Monday, March 27, 2006

Falling In Love

Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? This question is posed countless times as Evangelicals try to find out the status of one's soul. This is something I have always struggled with. As I learned in seminary, the idea of having a personal relationship with Christ (or inviting Him into your heart) is a foreign concept biblically. Now before you brand me as a heretic, hear me out.

Repentance and belief. This is the biblical way to eternal salvation. So, for years I would sleepwalk through my faith journey knowing that I BELIEVED in Jesus and what He had done for me and also recognized I was a sinner in need of REPENTANCE. But I never fully grasped what it meant to know Jesus intimately. You see, even though my belief and repentance was enough to secure me to heaven as a final destination, it never filled me up with this idea of being in love with God, only duty and obligation. And as we all can attest, that type of faith only lasts for so long.

I fought this for a long time. I figured that since the Bible specifically does not call us into a personal relationship with Christ (in those terms) then I really did not need to pursue it, even though countless people around me were experiencing it. I also had people tell me it was because I was raised without a father and thus lost the intimate way of dealing with the Lord. It was a true mess I tell ya. All I know is that my faith lacked something.....And I knew what it was: I was not in love with God, I loved Him, but I was not in love with Him.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. This will sound so simple, but for me it had escaped me for so long. My life radically changed when I found this simple truth. To have a personal relationship with Christ is to try to pattern your life after His teachings. Hello! It is so easy, but I had lacked the devotion to try my hardest to live like Jesus. Now I try hard to do this. I fail a lot and I succeed also, but I can finally say that this revelation of trying to pattern my life after Jesus has led me to fall in love with Him. Its a great feeling.

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