While I was getting ready this morning, I had the words from a famous song come to mind.
“But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
I don’t know the song other than that line. I just looked at the lyrics. It’s fascinating! We’ll get to that later though.
Earlier this week, I met again with the Mormon Sister Missionaries. I so loved the time spent a couple of weeks back sharing Jesus Himself, and we had agreed to meet up again. The same thing happened as with the first time, when Jesus was central there was Life and unity. And when Jesus wasn’t, there was a distant feeling for me. There is a lot to learn from this, what it means when Christ is all, not just to us but between us and others. I’ve said before that so much falls away when Christ is all.
Anyway, long story short, it ended up with me being asked to pray about what they had talked about with me (I did let them speak a bit!) and ask if it was true, and about whether I should make a commitment to the church, the book of Mormon, to being baptised etc.
Now please don’t get me wrong, I don’t in any way want to knock the two I met with or the Mormon Church. I admire their passion and desire to share the gospel as they know it, and for their boldness and willingness to have people criticize them and have doors shut in their faces for what they believe! They were simply doing and saying what they know.
I said to them that I’m not committed to a church, a book, a set of doctrines or theology, but to Jesus Himself, the Person of Jesus. But I said I would talk to Jesus anyway and listen to what he had to say. They said they would call the next day.
So Monday evening after all was quiet on the home front, I sat down and had a chat with Jesus. And he said to me, “Do you remember when John was in prison? How he sent his disciples to ask “Are you the one, or shall we look for another?” Let me ask you this;
“Am I the one, or do you need to look for something or someone else?”
When you’ve found what you’re looking for, you don’t keep looking. That’s what you must say. You’re not looking for someone or something else. You’ve found me and you know it.”
No brainer. That was all I needed to say. Which brings me to the rest of this week.
Yesterday I was with friends, and we were talking about how Christ is all. My friend Keith said something very profound. It was that if Christ is not all, not just in belief but in knowing and living experience, then we try to add to Jesus what we think is lacking, and we lose the purity of Jesus himself. And he mentioned the word alloy.
Driving on the way back, I was excited about what Keith said. I stopped off and sat down to look at the word alloy. An alloy is a mixture of elements, one of which is a metal. Alloys are considered to be more useful than the pure metals alone.
So, to put it another way, an alloy is a mixture of elements, one of which is a metal, considered to be more useful than the metal itself, but that when mixed takes away the purity of the metal itself.
And isn’t this just how it can be with Jesus himself? As Keith said, we can add so many things to Jesus. But maybe we add because we consider what we create to be more useful? Or maybe because we consider Christ to be lacking in some way? Yet when we do this, we lose the purity of Jesus himself. Perhaps this is because we don’t really know that Christ is all? Perhaps we don’t experience that Christ is all and therefore set about adding to him and creating him in a way that we find more useful, or easier to use and live with?
The purity of Jesus himself is that he is all, and that there is no lack in him!
Back to the song I mentioned at the beginning. There are many lines in that song that are wonderful experiences of the blessings of God, a journey of discovery of God and also God with us, but the final repeated line says this to me:
“I’ve experienced some amazing things. God has blessed me. But I still don’t know Jesus himself. I still haven’t come to know Christ in me, and that Christ is all. I’m restless and I’m still looking for him.”
That is not Christ is all.
Just before writing this, I had the phrase “Live life to the full” come to mind. That phrase is very often associated by getting out there and doing all that you want to do and achieving all you want to achieve. And that is one way of living. Going from one experience to the next, getting a buzz until it fades and then finding the next one. Activity after activity.
Or there is this way. Receiving Jesus who IS Life in all its fullness, and learning that receiving him and being is the only way of living. The purity of Jesus himself, as Keith said. Jesus being more than enough. Resting in him, and allowing Life to flow from him through us. Resting in the knowledge that Christ is all. Something I was reminded of again this morning was what St Augustine said,
“Oh God, You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.
I have found that through consciousness of Christ in me and that Christ is all, more seems to happen when there’s less activity and more being! That doesn’t make worldly sense. And that’s exactly it, it’s not worldly sense….
Eat the Bread, drink the Living Water. Let Christ be all in us.