Wednesday, 2 April 2014

I Want to Know Jesus

In simple trust like theirs who heard,
Beside the Syrian sea,
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word,
Rise up and follow thee.
-John Greenleaf Whittier, 1872

I am on my own journey at the moment to return to a simple faith in Christ. To re-dig my well.  Get all the muck out and down to the living water.

Of whose life have I been drinking?

I spent so many years of my life with Jesus buried under the words, beliefs and actions of a man, that I lived my faith in a fog. Jesus was hidden. Buried even.  Buried like he often is during discussions about contentions issues in the church today.

I don't want Jesus to be buried anymore, He is alive and I want to live like that every day. To live resurrection life.  LIFE.

I want to drink of fresh living water, not the muddy water that a whole bunch of men have walked through.

Elizabeth Esther's words in her recently released book, Girl at the End of the World resonated so deeply with me.  She steps back one day to survey her bookshelves groaning under the weight of Christian books, concordances, lexicons:

"And then I step back. All these men.  All their talking and writing and preaching and arguing over Scripture interpretation, all of them sitting on my shelf making me break out in hives. T.Austin-Sparks, G.Campbell Morgan, Watchman Nee, George Whitefield, James Strong and his totally exhausting Bible concordance, Samuel Rutherford and his letters, Jonathan Edwards and his huge freak-outs about falling into the hands of an angry God. And then there was my grandfather George Geftakys, with his own self-published book, Testimony to Jesus.

Well, these men can just sit here on my shelf and argue with each other.  I am done listening to their voices in my head.  If I am going to find my way back to God, I will start from scratch.  I will choose the way of the illiterate.  I mean, if God is abounding in mercy and loving-kindness, then surely there is a way to God reserved especially for those who cannot read!

I want that way.

I am fed up with reading about God through the male perspective only.  I want to experience the God who inspired me as a child, the God who found me long before I could comprehend a single word in my Bible.

I want to experience God pursuing me for once. I am tired of seeking, striving, and knock-knock-knocking on heaven's door.  I no longer want to know that silent, capricious, harsh God who would just as soon throw me into the fires of hell as save me.  I am challenging God to pursue me like someone who has never been exposed to the Bible.

Love me, God.  I dare You. 
(Page 172, Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future, Elizabeth Esther)

Thousands of years of opinion, doctrine, infighting, posturing...and that living water has become muddied.

I have that same deep heart-felt cry: Jesus I want YOU. I want to hear your voice for myself, I don't want it second hand.  I don't want to read a book about You, I want to meet You! I want to be gathered up in Your arms like a lost sheep, like a little child, and to be given rest and strength.  I want to abide.  I want to exude life and not oppression. I want to breathe and live and dance and love.

I love my books, I love my Bible study, I love to hear others speak about God, but let my ears be tuned most acutely to the voice of my Saviour, let my eyes be lifted up and fixed on Him.

Yes, I want, above all else, to know Jesus.

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3)

“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” (John 8:19)

3 comments:

  1. This is beautiful and made me tear up, because I'm so there!! Do we really believe that Jesus is a person, that He can be known by the mentally impaired, children, the illiterate? That they might know Him better than we do? Then why do we look for Him in books? As someone who loves to read this is a huge challenge - it's easier to read about faith than jump out, scared but trusting, in faith.

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    1. I love books too! My issue is twofold I think: endlessly searching for Jesus vicariously through another's viewpoint rather than finding him myself; and, believing that those who write books have 'more Holy Spirit' than I do and therefore have more ability to understand Jesus than I do.

      I have about 4 books on the go at the moment, but I'm taking time to stop and think - what do I feel or believe when I am reading this and not just subconsciously taking it all on board as 'truth' (as my cult years trained me to do).

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