I don’t think I really understood Christianity until a few years ago, even though I’d been practicing it my whole life. I could speak about Ecclesiology, Christology, and Soteriology, and I could throw around big theological words like substitutionary atonement and justification and propitiation. But sometime during my 39th year of life on this earth, I realized this just wasn’t cutting it. I wanted God. I wanted to live and move and have my being in GOD! I wanted to experience God. So I (gasp) put down my Bible (not so dangerous though when God’s word is hidden in your heart – I don’t advocate this approach if it isn’t) and all my Jesus books (an approach I whole-heartedly advocate) and decided to go straight to the Source and see what would happen.
I prayed. I told God how dissatisfied I was with the level of spiritual power flowing through my life. I told God I was confused by this lack of power when the Bible tells us we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37) and if we lack wisdom all we have to do is ask (James 1:5) and if we have teensy-tiny faith we can still do great things (Matthew 17:20). I wondered, “Why Jesus?” Was Jesus really a necessary piece of the equation in order for me to establish a relationship with God? I stopped my automatic response to sing along with every song during church on Sunday morning. Instead, I used that time to speak my own words of longing – allowing my heart to cry out to this God I’ve known about all my life, but for the first time really wanted to know and experience for myself. I stripped my faith down to the core and started rebuilding from the ground up. I spoke honestly with God and I sought God honestly. I wanted truth and I didn’t want a mealy experience of God. I think God appreciates that – because it was this approach that produced the greatest spiritual awakening of my life.
I’ve heard it said that you can’t argue anyone into the Kingdom of God. It’s true. Experiencing God defies human logic and no native tongue on earth could have the words to describe it. God is personal, I am convinced of that. And Jesus? Well, my truth seeking has given me, for the first time, the ability to appropriately respond to what Jesus did for me and for you. You see, in my quest to experience God, I found myself lacking. God and I are too far apart. I found myself in need of a Savior; someone who can make me righteous. Suddenly justification is no longer just a theological term, but a word that means I can have a life infused with God’s power and blessing. On my own, I am not worthy to be in relationship with God, but through my identification with Jesus, his perfect, sinless, obedient, God-directed life, and his death that buried every wrong I have ever or will ever do, and his resurrection that means I am brand-new – I can be a friend of God.
What I found astounding on this journey, is that the more I questioned, the greater the presence of the Holy Spirit seemed to be. Instead of weakening my Christian faith, this process was strengthening it. In retrospect, I believe this season of my life was in God’s design all along.
My desire to know and experience God grows daily. Every time I grow discouraged and feel like I’m losing my connection to the Divine, I remind myself again of the Gospel; that I have a Savior who has done all that ever needs to be done in order for me to commune with God. That’s Christianity – and if you let it, it will change you completely – and you will know power, peace, joy, contentment, forgiveness, and abundant life. At least that’s been my experience.© Twirling Girl, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Twirling Girl with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.