Thursday, October 04, 2007

If You Really Knew Me

A few weeks ago we played this game at Young Life leadership called, “If You Really Knew Me, You’d Know…” where everyone sits in a big circle and then goes around the room sharing weird, random, and sometimes embarrassing personal facts about their lives… it’s a get to know you kinda thing where you find out that there are guys who crochet and girls who burp louder than any human should. It’s a time for people come clean about having every episode of Family Matters memorized, while others (like myself) admit to being completely obsessed with Harry Potter.

That game is a ton of fun and always good for a laugh, but while you definitely learn some crazy stuff about people, it’s not how you really get to know someone. To get to know a person… and I mean really know them, you have to spend time with them, talk to them, enter into their world and live your life alongside theirs. To really know someone, you have to share experiences, laugh together, cry together and just be together. There are tons of people in my life who I know and consider to be friends, but there are maybe only a few that I would say I really and truly know deeply, and those are not people I just randomly hang out with. Those people are the ones I’ve lived life with… the ones where I have sometimes had a hard time telling where my experiences end and theirs begin...

In Philippians 3, Paul makes an incredible statement… he says, “I want to know Christ.” When I first read that statement, it seemed a little weird… it’s like, “Well, Paul, you do know Him! He appeared to you! You have seen Him and spoken with Him… why would you say, “I want to know Christ?! If you don’t know Him, who does?” And I think that’s the key… Paul is not just talking about knowing Jesus… not even just believing in Him. He is referring to something bigger and deeper than having Jesus as an acquaintance. He’s talking about really knowing Him, almost like saying, “I want to be one of His best friends!”

Whenever I come across that verse, I can feel a deep emphasis on the word ‘know,’ almost as if Paul is shouting through the page and across the centuries that he really, really wants to know Jesus… not just know Him, but deeply and intimately know Him. And after he says that, he qualifies the statement with what he believes it takes to really know Jesus well. Because Jesus is a person after all, and you don’t really know Him just because you know random facts about Him… I mean, picture the Lord sitting in a circle in the living room saying, “If you really knew me, you’d know… Uh, let’s see… ah yes, you’d know that I can walk on water and read your mind… right this second.”

Paul says, “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” What does it take to really know Jesus? Well, as I said, He’s a person, so you have to spend time with Him… live life with Him… share experiences… feel His hurt. Live your life with Jesus, learning what it means live a new life empowered by the resurrection. Live your life with Jesus learning what it means to suffer and have people mistreat you, talk about you and push you out of their lives because they don’t want God’s love. Live your life with Jesus, laying it down in sacrificial love every day… I don’t know about you, but I want a life like that… a life where I do more than just believe in Jesus… a life where I live alongside Him so that we share experiences and so that I might really know Him.

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