I Was Her
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'" John 8:12 (NIV)
I saw her coming across the arena. Deliberately. Intentionally. Her eyes fixed on the stage... on me... on what I must have represented in that moment — a woman who might understand.
Through the crowd. Up the stairs. Across the stage. She stood next to me pressing her shoulder against mine as I was speaking to 6500 women.
And there she was staring out at thousands, but pressing into one. Needing more than words.
Later she explained she needed God and thought if she stood close enough to me, she just might be able to feel Him.
I didn't have time to carefully plan what to do. I've never had this happen before. I've never seen this happen. It wasn't even on my scope of possibility. But there she was. And there I was. Two women who simply, desperately need Jesus.
And because I am so hyper aware of my own desperation for Jesus every moment of every day, I simply wrapped my arm around her and kept on speaking.
It was a wrinkle in time. Something that wasn't supposed to be and yet was. And I think I now know why.
I needed to remember that ravenous longing I once had to press against somebody who knew Jesus. I was her. Looking at other people's faith wondering how to get that. That depth. That closeness. That unswerving conviction.
I truly thought if only a person with that faith would let me close enough, I'd discover their secret. I'd learn their routines. I'd mimic their obedience. I'd follow them to the ends of the earth until I got it right. Then, then, then, I'd feel close to Jesus. I'd understand the Bible. I'd pray powerful prayers. And all would finally make sense.
However, there is a big difference between being close to people who love Jesus and being close to Jesus Himself.
I can certainly learn from people. "He who walks with the wise, grows wise." (Proverbs 13:20a, NIV)
But if I want closeness with Jesus, I won't find that in following anyone but Jesus Himself. He is the One who must be pursued. There have been a thousand whispers from my heart, "Show me, Jesus. Show me how to follow You, be close to You, press into You, be more like You...show me. Show me today. Show me in this minute. Show me, please Jesus, show me."
A thousand whispers. And there will surely be thousands more that pour from my lips. For Jesus wants us to walk with Him. He says, "Follow me." Over 20 times in the Gospels, "Follow me. Follow me."
And those who dare to whisper yes and then walk in His ways, find the One for whom they are longing. "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:12-13, NIV)
Yes, there she was. And there I was. Two women who simply, desperately need Jesus.
Dear Lord, I desperately need You. I want to know You for myself. Show me. Help me to follow You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
If this devotion resonated with you, don't miss Craig Groeschel's new book, Weird... Because Normal Isn't Working. Click here for more information.
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If you want closeness with Jesus, you won't find that in following anyone but Jesus Himself. He is the One who must be pursued. Read the book of John in the New Testament to learn more about the life and heartbeat of Jesus Himself. Read where He walked, how He walked and what He said. It will change your life. Pray to find that closeness for which you've been looking.
There is a big difference between being close to people who love Jesus and being close to Jesus Himself. How does this look to me? Am I following Jesus or am I following others more?
John 4:41, "And because of his words many more became believers." (NIV)
John 6:35, "Then Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.'"(NIV)
© 2011 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 21 April 2011.