Today 18 years ago my life changed.
18 years ago today was the day Jesus engraved my name on the palm of His hand.
These past 18 years chronicle my journey with Jesus. As I grew older, I grew up in Him. When my 7 year old self approached the Heavens and asked Jesus to be my King, it didn’t mean I wouldn’t have struggles or that I wouldn’t falter spiritually. However, at that moment, my life changed. I wouldn’t want to think of the things I could’ve done and would’ve done in these past 18 years if it wasn’t for that moment approaching His Throne.
It would grieve me if someone were to read these journal pages from my heart and think that I’ve somehow “arrived.” That I’ve figured out how to daily live the Gospel life and always say yes to God – because I haven’t – I don’t. These words are first of all to inspire and encourage myself on my spiritual journey with my God. Reminding myself of His faithfulness, because I do forget. I get sucked into the things of this world and I forget my First Love. But see, He’s faithful. He is so faithful to bring us back to Him. 18 years ago this journey started, and I’m still on that journey. I’m still learning. I will always still be learning. Because, I can’t do it without Him. I don’t have a shot at victory, if I’m not on my face before Him, because the flesh is so very weak. I falter and I fall and He lifts me up and I fall again. But that’s the point of grace. Grace – because we can’t do it on our own. We need a Savior.
When you know someone for 18 years, it’s also easy to get in a routine. To get familiar and forget the passionate love you first had. Once again, the need for Grace. Because Jesus is full of wonderful mysteries. He’s full of blessed surprises. You could spend 80 years of this life knowing Him and still not even scratch the surface of the greatness of His character and His love. But He wants us to know Him as much as we possibly can on this earth, until we truly know Him Face-to-Face. He wants us to chase after Him – to fall deeply in love with Him. He wants us to continually seek Him.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. – Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NLT
The Lord calls His followers to a serious faith. He’s calling me to a more serious faith. No pretense, no lukewarm devotion. He’s calling His people to be serious followers of Him. Chasing after His heart and His ways. Full heartedly committed and captivated by Him.
It’s so easy to pretend “okay-ness” to others, that it sometimes becomes a fake-ness with God as well. But He wants raw, He wants real. He wants our steadfast devotion. All our hearts, all our soul, and all our strength.
What we fight for is a pretty good sign as to where our allegiance lies. What do you put your might and strength and energy into? The things of this world? The things Solomon calls “meaningless?” We must determine in our hearts to pursue Christ with all our might and strength and energy. We must “purpose” in our hearts like Daniel to commit ourselves wholeheartedly pursuing genuine, real, undisturbed, unpressured, unmotive-driven time with our King. Not time with Him for our own selfish gain – abusing His pure love with our divided hearts and motive-driven selfish wants. He wants us to dwell on Him and His Word, to be in tune with Him at all times.
He wants to be our very first thought and very last thought and all the in between thoughts of the hours of the day.
Yahweh is calling for the heart’s allegiance. Will it be the world’s? Tattered and bruised and pursued and taken advantage of and confused with its double minded ways? Or will it be His? Will Jesus be the sole owner and protector of our heart? Just Jesus. Not Jesus + __________. Just Jesus. Just Him. He wants it all.
Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His presence continually – Psalm 105:3b-4
The King of Kings is sounding His trumpet – calling His people – calling His warriors. He’s calling for whole-hearted commitment.
Because if we have Just Jesus, don’t we really have everything?
I have found that I have no unusual endowments of intellect, but this day resolved that I will be an uncommon Christian. – David Livingston