(Yes, I do realize that Pt 1 and Pt 2 of this post are months apart. :-))
How does someone really get to know Jesus, experience Him as a very real Being?
There is no magic formula, no three step process. But as I said in part one of this post, God wants us to know Him. He has promised throughout the Bible that if we seek Him, we will find Him! And I can promise you both from my life and lives I have seen changed, that when you really find Him, you will never be the same!
It’s like experiencing an alternate reality, think Narnia. Suddenly all the knowledge you had in your head explodes into living color, and you get it! He changes you and you realize that you never wanted anything else.
That’s great, but how do I get there?
Here are some suggestions.
- Become familiar with the Bible, so you know who you are looking for, so you know His character and what He sounds like, the kinds of things He says. I recommend Max Lucado’s “The Story”. It’s a fantastic overview using actual portions of the NIV and some summary in between.
- Intentionally take quiet time away from noise and electronics. While I was in college, I used to go sit in this cemetery on a bluff, overlooking a lake. It was beautiful, and quiet, and made me think about how short life is.
- Tell Jesus you want to know Him, and wait for Him to “show up”. This is actually the best part. Because if you have trusted in Jesus as your Savior, then He already lives inside of you. So it’s not really Him showing up as much as it is you slowing down and becoming aware of His Presence.
What does is look like, sound like, feel like when Jesus becomes real? It’s different for everyone, but chances are you have already experienced Him and just didn’t recognize it. Sometimes it’s like this:
- A song comes on the radio and it’s exactly what you needed to hear.
- You are listening to a sermon and you start wondering if the person speaking is psychic or has been reading your journal.
- As you read the Bible, a verse just jumps out at you in a way you never saw before.
- Your friend calls/texts/messages you with a truth that you needed to hear right then.
- Something really hard happens but you have a strange peace about it.
I really could go on and on. This is God, the Creator of the Universe, speaking to you, being intimately involved in your life. The more you become aware of God’s Presence, the more you will recognize Him.
I’m going to share what it feels like for me, but remember that each person is different and we can’t put God into just one box.
When I seek God, I start with just quiet. (Remember, this is more about us becoming aware of God and less about Him coming to us.) I quiet my heart and mind and remember who it is that I am seeking: my Creator, the Awesome All-Powerful One, my Savior, my Friend, etc. I think about His love for me. Then I just talk to Him. When I am aware of Jesus’ Presence, I usually feel peace, contentment, surrounded and almost held. I know I am loved and I am completely satisfied. Usually there are tears in my eyes…not sadness, but possibly because the emotions I feel are too big for my little human body. (They are here right now as I write this.)
The Kingdom of God is backwards and inside out, so it doesn’t always make logical sense. The weak are strong, foolishness is wisdom, you get everything for nothing… It’s crazy! And the key to this secret kingdom? Faith!
Will you take a chance and step out in faith and ask Jesus to make Himself real to you? Let me know what happens!