I recently read an outstanding book, “Imaginary Jesus,” by Matt Mikalatos. It highlighted something I have witnessed others doing and I have even done it myself – we make Jesus to be what suits us, not who He truly is.
Every Christian should read this book. I am certain that many will find themselves within the pages.
You can get the book at http://www.amazon.com/Imaginary-Jesus-Matt-Mikalatos/dp/1414335636
It is money well spent.
I read the book a couple of weeks ago, at a time when I first began really thinking about how we talk about being saved, saved, saved, but little, if anything, about developing a relationship with Jesus. So, we go to church, get “saved” and never really know Him.
It is like meeting someone, knowing them for a few hours or a couple of days and getting married.
How well can you know someone if you don’t spend time, quality time, with?
Or, the other scenario is that we do know Him, but his demands for what me must do in order to follow Him are inconvenient or cramp our style. So, we just make “adjustments” to His word to make it suit us, our lifestyles, our beliefs better.
I had been thinking about my own relationship with my husband. We were best friends, we talked, we got to know each other. But it was more than that. We paid attention to what the other did, how we reacted to things, what we believed. In other words, we wanted the relationship, but we cultivated it, nurtured it and learned about each other not only through asking questions, but also by observation.
“Imaginary Jesus” hit it perfectly. I won’t spoil the story (it is a story – with a great message), but a lot of imaginary Jesuses showed up. One may be yours.
See, God’s word is definite. He expects certain things from us and it isn’t supposed to be easy or even comfortable at times. Face it, He asks a lot of us.
He wants the commitment, the obedience, the submission.
But all that He wants from us is too much for many people (yes, many), even though the rewards are great – and eternal.
So to compensate; we create our own Jesus, one who fits what we want to give Jesus, not what Jesus wants from us.
The only way to truly know the real Jesus is to read your Bible. Read it with literal, logical eyes and don’t let emotion or your own desires, fears, prejudices and likes influence what THE WORD gives us. Read but also observe what He does in your life. Be still and just listen to Him. He will speak to your heart, but you have to get past the emotional bondage that keeps you from truly listening.
THAT is how you get to know Jesus – the real Jesus.
The more I walk with Jesus, the more I find myself thanking Him for my Asperger’s. I don’t have the emotional messiness that so many of my NT counterparts have. I can take the Bible, take Jesus, at face value. I can listen and appreciate the good lessons as well as the hard ones. It is just something you do. I had to make adjustments to how I lived when I married my husband – and I did so happily. It only stands to reason that I would just as happily make the adjustments to be truly productive and real in my walk with God – and He and my relationship with Him are far more important than my husband and my marriage.
What does your imaginary Jesus look like? Have you met the real Jesus or are you still following an imposter?
Put your emotions aside (pretend you have Asperger’s for just a minute – haha) and ask Jesus what HE wants from your life. Then really listen.