Time for a reality check?

Song line: Draw me nearer... to the cross where you have died

Singing the line of the song: Draw me nearer, had a real impact on me a few years ago.  Hearing it recently took me back to a time in my youth. 

When I became a Christian at 19, I heard a quote read out at my church youth group that impacted me greatly.  It was:

“It is no fool that gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.”

These words hit me particularly hard as they were written by someone who literally gave their life for Christ a few years after this journal entry. His name was Jim Elliot, a missionary to Ecuador, who was killed while sharing Messiah’s love with the Huaorani people in 1956.

I promised Yahusha then and there, with all the passion of a new believer, to lay down my life for Him - just as He’d given His, for me.

Although ‘I am Thine’ wasn’t a song I knew back then – yet I believe my cry to Him was actually ‘draw me nearer to the cross’. I was committed and ready, in my zeal, to give my all – even to sacrifice my life – just as He’d done for me. I truly believed this. How wrong was I?

Over the years, I really thought I was drawing nearer to His cross and laying down my life for Him. The song became a favourite of mine. And, although I had fallen at times in my walk, I always found my way back to Yahusha. I was committed to my ministry and rose to a leadership position.

Then in 2015 the Lord completely stopped me in my tracks! He gave me a reality check that shook me out of my complacency. He asked me simply to list what was central to my heart. I had about 10 things that included: my kids, my work, my wife, my church etc. But, to my horror, nowhere on that list was Yahusha! The One for whom I said I would die! 

I was truly devastated. If asked, I would have sworn passionately that I loved Him more than anything and He was at the centre of my heart. The realisation of the truth was like a punch to the stomach.

How had my desire to draw closer to Yahusha been supplanted by the people and things on my list?

How?! I had to have a shift of focus.

Making my way back to having Yahusha at my heart was a painful one. I went through a period of deep repentance. After telling Him how sorry I was, I had to then move from just singing the words ‘draw me nearer’ - to actually living them, reviewing and revaluing the habits I’d formed; rejecting those things that took my focus from Him.  

I realised, that a lot of stuff can push Yahusha out of our heart. Pain can do it (either physical or emotional); relationships, un-forgiveness, our job, or business – busy doing things without checking if He wants them done. Even our ministry can do it if we neglect spending the personal time with Him that He deserves. 

Was it, is it, or has it been the same for you? Have you ever thought about it, about drawing nearer to Christ?

Over time our priorities can shift from Yahusha to ourselves. Yet we earnestly continue to sing the song believing that all is well in our relationship with Him.

Is this the time for your reality check?

By, Oliver Weedon.