What do I know?

What do I really know about Jesus?

Have you ever sat down and tried to have a conversation about the Lord, His church, His Word or His purposes without using sermon illustrations, quoting pastors or talking about other people's wisdom and experiences?

Imagine coming into a season of questioning- of wanting to know deep truths no matter what they required of you and realizing how MUCH you knew of popular culture, marketed theology, and the American church, but how LITTLE you actually knew of the Lord Jesus and His heart!

That was me.  Sadly and with much conviction, I had followed the crowd for decades in my walk with the Lord.  I didn't know that I was doing it.  I didn't realize I was being a disciple of men, but nonetheless, I found myself struggling to get through a conversation without spouting off a sermon series, quoting a favorite author, or repeating the taglines that were dreamed up behind closed doors in an attempt to bring something new, relevant and powerful to the table.  Taking an honest look at my life, I realized that I had just been jumping from the shifting sand of one group's theology to another and another for my entire life.  Never had I stood firmly on the solid ground of Scripture and only Scripture as the basis for my belief, behavior and truth and faith.

When life forced me to answer the question What do I really know about Jesus?, I had to honestly answer, "Not much."

I wasn't okay with that.  I wasn't okay with knowing what people told me about Jesus, salvation, heaven, church, religious requirements, faith, and fellowship and not knowing what Jesus told me about those things.  I had read my Bible- dozens of times from cover to cover, actually, but I had never read it and let it truly have authority. When I would read Scriptures, I would think about teachings I had sat under, books I had read, catchy sermons that told me what to associate those verses with, and how I have personally experienced those verses in my life.  I hadn't given the Scriptures a chance to live, to have merit apart from myself and my experiences, and to have the power to point out false teachers, of which I, myself, had become.  When the Scriptures said "church," I saw a building of relative strangers being led by a handful of paid men.  When the Scriptures said "suffering," I saw consequence to sin.  When the Scriptures said "worship," I saw talented musicians raised above a group of people who came to sing what they were told.  When the Scriptures said "disciple," I saw classrooms and study guides.  When the Scriptures said "tithe," I saw buckets being passed around to Gentile Americans so other people could decide how their generosity would be spent. When the Scriptures said "unity," I saw people standing together in rows, hearing one voice, but never using their own.  When the Scriptures said "fellowship," I saw greetings in a hallway or a thirty minute planned window of group time you had to attend each week. When the Scriptures said "preach," I saw a well dressed man on a stage or a declaration of offense on social media.  I had to let go of a lot to make room for truth, but day by day, I found it to be a worthy exchange. 

The Scriptures had not failed me, but I had failed them.  And my faith was paying the price.

So, when I took an honest look at what I knew, how I knew it, and what that knowledge meant in my life, I knew something had to change.  Somehow, I had to quiet the voices of my culture and give the Lord all of my attention, as well as the authority He rightfully deserved in my life.  And so, I began to pen the Scriptures of the New Testament.  I started quietly, by myself, determined, but doubtful that I had the ability to know Jesus and His Word.  But soon, I found that the Holy Spirit had opened doors for me to have long, hard, ground shaking conversations with a small community about the many new truths we were finding in Scripture.  What began a solo effort soon became every day conversations, weekly studies and hours and hours of research with one single goal:  to know our Lord.

What began as a drought in my faith quickly turned into the single most humbling, heart provoking, and powerful thing I've ever done as a Believer in Christ Jesus.

Word by word, Jesus became real to me.  Line by line, the screams of the world became whispers.  Chapter by chapter, I learned to dethrone myself and let the Lord rule and reign.  And book by book, I grew from a girl who tried really hard to make myself feel a devotion to the man who held my salvation, to a woman who prays, "Come, Lord Jesus!" with passion and longing.

You'll have to let go of a lot to take hold of the truths plainly written in the Scriptures, but our King is worth knowing!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you!


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