As you well know, He's been revealing Himself to me lately. The real Jesus, that is. Not the one that I made up in my head. Not the one that I had preconceived notions about. Not the one that is vengeful or hate-filled or down right crazy. Not the one that's made it into books and movies where they twist his story. Not the one that isn't divine. The real One.
And it's knocking my socks off.
A few days ago - my doorbell rang. As I peered through the peep hole I saw what I expected to see - a middle-aged woman, wearing a long dark dress, holding a Bible and a leaflet. I could have chosen to leave her there. But with my children yelling, "WHO IS IT!?!" from the inside of our door - I had to open it. I kind of wanted to, anyway. Since I've been doing a little research on our door to door friends...I thought I might need some armor before I answered her call. So I beckoned for some..."Father, let the Spirit be present and speak through me. Please be here."....and then I unlocked the door. And I was able to do so with more faith and courage than ever before.
She began her spiel, sweetly. As I listened...my heart sank. She was talking about Jesus. And as she presented her gospel - the one that had been presented to her by a governing body of sorts...not Jesus Himself...I was struck with how crafty the enemy can be. As her words lofted through the too-cold-for-spring air and landed on my eardrums - I felt a surge of defensiveness welling up in every fiber of my being. Her words were littered with just enough truth to make the twisted ones seem safe. The Enemy of our souls is famous for that. He takes truth...God's Word even...and turns the dial on it just enough to create a twisted gospel. (Genesis 3:1-5, Matthew 4:1-11) Since it's mixed and masked with very true messages - the very un-true messages are more easily welcomed and received.
It's trickery. It breaks my heart and makes me nauseated. Please know though... the shattered heart and queasy stomach don't come from a combative, "I'm right, your wrong", overly conservative, closed-minded place in me. They come from a place of compassion...a place that has known the confusion and seen the Truth. People are being led astray. Not only by my door-step lady-friend and her beliefs - but by health and wealth preachers, false teachers, and false doctrines. I know because I've been deceived by it my own self. While Jesus has certainly revealed Himself to me....you must know that I am fully aware of my blatant ignorance on this topic...still. I have A LOT to learn when it comes to Jesus...the Bible...history...life. But there are some things that I'm absolutely convinced of: Jesus is real. The Bible is true. And Jesus Himself will show you that.
After listening to this precious woman for a moment, I stopped her. And I said....
"Who do YOU say that Jesus is?"
I really discovered who Jesus was when I opened my Bible (and my heart) myself and asked God to reveal Himself to me there. When I decided to learn about Jesus - instead of simply being told who He was by elders or authors or governing bodies or whoever.....that's when I found Him. And that's what I told her.
(Please note though, I consider it very important to seek biblical truth, advice, council, and accountability from mentors, pastors, teachers, and the like. But we are blessed with the privilege of having the opportunity to know Him personally. One on One. Creator with the created. And that's a beautiful thing that you don't want to miss out on.)
If you ask the real Jesus to please stand up...The real Jesus will rise up above the rest - and as He emerges right before your eyes - you'll be changed forever. Open your Bible. Open your heart. Open up your mind. Ask the Lord to show you Himself. And then go buy some more socks....He will be blowing yours off in no time.
"The Bible invites us into life with God, but it does not try to force us into it. It leaves enough space that we can pass by this life if we desire to do so. The living Christ will not overpower us, but he does make himself available to those who want to find him. One of the primary ways he does this is through the Bible." from Life With God by Richard J. Foster