Monday, January 31, 2011

To Know Him

Over the past couple of months God has placed a desire in my heart to learn more about Jesus and to truly get to know him more fully. I know that I'll never be able to fully know Christ until I pass from this life to the next, but during my life on earth I can develop a deeper intimacy with Him. Over the years that I have been a christian, I think I have taken the presence, character, and glory of Christ for granted, and I never truly sought to have a deep relationship with Him. I say this because I feel that to have a deep relationship with Christ you must know Him-just like the relationship between close friends. My life so far has been far more concerned with personal character development than getting to know Christ. Thus, it is no wonder that God has been working in my heart to show me how I have tried to tame Jesus, fit him in a "Jesus loves you" box, and keep him at a distance. Part of it, I think, is that to face Jesus directly is a scary thing. He commands some tough things--and if we take Him seriously, than we must realize that we have to obey what he teaches! Wow, that can be scary! It takes a lot of discipline and humility to love your enemies as yourself, etc. But Jesus, what he teaches, and what he did on the cross, are the center of our salvation, and our faith, and thus it makes sense that knowing Christ is of utmost importance. As God has been revealing how inadequately I know Christ, he led me to a book entitled The Jesus You Never Knew by Philip Yancy. It was a book that made me understand Jesus' life on earth much more fully, and caused me to simply be taken back by how powerful, merciful, loving, holy, and utterly breathtaking Christ is. He teaches some tough things yes, but who He is, and what He did for us sinners, is enough to bring forth a response of ready obedience. The funny thing about that though, is that I've realized that I can only obey and follow Christ through His strength and His grace! I am completely dependent on Him - even what I can do 'for Him' can only be done 'through Him'! How humbling is that... Now that God has shown me that I need to keep a steady gaze on Christ, I am even more hungry to know Him! Reading that book was helpful, and I definitly recommend it...but I feel like I will need to keep re-reading it, and re-reading the gospels (which are, of course, the main source to learn about Christ!) and getting to know Christ through his church and the poor-for all of my life. Getting to know God is a journey that will never be over until I die. He is just that mysterious and infinite and we are just that finite. I pray that God will continue to reveal himself to me-that I will be able to experience more of Him and have a deeply intimately relationship with Him! Lord, help me to care less about my own character, my own glory, and much more about your character, your glory, and just who you are. Keep my gaze on you and never let  my desire to know you more fade!

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