I think that we have lost so much in our churches and in our Bible Studies and in our Christianity. I think that we have lost so much in our ways of every day life. There is a haunting scene in from C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce in which two men are talking and one of the men is explaining how great Jesus’ ideas were and how great of a moral teacher He was and what a great thing religion is and blah, blah, blah. Then the other man (who is indeed a citizen of Heaven) stops him and says, “We know nothing of Religion here: we think only of Christ.”
I often take a step back from my life and am sickened with what I see. I am so lost in the activities, in the hustle and bustle of the American life. I can spend hours at church but only short moments on my knees or in the Word. I can spend hours in front of people speaking about Jesus but only short moments actually talking to Jesus. It breaks my heart to see how I get so caught up in Christianity that I miss out on Christ.
Earlier today I sat down and picked up my Bible and all of that just hit me right in the face. For the last 11 days there has been nothing but excitement in Little Rock, and I believe that it will continue because Jesus is moving in such an amazing and beautiful way! Lives are being changed and Christians from all over are becoming Christ-followers. Church bodies are awakening and students are getting on their faces and opening their mouths. The stories of Revival have literally left me overwhelmed. I am so excited to see how the Spirit continues to move and set our hearts on fire. However today I opened my eyes to the sad truth that since last Wednesday I have picked up my Bible (with the soul intent of meeting with Jesus and nothing else) only twice. I have picked it up and read it out loud with my brothers and sisters many times since, which is so important and vital in our spiritual growth, but I have only attempted to meet one on one with the God of the Universe twice.
Here’s what I’m trying to say: the only reason any of this Revival is happening is because of Christ and we cannot forget Christ in the midst of this Awakening. And you might be sitting there reading this thinking, “well no duh”… but truly stop for a moment and think about all the times in your life you have been jazzed up for Christ and how many times you have lost it because you focus on Him. All the camps and conferences you’ve been to where you “got saved” or “rededicated” but got lost in that experience and didn’t instead get lost in Christ.
The single greatest gift in the entire universe is having the chance to know Jesus. But not just pray a pray to Him every now and then but intimately and deeply knowing our Creator. Paul went so far as to say in Philippians “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord.” I’ve heard that verse over and over again in Sunday school but as I read it now, after Jesus has wooed my heart, I sit with my heart yearning to know Christ with the intimacy that Paul did. Could I say that I count everything else as worthless compared to knowing Him? Could I say that I count my family, my friends, my school, my writings, all of the books I love, music, everything! as worthless?
How can I replace the hours of talking about Jesus with hours of talking and communing with Jesus?
James said draw close to God and He will draw close to you. Paul prayed that we would learn to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His Love is. Men and woman throughout history have died because of their love for their Savior. Bill Bright would bust into tears when he was asked who Jesus was to him.
I want to know Jesus. But I do not just want to know Him on Sunday mornings or on Wednesday nights or when it’s politically correct to know Him. I want to know Him on Saturdays at 3 am when the choice of loving Him or loving my computer becomes a reality. I want to know Him on Tuesday afternoon when the barista at Starbucks is giving me a hard time or on Friday mornings in my English class when everyone is talking about their plans for the weekend. I want to know Jesus when I that scholarship falls through and when I don’t get accepted into my dream school. I want to know Jesus when everything else fails and when my face is in the dust. I want to know Jesus every second of every day. I want to know Jesus when my house is burning and family and friends are dying. I want to know Jesus when the world is caving in.
But it’s a scary thought to me, because it’s a completely real possibility that many of us when we are on our knees before Jesus may not be able to say we ever actually knew Him at all... I want to know Jesus when I fall to my knees before His throne.
One day I hope to know nothing of Religion. One day I hope to know only Christ.
"O, the fullness, the pleasure, the sheer excitement of knowing God here on earth." -Jim Elliott