I want to know Christ…Philippians 3:10 NIV
Twenty years ago I was standing on a platform accepting an award for Song of the Year from the Southern Gospel Music Association of Texas. As I stepped down from the small platform, I was greeted by the open arms of Lou Hildreth. I did not know Lou accept to know that she also was a nominee for Song of the Year. She was warm, gracious, and whispered an encouraging word in my ear as we walked away from the stage area.
In that moment, God melted our hearts together and we became real friends. As months passed our relationship grew into love and respect and she became my publisher. I discovered much about her over the next few years, and as I watched her interaction with others, it appeared that all who knew Lou loved her unashamedly and many of those who did not know her vied for her attention and her friendship.
Friendship with Lou also meant friendship with Howard, her sweet husband. Together they have blessed thousands upon thousands of lives. Although several years ago our lives became separated by miles and time, we remain friends and when I want to see her smiling face I simply pop a Gaither video into my CD player and wait for the camera to pan in her direction. Then I smile!
Over the years, I have learned to desire that same kind of relationship with Christ. At the age of eleven, I prayed for repentance of my sin and invited Jesus to live in my heart. But it was many years before I understood the full meaning of that Sunday morning walk down the right-side aisle of my church. Not until my mid thirties did I truly begin to search for my belief in God rather than the belief of my parents and grandparents. As it turns out, it is the same belief—with a few very minor twists.
But, in all my searching, seeking, praying, and studying of God’s Word, I figured out one thing; to know Christ is personal. I cannot absorb the knowledge from others, I cannot depend on my parent’s or grandparent’s relationship with Christ, and I cannot simply take the words of others for truth. To know Christ, to form a true friendship with Him, to have a relationship with the One and Only who gave His life for mine requires participation on my part.
I do not want Christ as an acquaintance but rather as a friend who is closer than a brother. Just like friendship with Lou has a bonus of friendship with Howard, friendship with my Savior, with Jesus, with Christ gives me access to the God of all creation, Jehovah, I AM. Father! For when I go to the throne room of God, I pass through the blood of Jesus. My sin is covered by His love for me.
So my goal is to know Christ, be like Christ and to be who Christ calls me to be—only made possible because He loved me first and drew me to himself. You too may already recognize that He loves you. He is calling you. He wants to spend time with you. If you do not, I can think of no greater goal in life than to know Christ.
© Joyce Powell