Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
The other day I decided to head out into the forest for a walk. Not just a hike, but it was one of those journeys that I go on when I need to settle my spirit. I won't call it a prayer-walk, but more of a desperate search for a right now, right here experience with God: an escape from the daily grind.
It's kind of like a spiritual reboot.
Sometimes, in this crazy adventure called life, we need a moment to disconnect. Even Jesus had to escape from it all to seek the father and to pray. He would often step away from all the ministry and the miracles to find a quiet moment alone with his heavenly Father.
Do we somehow think we are better than Jesus, maybe stronger than him? Do we imagine that we have found a better way, a short cut of sorts? Sometimes we discover that a small, errant pride has deceived us into thinking that the rules don't apply to us. Thus, we begin an unpleasant downward spiral toward exhaustion, frustration, burn-out, and disobedience.
Now, I need to add something here. I'm not advocating a break from doing God's will so that we can catch up on Facebook, e-mails, and binge-watch something on Netflix. I'm talking about a real search for God that puts him back on the throne of our heart and makes him the number one priority in our lives again.
As for my trip into the forest that day, I was seeking God with a heavy heart. For some weird reason, I was second-guessing all of the decisions I had made in the last month. (Am I the only one who does that?) There I was sitting on a dry log in a clearing of the forest, trying to ignore the random bugs flying around. I was laying all of my cares on God, all of my doubts, fears, and regrets. I could feel his presence, but I knew I wanted something more. I longed for a breakthrough, answers, and comfort from his heart to mine.
At that moment, God began to speak to me.
“Michael, what is it that you think I want from you?”
I thought about it, but before I could finish, He answered His own question. “I want to know you and for you to know me”.
In an instant, all of the problems faded. My perspective took a turn, and I remembered again that the most important goal I could ever have is to grow closer to God through every step of my journey. In other words, this was the measure of success or failure. Not how much I have done for God, but how well I know him and how well he knows me.
Ministries come and go. Opportunities come and go. People come and go. God wants us to build our lives on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. So that on the last day when we are called home, we will look up at Jesus with a smile knowing that our mutual friendship is already deeply established!
Here are some verses for you to study, read, and memorize. (read the context as well.) They will help you on the journey of knowing Jesus Christ, and loving him with all your heart, soul, and strength! There are five passages, and you can study one a day for the next week. Let's make it a week dedicated to knowing God!
Take a week to reboot!
Phillippians 3:7-11-Nothing compares to knowing Christ.
2nd Peter 1:2-3-Knowing God brings amazing benefits!
John 10:14-15,27-Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows his sheep, and his sheep know him. They know his voice and follow him.
Luke 10:38-42-This is the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus visited their house. Martha wanted to make everything perfect for him, but Mary just wanted to sit at his feet. Jesus declared that Mary had chosen the better way! This shows us God's priorities.
Matthew 7:21-23-Here, Jesus tells people that his criteria for judgment is not the miracles and ministries they accomplish, but rather did they truly have a relationship with Jesus or not. And, the relationship demands obedience to the word of God.
May God richly bless you with a growing relationship with your Lord and King, Jesus Christ!