So many things have been stripped away in these last few months that I know had been keeping me from him. In my life I have noticed that God does special work in me when I am surrounded by the unfamiliar. The out of the ordinary. Away from the routines I have built for myself, it seems that my walls crack just enough to let him sneak a foot in. Belgium has been that for me.
From the change in routine, to the new diet I find myself on, to the language that we are trying to wield, to the distance between us and our family and dear friends, our lives are different than they were 5 months ago. Prime ground for God to work, wouldn’t you say?
Isn’t it funny when you read the Bible and stuff jumps out at you that you are SURE was never there before? Because how could you have possibly missed such life-altering truths as this? That is how these verses make me feel. Prepare to be amazed:
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3
This exploded into my brain a few months ago and has been a running theme ever since. As Christians we believe that Jesus died on the cross and paid the price for our sins so that we can be near to God again. I think that a lot of the times, this gets simplified as “Jesus died so that we can go to heaven.” While it is true that we will be in heaven after we die, what hits me about this verse is that eternal life starts now.
Jesus defines eternal life for us. It is to know God and to know Jesus. This is what he saved us for! What does this mean for me? It means that I can stop trying to be the perfect Christian. That I can stop with the act. The whole point of it all is knowing God. And guess what happens as we know God more and more?
We become more like Jesus.
We are literally transformed into beings that are more and more like Christ. And guess what happens then? We produce good works (fruit is the church-y word) for the glory of God.
I was going about it all wrong. I was going for the good works expected of me as a Christian without letting God first transform me from within. Fruit is the result of becoming more and more like Christ. Any work we do on our own is garbage. As I seek to know him more and more I will naturally be doing the things that I have been struggling to do all these years: sin less and less, shine his light more and more.
It is ultimate freedom! Freedom from doing things that I feel obligated to do. Freedom from guilt. Freedom to shoulder his easy yoke and his light burden!
And he is changing me.