Most of my life I was a Catholic. This means I went to church 5 or 6 times a year to listen to the priest talk about Jesus. As a consequence, I knew Jesus. But, I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus.
Like many other Christ believers, I kept Jesus to an outer circle in my personal relationships, a mere acquaintance, someone I knew, someone I spoke with on rare occasions. Therefore, if Jesus ever had tried to get my attention (and now I realize He was always there) I really didn’t have time for Him. I wasn’t available. Not for Jesus. Not for a passing acquaintance.
In more recent years, I have strengthened my relationship with Christ. There have been many steps in this path towards Jesus. I have connected with a Church, I have gone through water baptism, I have plugged into lasting relationships in a bible study group, I have volunteered at my church, I have even opened up my pocketbook (some of it at least). With each step I have brought Jesus in closer and closer. I have made myself more and more available to Him.
Yes, we are much closer now. I’d like to say that Jesus is in the inner most circle. That He is in my heart. But is He really? Have I really made myself totally, unconditionally available?
You see, I make myself available to him more than ever before. But there is something else that I keep hearing. God wants me to do something more. I know what it is, He knows what it is, but taking that next right step is not so easy. There is something else, that I am not quite making myself available to hear. Maybe you have a similar hold up?
Your attitude must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve.
-Mathew 20:28 (LB)
I’ve taken so many other steps as a Christian. All of them have been pretty easy so far. Just doing what God has asked of me. But this next step has been a little more challenging for me.
It’s complicated. I’m a family man. I’ve got responsibilities. I have a career. I have a life that is well down a set path. It’s a life I have prepared for.
What Jesus is asking of me… Well, I’m not quite ready for that. I’m not exactly prepared for it. I don’t have all the resources needed. And what about my current path? How does that fit in with what Jesus is asking of me?
You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment…
-Matthew 10:10 (Msg)
I keep trying to let Jesus in on these challenges. But where I see challenges, He sees opportunities. I know that following Christ is about transformation. It is listening to Him. It is obedience. It is making the next right step.
Up to this point, following Christ has been pretty simple for the most part. But now, I’ve come to the point where the next step will require transformation. That will not be possible, unless I truly make myself unconditionally available to Him. I know what that means. He knows what that means. What’s left is to take that step.
Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.
-Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NLT)