I have been a Christian for several decades now. At least by the standard practices of today’s Christian. I have believed in Jesus, who he is and why he came, but I have not known him.
For me that contradiction has really bothered me. For if I don’t know Christ intimately, who is to say he knows me. And if he doesn’t know me, what kind of future do I have? The answer, NONE. In the past I have always taken comfort in the fact that God knows who I am. He knew me in the womb,he gave me life and even knows how many hairs lay upon my head. So if God knows me so intimately, but I don’t know Jesus, but Jesus and God are the same. Surely I am saved! Right?
WRONG! No for if I don’t know Christ I have no defender. God will judge me by the way I have judged others. That’s pretty scary, cause honestly I judge people all the time. It’s human nature. So I have come to the conclusion I need a really good defender to represent me and speak for me on the day I am judged. So with that in mind I figured it was about time for me to seek and find Jesus. But how? I started looking in devotionals, many best sellers. In those pages I noticed a glimpse of him, but that was all. I looked in books written by some of the greatest philosophers and theologians. Their insight was brilliant,but still I could not find Jesus. To be honest this process became overwhelming frustrating, to the point I started to pray. I prayed a lot, something like this: “Jesus, where are you, I am lost, I have looked in books and in devotionals yet I can not find you, what gives? Why is this so hard? Why can’t I find you!? I need to find you, so you can stand before the Father and testify about what a good person I am.”
Now do yo remember, how this all started. It started with a simple statement. I am a Christian. Suddenly I started to question that statement. So I began looking at what that statement means. What does entail? To make a long story short, I started at the beginning. I started with the oath I took the day I was baptised, the pledge I took when I joined my church. The words in these public proclamations did indeed call for me to acknowledge my faith in Christ, but here’s where I missed it. Believing in God and in his Son is not the heart of Christianity. It is without question an essential piece, but the heart of Christianity, what makes someone a true disciple is a life of service, a permanent change in lifestyle focused on God, committed to his service. And as this transition occurs, spending time in prayer and in his word so we may overcome and defeat our natural self serving tendencies.
I didn’t reach these conclusions in one day, or month, but over years. Funny thing happened once I realized what it means to be a Christian. I was reading the Bible, a story I had read several times before, yet this time something was different. The words I were reading seemed to have a voice as if someone was sofly speaking to me. As I continued to read the voice seemed to get excited and I could feel something happening inside. Unsure of what was going on, I stopped, turned out the lights and started to pray. I started the same way as I had before, but this time it was different. AND I MEAN DIFFERENT, for on this night, unlike all the others. Jesus said hello. I am getting to know him better and what a wonderful thing that is, turns out he was as frustrated as me.