Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…
Philippians 2:12 NKJV
I will never be able to reveal more than the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my personal relationship with God. Even if I wanted to put it all out there – and I don’t – I could never do it. Every second of every day that I’m awake and breathing is filled with this singular relationship. How then could I possibly make it completely known? I couldn’t and you couldn’t and we were never meant to anyway. There is no more singular journey than that of each of the followers of Jesus Christ.
A Singular Testimony
This blog offers a glimpse into the lives of those of us writing on it, but it is not – and was never meant to be – a blow-by-blow account. As with Body life, these glimpses encourage me and convict me, lift me up in hope and lay me down in repentance, but always and ever they point True North. I read Martha, John and Carole and I meet Jesus Christ in ways all new to me. This makes me spiritually hungry to deepen my own relationship with Him and experience a richer faith and higher life of prayer. BUT, and this is key, I want my own singular relationship with Him.
I will never be content to subsist off someone else’s knowledge of the Lord. It will never be sufficient for me to simply read or hear someone else’s testimony of Him. I have to know Him myself, to see Him with my own eyes, to work out my own salvation! And when I read or hear something that is spiritually beyond me, I rejoice to have something to look forward to, to work towards in my own, very personal relationship.
A Singular Life
I don’t know much yet about the life of a disciple, but I know at least this: if the Holy Spirit hasn’t worked it out and walked it out in my singular journey, then it isn’t real for me. It’s just another dormant truth that has yet to bloom. And not only is that fine, it’s wonderful! I have so much that I want of God and need from Him and love about Him that this beautiful, unique life I have with Him is more adventure than I can ever take in.
We will each of us answer for the life we’ve lived, and that’s a thought that brings fear and trembling to the heart of every sane person. In this light, 1 Corinthians 13 is more appropriate as a funereal warning than a wedding honorific. The responsibility we bear for whether or not we love the Lord with all that we are and have is very serious and deserves deep consideration. But there’s another side, too, and I don’t hear as much about that: absolute excitement over the unlimited expanse of possibility in a singular relationship with Jesus Christ.
A Singular Destiny
If you live your entire life as a cat-lady spinster who achieves nothing higher than the job of dishwasher in a greasy-spoon diner, then you are still unlimited in the scope and strength of your testimony. Look at Brother Lawrence! It’s been more than three hundred years since he lived and the testimony/ministry of this monastery kitchen assistant is no less anointed than when he first gave it. The spectacular, palpably evident love relationship that Brother Lawrence had with the Lord confounded and inspired all of Christendom. I don’t think we’d know his name if he’d been content with the nondescript, all-purpose “Christianity” that results when there’s no true relationship with Christ Himself.
God dreamed each of us before the foundation of the world, and I want the full measure of His dream of me. I’m encouraged by others, and convicted as well, but at the end of the day, I have a singular journey of following Jesus. And He’s what matters most to me. May each of you experience anew today the priceless wonder that is Christ in you, your hope of glory!