The Lord, the Life, and the Wardrobe
I was exposed to one of the most beautiful pictures of the Lord at the conference that really introduced me to “organic church” in 2010. One session of this conference consisted of the speakers interviewing a panel of brothers and sisters, who had been with the church here in Gainesville since it first began in 2009, asking them common questions that people had.
One of the questions broached was: “How has your view of the Lord changed since being a part of organic church life?”
They took turns answering the question until it got down to one of the last brothers to share. His response was that the Lord was like the wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The wardrobe was something beautiful in and of itself, but enter in, and there is whole world inside.
I cannot describe the full impact of this moment , but it brought something to life that had been missing for me for the longest time: an overwhelming revelation of who Jesus Christ really is. I had studied systematic theology, Old/New Testaments, spiritual disciplines, various books of the Bible, and so many more classes and yet I did not know Jesus Christ. I had been a part of church my whole life, had done every activity (including Bible quizzing), and had read the Bible cover-to-cover three times and yet I did not know my Lord.
Oh, I knew all about Him. I had been to Sunday School since before I could remember. I had been to every Vacation Bible School and summer camp I could possibly go to. I firmly believed in Him and accepted His life, death, and resurrection, and I knew what those had accomplished. I had studied His life, debated how He could be completely man/completely God at the same time, argued over the meaning of particular passages. I knew all about Him, but I did not KNOW Him.
I had seen the wardrobe and valued it for what I saw of it, but did not know all that it was.
Twenty-some years of sermons and seven years of theological studies did not prepare me for what was revealed to me on that day. It has captivated me and the saints that I share life with here in Gainesville: Jesus Christ is greater than we could ever know in ten thousand lifetimes. He is inexhaustible and beyond anything that we can imagine. The Apostle Paul writes in Colossians 1 how the fullness of all things chose to dwell within Him and that all things were made by Him, for Him, to Him, and through Him!
As overwhelming as this vision of the Lord is, what is even more overwhelming is that this Life is within you!! The fullness of the person of Jesus Christ lives inside of you!! This reality is mentioned throughout the New Testament, in places such as John 17 to Colossians 1:27. What an awesome thing that is to try and grasp!
Friends, whether you have been following Jesus Christ for 5 minutes or 50 years, this is our one and only purpose: to seek to know Him more. There are other things that flow from the Lord’s life such as helping the poor, preaching the gospel, etc., but our unchanging and constant goal must only be to pursue the Lord.
Consider the words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:7-12:
7 Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (Emphasis mine)
Brothers and sisters, allow the Lord to open the wardrobe and find the vast, unimaginable world within. Never stop seeking to know the Lord more! Whatever it takes and no matter the cost, pursue the Lord! Do whatever you have to, considering everything else in your life as worthless compared to knowing Jesus Christ! Pursue the Lord with every fiber of your being through the strength He gives you!
Know the vast and beautiful Lord who fills all things and dwells in you!