Dear Jesus

I am ever so near you, hovering over your shoulder, reading every thought. People think that thoughts are fleeting and worthless, but yours are precious to Me.

Dear Jesus,

This is glorious—yet disconcerting! My thinking is not only the part of me that feels most hidden and secret; it is also the most difficult part of my behavior to master. In relationships with other people I can interact with them while keeping my secret thoughts to myself. Your ability to read my every thought is alarming, but it is also wonderful. It’s a relief that there is Someone from whom I cannot hide: Secretiveness breeds loneliness. Moreover, the fact that You care about every aspect of me—even all my thoughts—demonstrates how important I am to You.

Beloved, I know how difficult it is for you to control your thoughts. Your mind is a battleground, and evil spirits work tirelessly to influence your thinking: even deceiving you with intrusive thoughts at times. Your own sinfulness also finds ample expression in your thoughts. You need to stay alert and fight against evil! I fought and died for you, so remember who you are and Whose you are. Thus, you put on the helmet of salvation. This helmet not only protects your mind, it also reminds you of the victory I secured for you on the cross.

Your thoughts are precious to Me because you are My treasure. As soon as your thinking turns My way, I notice and rejoice. The more thoughts you bring to Me, the more you can share in My Joy. I disarm evil thoughts and render them powerless. Then I help you think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable—excellent and praiseworthy things. Ponder these things, while resting in the Peace of My Presence.

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

~ Psalm 139:1–2

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

~ Ephesians 6:17

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

~Philippians 4:8

Dear Jesus

As the Holy Spirit controls your mind and actions more fully, you become free in Me. You are increasingly released to become the one I created you to be.

Dear Jesus,

This sounds like a contradiction: becoming free through being controlled. Yet I know that when Your Spirit is controlling my thinking and behavior, I feel more alive—more real! You have taught me to pray, “Holy Spirit, think through me, live through me, love through me.” I’ve found I am most content when I intentionally yield to You: inviting You to live through me. Nonetheless, my desire to be in control and do things my way often sabotages me.

Beloved, in My kingdom freedom comes from yielding to My will, which is perfect. Because I am infinite and you are not, My will may appear to be anything but perfect. I want you to trust Me at all times, even when you cannot understand what I’m doing. The Holy Spirit will help you in this, as you invite Him to control your thinking. He lives in the depths of your spirit, and He knows you better than you know yourself. His work in you can liberate you to become more completely the one I designed you to be. The Spirit and I work together in perfect harmony.

I am pleased when you ask My Spirit to think, live, and love through you. This is the collaborative way of living I had in mind when I created mankind. The more you collaborate with the Spirit, the freer you become: free to live exuberantly, to love extravagantly, to know Me in ever-increasing intimacy!

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

~ Romans 8:6                 

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

~ Romans 12:2 

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. 

~ Romans 8:26–27

Dear Jesus

I know the depth and breadth of your need for Me. I can read the emptiness of your thoughts when they wander away from Me.

Dear Jesus,
The longer I live, the more I recognize how desperately I need You. I want You to be central in my life. However, I am easily distracted: My thoughts wander away from You as readily as water flows downhill. I need Your help all the time.

Beloved, recognizing the extent of your neediness is one of your strengths. Humans can be divided into two categories: needy people who recognize their insufficiencies and needy people unaware of their inadequacies.

Recognition, however, is only half the battle. The other half is turning to Me—rather than idolatrous substitutes—to fill your emptiness. Though substitutes may seem appealing, they provide no lasting satisfaction.

Wandering thoughts are ever so human. Your thoughts and feelings are constantly influenced by the heaviness of this fallen world. As long as you live on earth you will have to contend with this spiritual-emotional “gravity” pulling you away from Me. Thankfully, returning your thoughts to Me is not as laborious as carrying water back uphill would be. A short prayer in My Name is usually sufficient to reconnect with Me, for I am never far from you. Indeed, I have promised to be with you always—perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion—to the very close and consummation of the age.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 
Colossians 3:5 

God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 
Acts 17:27

Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).” 
Matthew 28:20

Dear Jesus

Waiting, trusting, and hoping are intricately connected: like golden strands interwoven to form a strong chain. Trusting is the central strand, because it is the response from My children that I desire the most.

Dear Jesus,

Often I feel as if waiting is what I do most of the time. I admit that it is difficult for me to wait: I prefer to make things happen myself, without delay. Hoping feels very similar to waiting; it is all about future things that are beyond my control. However, I have found that when I’m actively trusting You, waiting and hoping flow naturally out of my closeness with You.

Beloved, trusting Me is crucial, and it gives meaning to your waiting and hoping. Without trust, your connection with Me quickly deteriorates. That’s why the Bible contains so many commands to trust Me. As you affirm your faith in Me, I empower you to wait with positive expectations. Waiting on Me is actually a great privilege, full of promise and blessing. Waiting on royalty has always been considered a high position, because it involves nearness to the royal persons. Ladies-in-waiting may perform humble services, such as helping people dress; yet these helpers are highly esteemed, even though they serve sinful, mortal royals. How much more should you treasure the privilege of serving Me—the King of eternity, immortal, invisible, the only God!

Hoping can be a joyful occupation, because it connects you to your promised inheritance in heaven. Such hope provides a rock-solid foundation in the present, helping you face the daily struggles of living in a broken world. Hope also connects you with Me, for I am the God of hope. My death on the cross opened the way for you to join My royal family and live with Me forever.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

~ Psalm 62:8

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

~ 1 Timothy 1:17

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

~ Romans 15:13

Dear Jesus

Entrust your loved ones to Me. Release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands.

Dear Jesus,

I think I sometimes confuse loving others with rescuing them. When a loved one has a problem, I often feel responsible to come up with a solution. I plunge headlong into problem-solving mode, as if I’m obligated to provide sound advice. Please help me stop feeling responsible to fix people, since that is Your role—not mine.

Beloved, it is indeed My prerogative to bring about change in people’s lives, as I choose to do so. You can be part of the process, but remember that I am the Author and Director of the drama: You need to follow My script, rather than creating your own. Do not usurp My role in people’s lives, no matter how much you long to help them. 

When you feel compelled to rescue a loved one, take a good look at the quality of your love. Learn from Me, because I have all authority in heaven and on earth: I could rescue or control anyone at will. Yet I intentionally created people with the capacity to choose good or evil. I wanted them to be free to love Me …or not. Love that has no choice is not real!

Subordinate your deficient, controlling love to My perfect, empowering Love. Prayerfully release your loved ones to Me. Restrain your urges to solve their problems. Instead, use your time and energy to listen to them and pray for them. Trust in My Love and My unsearchable wisdom. I can work changes in your loved ones’ lives: beyond anything you might ask or imagine. As you release these precious ones to Me, linger a while in My unfailing Love …for them and also for you.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
~Matthew 28:18

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
~ Ephesians 3:20–21

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
~Psalm 143:8

Dear Jesus

As you give yourself more and more to a life of constant communion with Me, you will find that you simply have no time for worry.

Dear Jesus,

I hate to say it, but I always find time for worrying! I have battled this worry-beast for years, with little success. Trying not to worry is like trying not to think about something: The more I try, the more anxious I become. I definitely need Your help in this battle.

Beloved, you do need My help, because trying to fight this battle on your own has been so counterproductive: Now you’re worrying about worrying! Your best strategy is to stop focusing on this problem and put your energy into communicating more with Me. This approach will help you achieve freedom from all sorts of negative tendencies, including worry. The idea is to replace hurtful, self-defeating behavior with something wondrously positive—communicating with your Creator and Savior.

Because I am your Creator, I know how you function best: I designed you for rich communion with Me. As your Savior, I also know how you function worst. Remember that I died for every one of your sins. Don’t just talk to Me; listen to Me as well. I speak to you through My Word, My Spirit, My creation. As you give yourself more and more to communicating with Me, you will find your worry-time vanishing.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
~ Luke 12:25–26 

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. 
~ Proverbs 12:25

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
~ Psalm 25:4–5

Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]. 
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Dear Jesus

Spend time with Me for the pure pleasure of being in My company. I can brighten up the dullest of gray days; I can add sparkle to the routines of daily life.

Dear Jesus, 
Spending time in Your company, keenly aware of Your Presence, is utterly delightful. It’s a foretaste of the eternal pleasures You have prepared for me. However, I confess that the “dailyness” of life tends to pull me down: My focus on routine duties obscures my awareness of You. I want to enjoy Your continual Presence in all that I do.

Beloved, wait in My Presence while I reveal Myself to you. Put aside thoughts of tasks awaiting you, as you focus pleasurably on Me. Allow awareness of My Presence to become imprinted on your consciousness. Then move gently from this contemplative time into your routine duties. Refuse to view this part of your life as boring. Instead, continue communing with Me, asking Me to be vibrantly involved in your work. 

Having already connected with Me at a deep level, you can find Me more easily in the midst of your activities. Naturally, you will lose sight of Me at times; I know you’re only human. But you can reconnect readily, by moving toward Me in your thoughts, words, and feelings. The more you include Me in your awareness, the brighter your day will be: Your routines will sparkle with the liveliness of My company.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. 
Psalm 130:5–6 

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 
Psalm 103:13–14

“For in him we live and move and have our being.” As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring.” 
Acts 17:28