On Knowing Jesus
Before I came to Kenya, I remember being in my room and picking up a mission magazine to read "The only purpose on this life is to win souls." And this statement really hit my heart and convicted me that I needed a big change in my life. I needed a new purpose.
So now here I am, five million miles too far away from people that actually know and understand me, immersed in a new culture, with a new job, in a new place. And God is still reminding me that He is the thing that matters-- because even in Africa, I'm so distracted.
Three nights ago, I was laying in my tent when I awoke to growling and roaring. I felt like there were lions right outside my tent and I was terrified that they were going to eat me. I heard them scratching something and roaring and I thought to myself that they were scratching the canvas of my tent to try to get inside. I rolled off the bed to the middle of the floor and I began to pray desperately to God to save me and keep me from dying. In that moment, I saw my life pass before my eyes. And I began to wonder, do I really know Jesus?
Which might seem silly for the girl who's currently supposed to be a "missionary" or for someone who's gone to church all their life or even preached about Jesus. But sometimes I think we all have to go back to the basic questions.
What does it mean that I'm a Christian?
How is my life different because I know Jesus?
How does Jesus change the way I live everyday and am I honestly obedient to His commands?
I know what it doesn't mean: it doesn't mean saying the right things, wearing the right dress, going to church every week, refusing to watch movies on sabbath or listen to rock music. Knowing Jesus isn't about preaching, or doing so much community service, it's not about being healthy, and it's not about giving so much money to tithe.
Knowing Jesus isn't about the external things I do or say, or even how I act. If Jesus doesn't change my heart, if He doesn't change my thoughts and my most inner emotions then I am denying His power in my life.
In 2 Timothy 3:3-5 it says "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying it's power. Have nothing to do with them."
It can be easy to act like a Christian sometimes while still being selfish. It can be possible to have a reputation of being alive or having a great walk with God even though you are dead. No one may question your relationship with God. But God looks at our hearts.
In Romans 12:1-2 it says "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual act of worship. And do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
I guess this week, I'm looking at my own heart, and questioning "What does Jesus mean to me?" "How well do I know Jesus?" "Have I offered my body to Jesus as a sacrifice?"
And maybe if you ask yourself that question too, you may say "I want to know Jesus more."
I want to give more to him. I want to give my life to Him again.