Good morning, folks! Yes, I do still exist! After a stretch of silence, there are many avenues I could take but I want to share with you my renewed passion to know my Jesus more intimately.
I was looking over my packed bookshelves the other night in search of a medical textbook when a title on a book spine jumped out at me. “The Jesus I Never Knew” by Philip Yancey. I recalled being all excited about picking this like new book up in a used bookstore and being eager to start it as soon as I got home. But alas, this book got lost in the shuffle and since I’ve got enough bookshelves now, it was unearthed from a box and set on the shelf. Funny how it didn’t strike me when I was transferring my books onto the shelf.
Perhaps I now have more of an intimate interest in exploring Jesus than what I did back a couple of months ago. Am I alone in these periods of lackadaisical perception of Jesus? I don’t think so. Does everyone want to admit their times of struggle with this lack of interest? I think we all feel alone in this struggle and feel somewhat less of a Christian if we admit it. I know I struggle with doubts of my sincerity in my Christian walk if I don’t feel a consuming desire to learn more about Jesus. Satan knows too that he can get me down pretty quick with these doubts. If he gets me to wallow around in my doubts and insecurity, I’ll be so consumed with that I’ll waste time that could be spent in fanning the smoldering ashes of interest into a burning passion to reconnect with my Redeemer.
How many times does Jesus Himself get lost in the shuffle of my life? Do I pack Him away and attempt to confine Him to a box? A box with borders well inside my comfort zone and my stipulations of “sane Christianity”. You know when you say, “Wait, wait, not too radical here, Jesus, after all what will others think about me if You lead me to a more passionate lifestyle, a more intense emotional investment in life?” I am guilty of holding the reins back way too much in my relationship with Jesus. How do I expect Him to be able to move in me and work through me if I’m constantly pulling back? I know that feeling somewhat – when my horse is being obstinate and refusing to engage in riding and give it all she’s got when I ask her to gallop, it’s frustrating and I nigh to lose my temper with her. That’s essentially what I’m doing with Jesus – He says, “Lets gallop!” And I say, “I’ll fully engage my heart for the next 5 minutes but then I’m gonna fall back into my safe routine of Christianity.”
Why don’t I know Jesus more intimately and grasp His passionate zeal? I can’t use the excuse that there’s not enough info available about Him. I have no excuse. God has revealed Himself clearly in all of Scripture and the Messiah is the main theme woven all through the tapestry of God’s Word. The ball is in my court – am I going to play it or ignore it? Does the intensity of Jesus scare me? Does His unapologetic direct approach to truth make me uncomfortable? Does His reckless abandon of man’s preconceived boundaries of righteousness infringe on my space? What is it that prevents me from losing myself in Him?
Modern day mainstream Christianity has tamed down what it means to live for Jesus. We don’t want to offend anyone and we cringe from appearing radical. We want want only what’s easy and whatever goes with the flow. Too often I am guilty of restricting the power of Jesus in my life, simply because I am reluctant to go at a gallop with Him.
I have decided I am going to study just who this Jesus is. I am going to put aside my preconceived ideas of Him and look at Him through the eyes of the Gospel writers as though I were learning about Him for the first time. I desire to be radically changed by Jesus without impeding the process by dragging my heels. I will work my way through the Gospels taking my time in order to scrutinize Jesus rather than giving Him my passive attention. I also am going to read Philip Yancey’s book along with this study.
I hope to gain some fresh insights and am excited about sharing them with you.