far as saying they were ignorant, yet because they were present with Jesus the people took knowledge and notice of them. Plenty of people had seen Jesus. Thousands had heard Him preach and were touched by His ministry. People had been miraculously healed and set free, yet only a few had been with Jesus. Today we all have the opportunity to be with Him and spend time in His presence.
“Therefore the Lord said: “These people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,” Isaiah 29:13 NKJV
What God is saying here to Isaiah is just as relevant today. People say they believe in God, they say how much they love Jesus, yet their hearts are far away. Their hearts are not with Him. These people even attend Church and hear about God from other people, they are receiving Godly, Biblical teaching, yet it doesn’t go further than that. These people hear about God without hearing from God. How easy it is to believe in God and be for God without being with God.
Jesus came to Earth and was named Immanuel, God with us, with the hope and desire that we would be with Him. God has the best open door policy towards us. We can approach His throne with boldness and confidence, something that was unheard of in the Old Testament. God has torn down the barrier that once kept us at a distance and invited us to draw near to Him, to be with Him every day. Being with God is a sacrifice and often a battle we need to push through. The rewards of being with Him are unending.
Today God is asking you to return to your first love. Just as He wrote to the Ephesian Church in Revelation 2. God loves that you attend Church, he notices your hard work and dedication. We easily get distracted by Godly things and lose God, we are attracted to the blessing and lose sight of the Blesser, we’re in awe of creation and complacent with the Creator. What He wants more than anything else is for you to be with Him.