It’s not about what’s in your head
I’m late to the party.
Most believers understand that their walk with the Lord is about their relationship with Jesus, not about the amount of Bible knowledge in their head. Looking back over my life and ministry, I have to be honest. I emphasized learning information over experiencing Jesus.
The Bible says the word became flesh not ink. I emphasized the ink on the pages of the Bible over the person of Jesus. I love the Bible, but there is a difference between a book and a person.
“And the WORD BECAME FLESH, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Learning stuff is my default setting. I love to learn information, ideas, and principles. So I let my default setting shape my understanding of God. I guess I thought He was someone who dished out information so we could pass some written test someday.
But here’s the question. If walking with the Lord is about relationship with Jesus, then what is the key to that relationship? Obviously, some have a better relationship with Him than others. Why? What’s the secret?
For me, the secret has been grasping this reality: the reason Jesus came was to live together with me in life. He didn’t come merely to give me something (salvation, forgiveness, righteousness); it’s more than that. He gave me Himself. Relationship with Jesus is not the most important thing; it is in fact all there is.
And it goes beyond understanding Bible stories from the Gospels. Here’s how Paul put it.
“Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him IN THIS WAY NO LONGER” (2 Corinthians 5:16).
We once knew Jesus only by what we read about Him in the Bible. We understood what He did in His physical body as recorded in the Gospels. We read about the parables He taught, the people He healed, the things He did. But no longer are we limited to that. Now we talk to Him, we listen to Him, we sense His presence. It’s no longer in the past; it’s current. Now it’s personal.
Paul links that understanding with how we treat people. When you begin to experience the daily reality of Jesus, the living Word, it changes how you relate to everyone. It changes how you relate to your spouse, your kids, your church staff, other parents, everyone.
We go beyond knowing about Jesus and know Him. Other relationships track the same. We don’t want to merely know information about our workers, kids, and parents. We want to know them. Relationships—all relationships– starting with Jesus, come alive.
I wish I had known that sooner. I was late to the party.