I had prayed the Ephesians prayers for years, hardly knowing what I was actually saying. Then one day, it hit me.
[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him Eph 1:17
I am asking God, to reveal HIMSELF to me. I am asking Him to teach me the true knowledge of WHO HE IS!
I began asking, in faith, for Him to open my eyes into who He is, not who I thought He was, not who I was comfortable with Him being, not my denominations interpretation of Jesus, but the REAL Jesus. (click here to tweet that! )
To be honest, I had to have pep talks with myself, telling myself I can trust Him, just as He is. After all, He made all of this, all of us… and we will be with Him forever. But in moments of realizing that maybe there is some thinking that I have wrong, I had to trust, and still do, that His word is His final authority. It is a scary thing to say, "God, tear down any wrong thinking I have, even if I find it comforting, and replace it with revelation in the knowledge of WHO YOU ARE. All of a sudden, in my head I am once again that chubby 10-year-old on the high-dive at the Luling, Texas public swimming pool. I want to jump in so badly, but it seems so much safer to remain on the board. Then I realize the whole point isn’t to feel safe, the whole point is to jump in. So I did.
Scary, yet freeing. Scary, yet empowering. Scary, yet peaceful.
Can we be done with being okay with half-truths? Can we be done with being okay with people sitting in the pews week after week gorging over spiritual food they are spoon-fed, and sermon by sermon, becoming so self-focused (opposite of Christ) that they place all of their faith on how to believe God for a purse, car or home that they can’t afford instead of asking the Lord of the harvest for SOULS (the ONLY thing you CAN take with you to Heaven). Oh, I’m not mad at those who don’t get it. I am sad. I am sad that our churches are filled with people preaching Jesus, but not enough people in the marketplace are being Jesus. I am sad that we have boldly declared how different we are from the world rather than choosing to find common ground whether it be coffee, board games, guitar, or exercise. We have shouted how wrong they are for the things they do, say, watch and believe… it's like we have forgotten that Christ died while we were yet sinners.
His love is untamed, unbridled and unhindered regardless of the things we say or do. (click here to tweet that!)
How does this even make sense? While I was a blatant, ungodly (by nature, function and title) SINNER Christ offered His life for me. This is the Gospel.
Showing you care by just BEING with them (which Jesus did quite often) may be the one lifeline that helps rescue them from the storm of eternal damnation.
When I prayed this Ephesians prayer, GOD SHOW ME YOU... My heart for sinners quadrupled in size. It is scary because I can’t fix them. It is scary because I don’t know how to explain to my children why they look different than I do. It is scary because it doesn’t fit into my nice, neat little American suburbia Christian box. Yet, I have never acted more like Jesus in my life than when love and people are the focus of my day.