One of the things that writing every day has done for me is that it has improved my relationship with Christ. In the early days of writing, I would keep a list of topics in my phone that I could write on at a moment’s notice. Some days I would get up, look at that list and draw a blank. Panic would ensue. I began losing sleep because I was always trying to think of what to write about. I shared that with William Paul Young who encouraged me to go to God every day with an empty bucket asking Him to fill it. I learned to seek God in the process, to hear His voice, to study the Bible better and to find daily bread. It became less about what I could write about and more of what God could show me. I haven’t visited that topic list since.
After Jesus fed the 5,000+, He walked on the water to the disciples. The next day, the people He fed searched for Him and found Him. He told them that they on,y sought Him out because they were searching for another miracle, but He wasn’t happy with that. They then referred to Moses who gave the people manna in the desert, and asked Jesus for another miracle. He reminded them that the manna was from God and not Moses. They then asked Him for Heavenly bread to which He replied, “I am the Bread of Life. Come every day to me and you will never be hungry. Believe in me and you will never be thirsty” (TPT John 6:35). Just like the Israelites had to get fresh manna daily, Jesus was requiring us to get a fresh word from Him daily.
I grew up living Sunday to Sunday, sermon to sermon as my spiritual bread. It was good, but I wasn’t satisfied because we aren’t meant to only eat manna once a week. Jesus bids us to come to Him daily, to sit at His feet, to be still and to listen. We need to come with an empty plate, not seeking the spectacular, but the daily bread He offers. It’s difficult at times because of schedules and distractions, but I’ve learned to approach Jesus with the attitude that I’m not going to get up from the table until He’s given me fresh bread. Some days it comes right out of the oven hot and fresh. Other days I have to wait for hours. Christianity was not meant to be lived week to week. It’s a daily walk with God that you and I must be disciplined to do. I can promise you that if you will open His Word each and every day, asking Him to give you daily bread, He will do it.
A book on spiritual growth that I’m reading discusses the different stages we go through as believers. There are two different places that mature believers fall into. Both look very similar on paper and in actions, but there is a huge gap between them. In both stages the believer has the spiritual disciplines of reading the Bible, praying, fasting, sharing their faith, serving others, seeking God and hearing His voice. However, the thing that creates the biggest gap between a person who is close to Christ and Christlike is how they run their life. A person who is close to Christ seeks God for direction in their life, but is still at the steering wheel determining to obey or not. The person who is Christ-like gets out of the driver’s seat and fully trusts God to guide their life. On paper it looks like a minimal difference, but in reality, it’s a huge gap.
In Mark 8:34 Jesus said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am” (MSG). It’s a pretty serious statement He made to us, but it’s what He desires from each of us. He’s not going to come in and wreck your life, but He is going to want full control of it. He made this statement immediately after having to rebuke Peter. A few verses before, Peter famously declared that he understood Jesus was the Messiah and savior. He was a believer, but then when Jesus talked about being killed, Peter took Him aside and reprimanded Jesus because that’s not the way he thought things should go. Peter is representative of those who are close to Christ in this incident. We argue with Jesus when His plan doesn’t make sense and then choose to do our own thing. Think about that. He knew Jesus was God the Messiah, yet he reprimanded Him.
Just like a Peter, you and I must get to the place where we quit trying to call the shots for our lives. We can’t be the ones who reprimand and argue with a God when we don’t like what He’s asking of us. If we find ourselves in that position, we haven’t fully let Jesus get in the driver’s seat. It doesn’t mean we’re not moving in that direction or we’re bad people. It just means there’s room for growth. Each one of us are called to continue moving and growing into a person that fully trusts God with our lives. It’s a hard thing to do, but it’s also what He’s asking of us. Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you from knowing God more. When we accept Jesus, we begin the process of letting go of what’s important to us and begin to embrace what’s important to God. Just like Peter, we’re going to experience some bumps along the road, but if we keep moving closer to Jesus, we will become more and more Christlike.