“This One who is life itself was revealed to us…” (1 John 1:2*)
Jesus was revealed to me almost twenty years ago in a powerfully dramatic way. I came to the Father through Jesus the Son. I was able to see, maybe for the very first time, just how beautiful, majestic, holy yet loving and compassionate God is through the person and work of Jesus.
From that day forward there has been an ever-growing, ever-deepening “fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.” (1 Jn 1:3) Fellowship, relationship, need, dependence, belief, trust– add “-ing” to them all. Whatever expresses this with an ongoing, active, living relationship–that is what has been mine in Christ since 1996.
I still battle every day with my desire for glory, fame, and independence.
My flesh still wants glory for itself–right here, right now glory. Never mind eternity and the glory that will be mine in Christ forever. I want to be exalted in the eyes of others, finding my worth there.
I want fame now. Oh, how I want to be famous! Oh, how I desire that! I want those words of praise and acclamation now, while I can hear them. Then, then, I will know that my life means something, amounts to something. (I want in my flesh to derive my identity from my fame and glory as a musician.) I want to exult in my own fame.
But most of all, above all else, I want to be independent.
- Nobody tells me what to do
- Nobody places demands on my time
- Nobody directs how I spend my money
- Nobody is needed for my strength or existence
Oh, how I want to be independent!
But fellowship with God the Father through Jesus His Son–authenticated, validated and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit–destroys all of my fleshly ambitions. They are all supplanted by the blessings of fellowship.
- I don’t need glory because I exalt God for His glory! For His glorious Name’s sake I do all that I do.
- I don’t need fame because I exult in God, through Christ. My joy and my identity come through Him. He is all that I am; all that I need.
- I no longer desire independence because I recognize my need for dependence. And not just dependence on God. No, I also realize that I am depending on the body of Christ, the church, for help, for strength, for the encouragement I need every day.
In this connection to God and to His people I am free and am being freed day by day from my desires for glory, fame and independence.
“What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms…”
*Scripture quote from NLT
Images supplied by Ryan McGuire, http://www.gratisography.com