A Great Big Jesus Hug – Three-Minute Thursdays #17

People experience personal devotions in different ways. Some wake up each morning and get a “great big Jesus hug” others…not so much. Does everyone need to feel the same kind of emotional connection to God when doing personal devotions? I try to answer that in this brief video.

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Welcome to another edition of 3-Minute Thursdays. I guess you know how it works by now. We get three minutes on the clock and in that relatively brief amount of time, I try to say something useful, hopefully even beneficial to people like you. Today we’re talking about getting a great big Jesus hug every morning.

Okay, we’ve got to get three minutes on the clock and we’ll get to it. Today we’re talking about getting a great big Jesus hug every morning. Sounds weird, I know. Really, it’s related to personal devotions, and here’s what I want to say; I spend a lot of time reading, I spend a lot of time talking to people, I just enjoy engaging with other people. And sometimes we’ll talk about personal devotions or I’ll read in a book or biography about somebody else’s personal devotions and I think I’m prone to think that their devotional life must be much better than mine because it kind of seems they’re relating to the Lord on a different level than I am. I guess what I mean is that there’s some people who engage with the Lord on a very personal, it seems like a very warm level. So they get up in the morning and they’re reading the Word of God and they’re praying and it really kind of seems like they start every morning with this great big Jesus hug. Like they’re relating to him on a level that, I don’t know, just doesn’t really seem to fit with me. My experience at least is quite a bit different.

Now I don’t know that this should be a huge shock because we’re all very different people, aren’t we? And if you think about your relationships with other humans, there’s some of those relationships that are very warm and personal and affectionate, and there’s other relationships that are perhaps more intellectual. You engage more at the level of ideas, engage more at the level of truths than, you know, than affection. And I don’t think either one is wrong. And I think we can relate to the Lord in those ways as well and so I’ve found there’s a lot of value in speaking to other people and hearing or seeing how they relate to the Lord through those personal devotions. But then I think there’s even more value in just seeing what the Lord calls us to do, which is, to read His Word, which is to pray and then relate to Him in a way that feels natural, in a way that feels consistent with personality. And so I know that in my own devotions I tend to be engaging on a kind of intellectual, on a kind of ideas level. There isn’t as much feeling, but there’s still some deep engagement, we’re still thinking together, praying together, I’m talking to the Lord about the ideas He lays out in His Word. I’m praying those ideas back to Him. I’m doing my best to understand them and to apply them to my life. I don’t feel at the end of it all like I’ve gotten that warm hug from the Lord, but I still feel like I’ve engaged with Him, I still feel like we’ve been spending time together. I still feel like I’ve been speaking to Him and He’s been speaking to me. I still feel like we have a genuine, true, warm, engaging, real relationship.

So I suppose the encouragement that I’m trying to bring your way is, there’s value in comparison, but there’s also danger. And so, as you relate to the Lord, as you read His Word, as you pray, as you meditate, as you do all these disciplines, be sure that you’re doing it in a way that fits your personality. Don’t compare too much to others, but do what feels natural, do what honors the Lord, do what really draws you closer to Him, even if that is perhaps a little more intellectual, a little less emotional than you might see modeled or hear described by other people.