In my first book “The Christ-Centered Life: Deep Calls to Deep”, I shared something of my own historical (and continuing) journey into Christ-centeredness in order to encourage others to begin or to continue their own journeys into Christ-centeredness. On a personal level, my journey into Christ-centeredness involved continually meeting with Jesus the Christ who is Lord, but those meetings were not really what I expected. I knew in theory that Jesus the Christ was Lord, but I also knew that he didn’t seize power, he didn’t seize dominance, he didn’t seize might, and he didn’t seize majesty. These were all given to him by his Father in heaven because of his loving obedience to his Father’s will. That led me to an amazing personal discovery.
For as far back as I could remember, back to the earliest days of my life, I had been pushed around, bullied, and dominated by other people. Perhaps, then, you can imagine my astonishment when I looked back over the decades that I had known Christ and discovered that, in my own personal experience, the Christ himself had never pushed me around, he had never bullied me, and he had never dominated me. Why had he not? I really had to sit down and think about that for quite a while. Why did I need to think carefully about that? Because the one person who actually had every right to push me around actually never did, and indeed he still doesn’t push me around. The one person who really had every right to bully me never did, and he still doesn’t bully me. The one person who had every right to dominate me never did, and he still doesn’t dominate me.
Christ’s approach to me had always been, and still is, one of love, and that is precisely why I didn’t recognize him for so long. Simply put, I didn’t know what love was. More correctly, I didn’t know who love was. This Christ who loves me, loves because he is love. I had never known any of this before I met Christ. I had never known true love before I met Christ. This revelation made me realize afresh an amazing truth: Meeting with Christ personally, though always challenging for me, was actually very, very good for me. While I had personally heard from the Father, Son and the Spirit during the decades I was a Christian, the focus had always been on Christ. God’s focus is on his Son, and with the Son he gives us everything else. This is no “in the heavenlies” theology. This is about reality here and now. This is what I receive from God as I still meet with Jesus on an ongoing and daily basis.
RADICAL OR NORMAL?
Through the years my emphasis on Christ-centeredness has made people call me ‘radical’ on a regular basis. Why? I see relationship with Christ as the very foundation of life, for in him I live and move and have my being. Does that make me radical? I don’t think so. I think it makes me normal! I emphasize that a deep discipleship is for every Christian as none of us should be standing still in our faith. Indeed, I think that every one of us should both be continually being discipled and discipling others. Does that make me radical? I don’t think so. I think it makes me normal! We all need to go on meeting with Christ day after day, moth after month and year after year, so that we all may go on receiving from YaHWeH day-after-day, month after month and year after year, in order that we may be ever growing into who we are in Christ. This is precisely what the Christ-centered Life is all about. Is that really radical? Or is it simply the way that we ought to be?
A Christ-centered life is one in which I will always be growing until the day I see him face-to-face, when I jump into his outstretched arms, and then marvel at the fullness of him who fills all in all. I cannot exhaust the knowing of Christ, although sometimes I may try his patience! I want to keep growing daily into him who is the head. I want to keep growing in relationship with Jesus who is the Christ. I want to keep on being transformed day-by-day into his likeness, from one degree of glory into another – the glory that belongs to Christ and to Christ alone. All praise belongs to Christ alone; I belong to Christ alone; everyone belongs to Christ alone. Many people just don’t know it yet, so it is not yet real for them. Everything and everyone belong to Christ alone. They just don’t know it yet. Christ is the center. We need revelation to see that and to grow into that amazing truth.