Of course, the central point of Christianity is Jesus and not me. I am saying that “of course” to myself here.
My heart is deceitful above all things and to top it off, desperately wicked.1 That verse in Jeremiah continues with the question, “Who can know it?”1 My heart deceives not only others, but even me. Constantly.
The most dangerous and subtle deception starts when I substitute the desire to know and love Jesus more than anything else for the practicality of what He can do for me, what I can get out of this. Even though God has made us many incredible promises — and I like them all — it should not be the promises that I am after.
Let me try and explain myself. Jesus gives me peace. Honestly, I have become used to having peace inside. So, when I am not at peace, I seek the Prince of Peace — the one who is my peace — to get it. But in that moment, my motives for seeking Him have ceased to be unselfish. I am after peace. Jesus becomes the means to obtain that peace that I am accustomed to having in my life.
Another example is that when I have to minister, I need the anointing (if I am not anointed, it is going to be a long, dry sermon.) So, I seek Jesus, but not for who He is, but to get the anointing. Also, He is an excellent guidance counselor. However, seeking God’s will can take the first place in my life that should be occupied by knowing Him and loving Him. In my case, it happens.
This is kind of like someone who marries a rich person for their money. They are not in love with the person, but in love with what that person can give them.
This must hurt Jesus.
Many times I see myself in the Gospels. I identify myself with the apostles when they were after all the benefits of being His. Jesus had to rebuke them, at times harshly.
Unselfish love is out of my reach.
So I ask for help, every day. I get up early and dedicate time every day to being with Him. I don’t do this because I am spiritual, I do this because I am carnal. I need the Spirit to correct me. There is no hope for me if God Himself does not direct my heart into the love for Him and the patient waiting for Jesus.2 I need Him to do a miracle in my life every single day to be able to fulfill the first and second commandments. I have the tendency to read His Word looking for material for my ministry when the purpose of the commandment is to love God out of a pure heart, a good conscience and genuine faith.3 I need love, a good conscience and genuine faith. Desperately.
It is tough. Jesus has made us so many promises and they are so good. All of them. But it is much better to dedicate my life to knowing Him, as this, on top of it all, brings all the good things with it — peace, anointing, knowledge of His will and many, many other things. God, please guide my heart to your love.2
“It’s not because of who I am but because of what You’ve done. It’s not because of what I’ve done but because of Who You are.” (Casting Crowns)
1- Jeremiah 17:9 2- 2Thessalonians 3:5 3- 1Timothy 1:5