I sat on the couch in my counsellors office this week, sock feet curled under me, and journal resting on my lap. After years of cycling through thought patterns and behaviours related to anxiety counselling has been a sweet (though difficult) balm to my soul. As our session neared an end we turned to the scriptures and camped out in Romans 8, looking at the life and peace that is the result of living led by the Spirit of God. I put my pen down and threw my hands into the air.
“I know all this cognitively- but how on earth do I implement it so that it brings change in my life?” My counsellor reminded me that seeing this change in our lives comes from knowing Jesus, and walking with Him.
I continued candidly. “If I am 100% honest, sometimes I wish it wasn’t all about relationship with God. Most of the time I just want to know what to do. I want a step-by-step plan. I want a formula. I want to experience real life & peace without actually needing to nurture a relationship with Christ.”
If that admission wasn’t hard enough, as we continued on this topic, my counsellor made an observation that rang far too true in my heart. “You know, it seems from what you are saying that you know a lot about Jesus, but from your faith as you are describing it now, it doesn’t seem like you actually know Him very well”
Yet I couldn’t argue with her. Maybe if I grew in my knowing of Jesus rather than just my knowledge of Him, there wouldn’t be such a disconnect between my mind and the reality of my heart.
Maybe there is a disconnect for you too? A disconnect between what you know about Jesus, and living a life that bears fruit with actually knowing Him?
As this new year continues to move along, Adam and I are resolving to be more intentional with examining our hearts in relation to our faith and pursuing to know Jesus, walk with Jesus, and share Jesus.
Some questions we are asking ourselves in this season are:
1) Being completely honest with ourselves & God, am I seeing a disconnect in my heart between what I know about Jesus, and bearing the fruit that comes with knowing Jesus?
[Not sure how to know? : I encourage you to camp out in Romans 8, and line up your life with the qualities of living by the flesh or being led by the Spirit]
2) Am I seeking after the results of walking with Jesus & being led by His Spirit [Life & Peace] rather than actually seeking Jesus Himself?
[Eg. Do you desire peace in your life more than you desire to actually know Jesus?]
3) How am I intentionally seeking out a deeper knowing of Jesus in my life?
[We will touch more on this last question next week!]
Friends – these are NOT easy questions to answer.
Yet we are finding ourselves longing for REAL change in our lives, and more than that – if Jesus is who He claims to be? [The Way, the Truth, and the Life!] and in Him is found Life and life in abundance, peace instead of anxiety, steadfastness instead of confusion, beauty instead of ashes, freedom instead of captivity, praise & joy instead of despair, comfort instead of mourning, wholeness instead of a broken heart, radiance instead of shame (and this is just the start)?
We would be fools to not be intentional in getting to know Him.
Yet, the sad thing is that I have lived many years of my Christian journey knowing more about Jesus than actually knowing Him. I have spent years knowing about this full life but not actually walking in it.
And you know what?
I’ve been to Bible College. I minister to others through music & speaking. My husband is a Pastor.
And yet – God is so gracious and has still been present with us, even as we so often go about trying to live out our faith on our own with the fragments of a disconnected heart.
And we wonder why our Christian faith doesn’t seem all that inviting to those who don’t know Christ.
So often those of us who claim to be followers of Jesus are wrestling just as much with anxiety, fear, despair, hypocrisy, unbelief, and sin as those who don’t know Christ. And I am the first one to admit that this has been me!
But His invitation to know Him & actually walk in the full life that He promised?
Its always right there in front of us.
Christ came and dwelled among us to be known.
We just need to intentionally choose to know Him (with the help of the Holy Spirit).
And the first step?
Taking an honest inventory of your heart and being honest before God with where you are at in your faith and knowledge of Him.
May we be a people who live knowing Jesus and this life that He promises, not just people who know a lot about Him, looking no different than those who don’t know Him at all.
Journeying with you,