Question. Is the real you, touching the “real Jesus?”
For some time now, I am asking myself this simple question. I’ve had some convicting moments as I swirled this question around in my heart. There is no condemnation in this; believe me– it’s just a question (But I think it has pretenses of being more.)
First, I truly believe that God does not hide Himself the way we might think He does. As new covenant people; those purchased through Jesus’ death and resurrection, there is no room for doubt about this. We now truly have access into the very throne room. We are free to come and go, according to our desire.
Second, I’m starting to realize that I want to approach Him, but I draw back in fear, guilt and doubt. I hide in the bushes when I hear Him approaching (sound familiar?) And although I have assurance that Jesus wants me, I’m not fully convinced that He likes being with me– deep down.
And I’m not sure I always like Him. So, all too often, I creep up (in my creepy kind of way) and try to get enough of His Holy Spirit, without getting pulled into anything too authentic. I’m of the (false) opinion that He will demand something for me I won’t like.
In the C.S. Lewis book, “The Silver Chair” we are introduced to Jill. She is thirsty, she looks for water and finds it in a nearby stream. But, there is a difficult problem. You see the lion Aslan is very close, and to drink would make her vulnerable. The Lion speaks. He invites her to come and drink all the water she wants. She stalls. He waits. The thirst quickly intensifies until she can think of nothing else.
I have a ‘Jill-heart.’ God is present, and quite eager for me to come satisfy my thirst. But it terrifies me to become open and vulnerable. It is hard. It seems I still have to work through this issue.
Sometimes, I find I construct a modified Jesus to allow me to cope with this problem. He is not the real Jesus, and somehow I know this. But encountering the real is a bit too much. So I have a Jesus that is really kind, and never corrects me. He lets me get away with a lot of things. And I don’t have to have contact with the homeless or tithe. I admit I’m fairly comfortable with Him. (He is like me, but more “god-like.”)
OK, new thought. Many centuries ago, a monk by the name of Lawrence wrote the classic book, The Practice of the Presence of God. In it he directs the seeker to be in habitual awareness of God. And I’m thinking about this. I know it’s really not a fluid or unending experience, but throughout my day I take a moment and invite Jesus to come closer. And, it’s best if you don’t turn “the means into the end.” After all, its the presence of God we seek– and not the mechanics of seeking. Big difference.
I have gotten very dissatisfied with my fake Jesus. He’s not a bad guy, but he is only a “knock-off,” an imitation– an imaginary Jesus.
I’m coming to this place where I want the real Jesus– in contact with the real me, as often as I can. For years I have dodged Him, ducking in alleys and in dark places. I have propped up a Jesus that I found easier. Those days are done, I hope.
Question. Is the real you touching the “real” Jesus?