If one indeed makes a decision for Christ, meaning in this context, that they firmly believe and accept that he is who and what he says he is, then certain things follow. The chief thing of course is that following Jesus must become the most critical, serious, and the central issue in life. There can be no more dilly dallying or pussy-footing around. Instead, true discipleship, which can be costly, becomes the order of the day.
One of the things this means is that when we take Jesus on board, we must make prayer a priority in our lives. If Jesus was indeed not only the “Son of God,” but God Himself, then the fact that we can connect with him as a living entity becomes the real spiritual “manna” of our daily existence. Just think of it, the incomprehensible being that created you, me, and all that is has not only given us permission to talk things over with him, he has also given us the right to call him “friend.” I don’t know about you, but this just completely boggles my mind beyond measure.
Think of this, as well. God the Father, now desires and has facilitated such a level of intimacy with you that you can call him “Abba,” which is the Aramaic equivalent of Daddy. Now, on top of that, Jesus, the only begotten offspring of the Father, has said that we are his “friends.” Imagine that – we are not only given the privilege of being his disciples and the right to sit at his feet and learn the most valuable wisdom on this planet, we can also say that he is our friend. My mind reels at the thought and I am not exaggerating one iota here.
Now, in terms of divine intimacy, let’s take things one more step. Since Pentecost, the third aspect of our Trinitarian divinity has not only come to earth to, like the wind, blow when and where he wants, the Holy Spirit has upped the ante even more.
Think of it like this, because this is how scripture explains it in a very direct manner. Jesus chose to be obedient to his Father’s plan by leaving the familiar comfort of his heavenly home and taking up residence on earth, which for him, must have seemed a very broken, limited, and filthy place. Not only that, he began this journey by making his bed in the feeding dish of livestock, nestled right in there with goat spittle and sheep slobber. I don’t mean to be utterly grotesque here in describing the manger, but let’s face the harsh facts of the situation. Chances are more than a few donkeys, camels, and oxen shoved their drooling snouts right square in the infant Master’s bedding. It’s a fact.
Now, on top of all of that, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Paraclete – the ultimate source of our wisdom and the celestial professor who is charged with teaching us about Jesus and empowering us to live the life the Master laid out for us, has assumed residence in perhaps the dirtiest, most deceitful place of all – the human heart.
Granted, my heart has been redeemed but it is still a long way from where it is supposed to be. Unclean spirits like jealously, pride, impatience, infidelity, unfaithfulness, and all manner of lust and licentiousness still live in my heart. Yes, thank God things are getting better there, but when I am brutally honest with myself, I have to admit that the Blessed Spirit, one full third of the Godhead, has some fairly shabby roommates in my breast.
I mention these things primarily because the Spirit has put on my heart, mostly over the past week or so, just how special the Christian path of faith truly is. I am not talking so much here about claims of exclusivity or any of the “Jesus is the only way” hoopla that goes on. Instead, I am speaking directly to just how proactive the Christian God truly is. Indeed, like the prodigal’s loving father, he goes out and waits each day, scanning the horizon in anticipation of his son’s return. Indeed, he is like the shepherd who goes out looking for the one lost sheep, leaving the other 99. Indeed, he is the Hound of Heaven, ever on the trail of each of us, no matter how strongly, cleverly, and consistently we try to cover our tracks.
My mind reels, and so does my heart.
© L.D. Turner 2009/All Rights Reserved