Urging Him to Remain
But they urged Him strongly, “Stay with us.” — Luke 24:29
I love reading about our resurrected Lord visiting the two men on the road to Emmaus. As those men were walking seven miles from Jerusalem, Jesus appeared to them in disguise. When He asked them about their topic of conversation, they were kind of snarky with Him, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about the things that have happened there the last few days.” “What things?” Jesus asked.
Those guys proceeded to tell the resurrection story. They included these words, “We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel.” Jesus called them foolish and proceeded to teach them the Scriptures concerning Him. The miles and the time flew by and they quickly came close to home. Jesus acted as if He was going to continue on the road and leave them. That is when they said the words I have chosen as my main text, “Stay with us.”
As I read this, I was quite convicted. I have urged Jesus to do a lot of things. I’ve urged Him to answer prayers for loved ones that are hurting. I’ve urged Him to do ridiculous things in the past like make my girlfriend come back to me. I’ve even urged Him to help me get some particular job above many others. Only He knows the many other frivolous things I’ve pleaded with Him to do for me. But, there is one thing that I’m not sure I’ve ever done . . . urge Him strongly for His presence to remain with me.
When King David sinned with Bathsheba, God kind of laid the smack down on him. He lost children, lost his throne, lost his comfort, and lost pretty much his known way of life. You would think that he would urge God, even beg God, to restore all that was taken away. Instead, David records in Psalm 51, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me.” He knew he deserved for God to have nothing to do with him anymore. David seemed so unconcerned with his material possessions, he simply says, “God, please don’t take that beautiful sense of Your Presence away from me.” He was so sorry for not stewarding it well.
How powerful is that?
How convicting is that?
I have had some wonderful encounters with God in my lifetime. His Presence has been so strong with me for these small windows of time. Yet, I’m not sure I’ve valued that above all else. I’m not sure I’ve said, “God, no matter what, remain with me. Make me so aware of just how near you are. Your presence is everything to me.”
That is certainly my prayer this morning as I type this. Lately, my attitude has kind of stunk. I look back on the way I’ve lived and it just hasn’t been very God honoring. I could easily start whining for God to change my circumstances and make me more comfortable. But I know that isn’t what I need.
After Jesus was revealed to those men, they said, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
Lord, grant me a heart once more that just burns for you. Help me not take it for granted. Just like these men on the road to Emmaus, I urge you to remain. I urge you to stay with me. Take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Cleanse me of my sin and unrighteousness. Help me to cast my cares upon you and steward a presence like I have never known.