When we talk about various ways to express ‘church’ we must always keep in mind that external change alone is meaningless if it does not put Jesus back at the center of our life. But, sometimes, changing externals does give us the opportunity to renew Jesus as the center and focal point and to help us keep Him there—with no additions and nothing else added to the mix. That is the whole point!
Oswald Chambers says it well:
Is my knowledge of Jesus the result of my own internal spiritual perception, or is it only what I have learned through listening to others? Is there something in my life that unites me with the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior? My spiritual history must have as its underlying foundation a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ. To be born again means that I see Jesus. “. . . unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).” (Emphasis added).
Are we still relying on externals as the primary source of our spiritual life? Listening to the teachings or experiences of others? Relying primarily on the gatherings we go to for sustaining us? Looking for our main inspiration from the next book or blog post?
Or are we developing a rhythm in our life that revolves directly around the person, Jesus:
- Encountering Jesus directly, daily
- Listening to His voice
- Opening the broken places of our life to His redemption, power, and healing.
- Going into the world with a sense of His leading and an awareness of His creative ability to bring Kingdom words and deeds uniquely through us.
And, one last question. How are we doing this? If it’s not just externals, and not all religious duties, then how do you keep Jesus at the very center of your life?