His Kingdom in you and the world

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Do we know Jesus. There was a time in my life when if I was asked that question I would have said ‘yes.’ But I would not have. Sure, I preached sermons and led out in Bible studies. I was a defender of Christianity. But when the bottom fell out of my life it brought home to me the truth. I did not know Jesus. What I did know was a system of belief. I knew Christianity but I did not know the Christ.

From that point on I made it my business to know Jesus, follow and Jesus and follow where He led, no matter what borders I had to cross and who I would have to leave behind. You will make a better fist of knowing God if you determine not to let yourself be bound by the ideas you have been taught, the religion in which you have been schooled or by people who live on the treadmill that is ‘their faith.’ The pure in heart see God. The passive and double-minded live in a fog.

Jesus is known in the spirit. We have a spirit, soul and body and in that respect are patterned after our trinitarian God. Jesus lives in us by the Spirit and reveals who He is to us and speaks to us through people and events in our lives. He speaks to us in our inner person – not usually audibly but in a kind of ‘knowing.’ If you are in God, which you will be if Christ is your life you will know things in your spirit before Jesus confirms them or presents them to you as truth through people, books and the Bible.

Henri Nouwen confronts us with the question, “Are you following Jesus? I want you to look at yourself and ask that question.

“Are you a follower? Am I?

“Often, we are more wanderers than followers. I am speaking of myself as much as of you. We are people who run around a lot, do many things, meet many people, attend many events, read many books. We are very involved. We experience life as many, many things. We go here, we go there, we do this, we do that, we speak to him, we speak to her, we have this to do and that to do. Sometimes we wonder how we can do it all. If we sit down and think about it, we are often running from one emergency to another. We are so busy and so involved. Yet if we are asked what we are so busy with we don’t really know.” (1)

The truth is we may not know ourselves. The self we do know may not be us but the false self we have developed without the help of Christ and with the help of ourselves and the hindrance of religious people who know religion but do not know God.

Knowing Jesus is a life work – actually more a joy and an adventure than a work. The knowing of Jesus is not onerous but a soft course of personal instruction streamed into our spirit and soul. We are surrounded by His presence and lived in by His Person. We have a personal God, a human God who is both God and the Son of Man. Jesus is always with us encouraging us to live from His life and to invite Him to express Himself as us.

(1) Excerpt From: Henri J. M. Nouwen. “Following Jesus.” Apple Books.