HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO JESUS?
"Wow! Look at that!" My brother was pointing to the dash panel on the two-place glider we were flying. The rate of climb indicator showed we were being thrust upward at the rate of 6,000 feet a minute! Any moment we knew we'd be spit out the top of this powerful thermal that was flinging us skyward! Then it happened! Suddenly, we were motionless in the sky. I looked at the altimeter—10,000 feet! It was only seconds ago that the tow plane jerked us off the desert floor. No wonder people become addicted to glider flying.
To what can I compare this thrill? Some sky scrapers have express elevators that make rapid ascents, but not with this kind of thrill. Maybe the wilder roller coasters with their steep dives come as close as anything. However, there is an experience which surpasses those. It is the thrill of being caught up in Christ! That will make your spirit soar!
WHERE'S THAT THRILL TODAY?
Many claim to be close to Christ, but when you see them after church, LUNCH is more real than Jesus! Where is the electricity? Where's the fire that comes from intimacy with Christ? Where is the excitement that gets a person "hooked" on Jesus? Where is the joy that makes your heart sing all day?
We worship a God we cannot see, feel or hear. The problem is best defined in the saying: "OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND!" You know how that is. Unless things are kept before us, our minds quickly go to something else. This applies to Jesus as well. How come we have this problem? Ah, we live in the age of the Holy Spirit.
Do you know about this age? When Jesus was on earth in a body, there was no way He could transfer His life to others. If you were to take it from Him, it would be murder. For Him to give His life to another would be suicide. No, the only way for a person to HAVE Jesus' life, is to HAVE Him in their hearts. The apostle John says... "AMEN!"
"He that has the Son HAS life and he that has not the Son of God, has NOT life" (1 John 5:12). One must have the Son to have His life. There is no other way.
HOW CAN PEOPLE HAVE JESUS?
A person cannot experience this thrill unless the Lord is REAL TO HIM. Yes, he can hear about Jesus and ask the Lord into his heart and be saved. He might even get involved in a church and serve in some kind of a job for the Lord. Beyond that, he might even be part of a Bible study group. But where is the thrill? Look around your church next Sunday. Study the faces. Is the excitement there? Does the thrill of Christ radiate from within?
For now, we live by faith. With Christ in us, we are indwelt by our unseen God. Therefore, we are faced with the problem of trying to live for a God we cannot see and trying to please Him with our lives. That's rough. Why? We're used to things we can taste, touch, feel, hear and smell. To us, our cars, homes and jobs, as well as our families and friends, make up the real world. We're used to things we can eat and enjoy, not spirits. Dealing with spirits is foreign to us, even though we know that God is Spirit (John 4:24).
MAKING CHRIST REAL
Here's the challenge: How can we, who are locked into a physical world, know and enjoy the unseen Lord Who lives inside us? We have to find a way or we'll never live the kind of life that pleases Him. As long as family and financial problems are more real to us than He is, we'll be plagued with fears and worries and doubts. But who wants to live like that? Jesus wants us to live above those things, but that will never happen until He becomes more real to us than our problems. When He becomes that real, our problems no longer disturb us. So the big question is: How do we make Christ more real? The answer is—God has provided the very means for doing this. There is only one thing in all the world that can make Jesus real to us—the Word of God. He is NOT REVEALED ANY PLACE ELSE.
All we have in this world is the Word of God on the outside and the Holy Spirit on the inside—and that's it.
BUT NOT OVERNIGHT
A person can't sit down and say, "I'm going to make Christ real." It takes time to build the reality of Christ in a person's life. If the Bible, with the New Testament in particular, is the only tool that can make Christ real, it follows a person must spend time in the Word. How much time? You'll laugh at this, but at least FIVE MINUTES A DAY will do it—if you read with the eyes of your heart. You see, you can read for days with the eyes of your head and not get much. Why? Christianity is more caught than taught. We catch spiritual things with our hearts.
You may think 5 MINUTES A DAY is scarcely any time at all. Granted, it may not seem like much to give someone Who has died for you, but wait until you try it. On a daily basis, those 5 minutes are hard to come by. Satan is on hand to see that you have other things to do. Actually it's a fight—but it's worth it.
The more real Jesus is to you, the more exciting He becomes. The more real He is, the more you want to spend time with Him and the more thrilling His presence becomes. The more real He is, the more FUN you can have with Him. From then on, the thrill of Christ will launch your spirit like a glider catapulted two miles above the earth and left to soar across the face of the sky.
WHY DID I WRITE THIS ARTICLE?
It is one thing to tell you what it is like when Jesus is REAL to you, quite another to tell you how to go about making Him real.
It’s so easy to read the Bible verse by verse and feel nothing. You find it interesting, but there is no explosion. There is a difference between reaching and listening (enjoying). The explosion comes as the Holy Spirit touches our hearts with the true meaning of the text.
The communication may seem weak at first. It has to grow. In time, you'll find the Lord becoming more and more real. Then you'll be able to cope with practically everything that comes your way. Having read this article, ask the Lord to help you do it. Say something like this:
"Lord Jesus, 5 minutes a day isn't a lot of time. I really would like to give it to you. If you'll help me, I'll try to find a way to do it."
Start by committing the five minutes a day to Him. Once you see how comforting and inspiring Scripture is and how God’s words come alive with the Spirit revealing their meaning, you’ll discover how much you enjoy the Lord. You will want to spend even more time alone with Him each day. Then you’ll be ready to face the world and whatever difficulty it might bring because you will have discovered for yourself how to. . .
MAKE THE LORD REAL!
C. S. Lovett
(edited by Marjorie Lovett)
SINCE YOU ASKED. . .!
Question: “Dr. Lovett, I know you have written extensively on the subject of Satan and how Christians are to deal with him. However, since God is almighty and powerful, why doesn’t He do away with the devil once and for all?”
Answer: God could destroy the devil with a whisper, but He won’t because the devil serves a useful purpose. You see, man has to be tested and since “God cannot be tempted and neither does He tempt any man” (James 1:13), the Lord needs someone who is evil to appeal to the evil in man.
Since all men are inherently evil because of their old natures, and each is given a free will, everyone needs to be tested. Will they love God and His righteousness, or will they love evil and live to please themselves? The history so far has been that men care nothing for God’s righteousness, but prefer to enjoy the devil’s world and live for themselves and their families. But this could never be brought to light apart from the evil activity of Satan.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”
THE PREPARED LIFE NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE
Dr. Lovett’s new book, The Prepared Life, is now available on Kindle through Amazon.com. Just click here and you may order it directly from their website. The printed book is coming soon, but won’t be available until sometime in July or August and only through Amazon.com.
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