I can’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in Jesus. I grew up knowing and loving Him. By the time I was an adult, I knew that following Jesus was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I married a man who wanted to serve in ministry, and this has been the course of our lives together. Throughout the ups and downs of marriage, children, finances, family…our hope is in Jesus and His goodness. He is our anchor.
Please understand that things have not been perfect. There have still been times when I’ve doubted. Times when I’ve chosen my own path over the one He laid out for me. I am far from perfect. No matter how long you may have been a Christian, we are so prone to wander. But I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit who continually works to convict, teach, and comfort us in this process. And He has kept us close to Him as we’ve earnestly spent our lives getting to know and trust Him.
Since we began our married life together, our life has certainly taken surprising turns—as I’m sure you can relate! Our lives always look so much different than what we expected. I NEVER imagined God calling us to leave our home in Washington to move all the way to South Florida and start a church!
That was over 7 years ago now, but people still tell us how incredible that seems—how they could never take such a crazy step of faith. But I can honestly tell you that, at the time, it was not very difficult at all. And that is NOT because we were some kind of “super-Christians.” It’s just because we knew Jesus well enough to TRUST Him.
I want you to understand that when you KNOW Jesus—you TRUST Him. This is why our personal relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in our lives! Spending time in prayer, in the Bible—these are the things that bring closeness and trust in who He is! When you are allowing the Holy Spirit to wash you daily in His Word as you read it, the relationship you have with Christ becomes not only a part of your life—it becomes the foundation.
It is very easy for me to forget this. I think it’s easy for all of us. We get comfortable in the routine of church, kids, work, school…and our relationship with Jesus begins to slip to the bottom of our priorities. We get busy! We go to church, hear the Bible taught to us, and we feel like we can make it a few days without spending time with Jesus ourselves. There’s just so much else we have to do!
When this happens, life can start to become much more difficult to navigate. We begin to lose hope, to see situations from a human perspective rather than through the hope and promises of Jesus! We become anxious. Short-tempered. Proud. Selfish. And before long, we’re questioning whether Jesus is good! Is He trustworthy? This is evidence that we have not been spending our time truly KNOWING Him for ourselves.
This is not a new struggle! There is a story about exactly this problem in the gospel of Luke:
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:38-42
We need to make our time with Jesus what is NEEDED just like Mary did. This takes effort. It takes faith! Like Martha, we allow ourselves to become worried and troubled—trying just to stay on top of all that needs to be done. But setting those things aside means truly believing that KNOWING Jesus is the most important thing. And when we do this, we enter into a relationship with Him that allows us to TRUST Him no matter what direction our lives may take.
We are going to be starting a Bible Study for the women at Redemption Church in September where we will be exploring intimacy with Jesus in the book, “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.” I have been convicted and encouraged by this book, and I am excited to share it with other women who are wanting to slow down and know Jesus better for themselves too.
I pray that as we continue in life and faith, that we better understand the importance of KNOWNG Jesus. Take time today to spend at His feet. Remember the goodness and faithfulness of our God, and allow His Spirit to work in your heart to desire more of Jesus in your life.