February 9, 2007 is a night that I won’t soon forget. My sister, Tonda, and her husband, Keith, had set me up on a blind date with a woman I had only seen in a real estate ad on a grocery cart. I was neither excited about the prospects nor was I sure where this was headed. The night started out slow but turned out to be a very memorable night. The woman was beautiful–inside and out. She had a heart for God, a wonderful personality, an obvious love for her kids and did I mention she was beautiful? I came home from that night a different person because of having met Lisa. Later, after several months of working to win her heart, I made her my wife.
Now, what if the story had been different? What if, after meeting Lisa on that incredible February evening, I had come home, called you and had a conversation something like this:
“I have just met an amazing person. She is exactly what I have been looking for and she meets so many needs for me. I can’t believe how incredible this night has been!”
“So when are you going out again?” you ask.
“Don’t know. I’m not sure if we will. I probably can’t find the time. If I do, it will be very brief and sporadic. You know, it might be best if I just don’t try. I’ve got too many other things going on.”
Your response would be one of disbelief…as it should be. And the disbelief would become intense if you called me six months later and our conversation went like this:
“How’s it going, Ridley? Have you talked with Lisa lately or spent any time with her?”
“Not really. But man was that night incredible! It was the most amazing four hours of my life. I just can’t find the time to spend with her though. Mondays I have club meeting. Tuesday and Thursday are my TV nights. Fridays I’m usually hanging out with my friends. Saturday is football day. Of course, Sunday, I’ve been working hard all week and I just need a little down time so I’m usually at the cabin or at the lake. There just isn’t enough time to even talk to her, much less be with her.”
Some of you already know where I’m headed. I get really concerned with Christ followers who are resting on an “amazing experience” they had with God a year ago or two years ago or when they were a kid. If the only thing you can talk about in your relationship with God is an event that took place months ago, I question whether or not you have the right kind of relationship at all. You definitely don’t have the kind that Paul talked about in Philippians:
Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness. I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it. Philippians 3:8-11 The Message
Wow! Do you think Paul was infatuated with Christ when he met Him? Or do you sense that when Paul walked away from that experience he was willing to do anything and everything so that his life could be entwined with that of Christ? You give a half-hearted commitment, you are going to get a half-its-worth relationship. None of us truly believes that Lisa would have settled for anything less from me. Why would we dare believe that Jesus deserves anything less from us? Paul said all things have become “dog dung” compared to knowing Christ. All things!! So let me ask you, what kind of dog dung are you carrying in your wallet? What pile of crap have you based your self worth on? What hopeless “mess” are you believing is more valuable, more precious, more sustaining or more fulfilling than knowing this Jesus? I’ll bet you money that nothing else can compare.
But you have to want it with all of your heart. And you can’t keep living on “once upon a time” experiences. You and I must get to the place where we just can’t get enough of Jesus. Then, we will find that He is more than enough for all that we face.