On-Ramps into God

1 Jul

“Guard over your heart with all diligence for from it flows all the issues of life” – Prov 4:23

I must have a vibrant and healthy heart if I’m going to live life victoriously.  The state of my heart affects every aspect of my life.  In other words, “as goes my heart so goes my life”.  It’s imperative that I find a way to feed my heart so that it has the power to face life’s issues.  If my heart is depleted, then life’s molehill trials will seem like mountains… and I will likely react inappropriately.

Where do I feed my heart?

How does a person ignite and feed their heart?  What does it take to make it feel alive?  Does one just try, grunt and sweat harder?  Your personal way to feed your heart may require going to a specific place, finding a special relationship, getting in a unique environment or a host of other possibilities?  Trying to use someone else’s method to feed your heart will only be partially effective at best.  So whatever it takes, we’ve got to find our own personal ‘on-ramps’ into an encounter with the presence of the Lord!

So what are ‘on-ramps’?

An on-ramp is the point of entrance onto an inter-state or freeway.  Even though we may be within sight of a freeway, it isn’t possible to get on it without an on-ramp.  

Likewise, in the spiritual, even though I want to get into the Lord’s presence it may be difficult unless I use one of my  ‘on-ramps’… or the trigger which opens up my heart to God’s presence.  I define my spiritual ‘on-ramps’ as the ‘vehicle’ through which my heart is transported into the Lord’s presence… which most times, is accompanied by gentle tears.  Each person’s ‘on-ramps’ will be very unique and will likely reflect the personal gift mix and spiritual seasons of that person’s life.

Most of the time, our ‘on-ramp’ experiences will find us… in other words, we will be surprised when we suddenly find ourselves in a holy moment.  When that happens, it is important that we preserve those experiences by hallowing them in our hearts.  (For instance: Jacob hallowed God’s visitation to him in Gen 28:22 by erecting a stone of remembrance.)  We must not let those experiences just slip through our lives and out of our memory.  I believe God is watching to see how much we value His times of visitation. 

Document my ‘on-ramps’

Over the years, I began to realize that certain events, subjects and scriptures consistently and repeatedly unlocked my heart… I was discovering my ‘on-ramps’.  I wrote them down on a 3” x 5” card in my Bible, recorded them on my computer and found that if I needed help into the presence of the Lord all I had to do was revisit this list of on-ramps.  Documenting those experiences and extracting the nutrients (understanding) from them lets me easily have a fresh encounter.  Now, I can quickly access the Lord’s presence in my private time or even when I’m standing before people.  In fact, some of my most effective times of speaking are when I use these ‘on-ramps’.  Frequently, just mentioning one line about an ‘on-ramp’ will instantly take my heart there.  You see, those ‘on-ramps’ have now become major ‘doorways’ into God, accessible nearly anytime.  

Finding your ‘on-ramps’

Begin to take note of the times you encounter God.  Do those encounters happen repeatedly?  Do they always occur when certain environments are in place around you?  Are they reoccurring experiences or a special Bible verse?  Are you moved to tears or a very tender heart?  Then you may have discovered one of your ‘on-ramps’.  Now document this ‘on-ramp’ so that you won’t forget it.  You’ll be able to refer to it in the future when you need easy access into the Lord’s presence.  

The next thing: ‘mine out the gold’ from these on-ramps.  Ask yourself what specific facet of that experience unlocks and moves your heart.  Answering these questions will not only give you easier access into the presence of the Lord, but will help you discover unique aspects of your own personality and spiritual DNA.  I write more about this here.  When we do this, we’re beginning to be good stewards of our spiritual identity, our growth and our future.  

Now that you know how to find your ‘on-ramps’, enjoy the freeway!

— MLH

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3 Responses to “On-Ramps into God”

  1. SHARAT BABU July 2, 2013 at 3:09 AM #

    Thank you so much for this blessed strengthening message to study and to share with our people in India, please pray for me. Evangelist Babu.

  2. darylgstewart July 2, 2013 at 3:48 AM #

    A good word!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. There is a River | In My Father's House - January 22, 2017

    […] friend, Mark Hendrickson, talks about having “On-Ramps into God” and about how we feed our heart on his blog. Beloved, this is why worship is so […]

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