Saturday, August 15, 2015

Private conversations

Looks dry and dusty and ever so technical, doesn't it? I think it probably doesn't look much different to most people than my bookcases full of topical studies and Bible reference books.

I was listening to an old teaching on praying in the spirit a few minutes ago and the thought occurred to me that, although I'm hearing some really great and useful things that I hadn't heard before, it's someone teaching from the inside of their experience with God. Trying to explain it or share it with most people would be really useless, because most people either have little or no experience with Him. He's an Idea, or afar off, or a particle physics discovery yet to be made.

I think it's just human nature to try to study all about God before we actually commit ourselves to Him, and we Fer Shure [!] try to read all the commentaries on speaking in other tongues before we do that whole baptism in the Holy Ghost thing. I have some good news for you, though - all that in depth study is completely useless without God Himself teaching you. You'll never know a thing about God unless He shows it to you.

I realized not long ago that the reason my relationship with my mother did not ruin my relationship with God was that she was not in the relationship. I "got saved" as a little girl of about six or seven. We kids sat on the back row in church while Mother sang in the choir. We were disciplined enough to hold ourselves together back there, and what fidgeting we did couldn't distract too many people, but she could still keep an eye on us.

Since the sermons were a bit dull to my ears, I used to go looking thru the pew Bible for the words in red, because I knew that was Jesus talking. Generally, you can find some good action stories that way, quite a few miracles, and a bit of talking about things that had plain words but just didn't seem to fit as a story. I lucked up [Ha!] on the gospel of John, and he just quotes Jesus talking for the longest time, pages and pages, especially in the time right before his death.

I really didn't understand all the things Jesus was talking about, but I knew I could trust him, so I just kept reading. Finally I came up on John, Chapter 17, and for the first time I could read an entire conversation Jesus had with the Father! I mean all of it, not some little synopsis, but him going on and on - it was just like being there! Oh, I wanted to listen to every little scrap of it, I wanted to really know what those two talked about in private.

And it's in there. It was like sitting at the table in their house while they talked about the most important things in Jesus' mission here on Earth. Jesus is giving a status report, going over how things have gone and what he has left to do, almost like a top secret intelligence briefing or something. I'm still amazed God had John remember and put it in his gospel, I mean, who lets that kind of stuff get printed up and put out for even little kids to see???

Anyway, I got down to verses 20 thru 23:
 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who believe in Me through their word;  that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:  I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me."

I had found my way in. Jesus himself was asking the Father to bring  me to the table, it wasn't just for The Twelve, "but also for those who believe in Me through their word, that they all may be one."  The official plan wasn't that I could be just one of the disciples, but "be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us."

I was completely entranced with Jesus' repeated insistence on "I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one."

I wanted that. I wanted up close, side by side, free, unhindered access to God that no one could interfere with or obstruct. Somehow I knew I was being offered that deal and I needed to accept the deal or not, no guarantees that I would ever be offered the deal again. So, one day soon after, outside playing around by myself, I agreed to it, crossed the line never to go back, all in and no getting out for life.

If you aren't sure you like God, or definitely don't like Him at all, don't sweat it, you've probably been reading technical manuals and listening to 57th hand stories about Him.  You'll never like Him much that way. Jesus came as the Passover lamb, he walked around letting himself be seen and examined for who and what he was before he was accepted as a sacrifice. Look Jesus over for yourself, see if what he said and what he did was beautiful and worthy and if he is the kind of man who you can trust with your life.

You'll never figure God out for yourself, let Jesus show you. There's a place at the table set for you.

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