22 March 2016

Do you know Him?

How much time do you spend with Jesus, on any basis? Do you know how to spend time with Him?

We Mormon-trained folks have been brought up in a certain way (thinking of the proverb: "train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he shall not depart from it"). We're trained to be VERY principle and precept oriented; geared to learn a principle, apply it in action, and then get a desired result. That's very Greek/Western of us. But it's not how God works. Yes, there are things we do that definitely get a desired result . . . but there's only One thing that we need to pursue, only One Truth that will be the answer to everything: Jesus Christ. He's not "a" truth. He is THE Truth. All truth. The only truth. If there is anything true, it is in Him. Part of Him. And apart from Him, we miss the entire point of all truth.

The main shift that had to happen in me was to move from an "applied principle focused gospel" to a "relationship focused gospel". I had to get to know Jesus through the Holy Spirit. I had to get a revelation of His love for me, and His sacrifice for me. I had to know He had already paid the price to bring me back into His presence, and that I could step into that AT ANY TIME. 

My biggest obstacle was fear. Fear that the devil would answer me instead of God, grab me with his awful chains and drag me down to hell, as if prayer was like calling a huge customer service center staffed with angels and devils, where the source of the answer I got depended wholly on who picked up my call first. An along with that, fear that even if God was the one who answered, I had about even odds that He would sucker punch me when I reached for heaven instead of scooping me up into His arms and making everything all better the way a good parent does.

I can tell you, from my own personal experience, that those fears were lies of the enemy and completely groundless. The FINISHED work of Christ means we can turn and run to our Papa at any moment, and like the father of the prodigal son He WILL receive us with all the lavish joy and abounding love He possesses.

We are all called to speak the Truth. But it's not about defending Truth. Jesus needs no defense. Just speak life. Speak love. Speak the truth of the good news of Jesus' victory that has set us all free, every one of us. We've just been taught to remain in our cells, sitting amongst the broken chains before the wide-open door, wishing we were deserving of getting up and running out into the sunshine, when Jesus has already pled with us, "COME UNTO ME!"

Fill yourself with the goodness, joy, and light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But get outside of the Mormon Christian experience. Get outside of your comfort zone. Find those that speak the words of life because they're written in their hearts, and soak them up. The Truth can defend itself--and Jesus' defense isn't aggression, it's His glory. So fill yourself with the glory of God (light/truth/intelligence), and be ready to pour His love out into everyone who needs it. Seek to know Him, seek to gain His heart and His eyes, so you can obey His instruction to all believers: we are to bless everyone we meet, build relationships, heal the sick and only THEN declare the Kingdom of God has come near them.

If what you're doing now doesn't fill you with joy and light and love, then it's time to single-mindedly pursue Jesus and get filled with joy and light and love. :-) Love you, friends!