From time to time, all Christians struggle with how to know God more intimately. Depending on where you go and who you listen to, there are many different ideas on how to get to know Jesus better. Some say you need to study your Bible more, attend church more, have daily devotions more, pray more, or other such things.
One popular recommendation of getting to know Jesus is through speaking in tongues. Here is something that happened to my wife recently on this topic and what she learned about getting to know Jesus.
Will Speaking in Tongues help you Know Jesus?
There is a wide segment of Christianity which says that if you really want to know Jesus and experience Him, you need to speak in tongues, dream dreams, and have visions. The chills and the thrills prove that God really cares about you.
My wife has some friends who have been telling her this very thing. They are some of the most Godly women we have ever known, and I do not doubt their sincerity, or their genuine love for God and desire to be used by Him. But Wendy started to get confused because some of them were implying that Wendy was missing out on all that God had for her, and that if she really wanted to know Jesus, experience God, and have the close, intimate relationship with God that they did, she would have to pray for God to give to her all that He had for her (i.e., tongues).
She and I talked some about this.
Following Jesus Daily
Finally, I told her to keep praying and seeking God’s face in Scripture, and see what He reveals.
A few days later, she called me at work. She was so excited. She realized that knowing Christ intimately is not found only in “knowing Scripture” but in going along with Jesus in what He is doing in your day. As you read the Gospels, the disciples just followed Him around, listening to His teaching, observing what He was doing, and then helping out where they could. So Wendy set out to do the same thing.
Buying Bears with Jesus
Three days later, she was in our local supermarket. As she pushed her cart around, she noticed a little girl asking an older man, probably her grandfather, for a stuffed bear. The grandfather responded a little gruffly, “I told you No! Put it back.” The little girl obeyed and little reluctantly, and as they walked away, kept glancing back over her shoulder at the bear.
Wendy thought, “I wonder if I should buy that bear for that girl.” She walked over to the bear and looked at the price. It was only $4.99. But she thought, “She probably has many toys at home, and all little girls like stuffed animals. What does she need one more for?” So Wendy walked away.
But she couldn’t shake the idea, and just as she was about to check out, she saw the grandfather and little girl headed toward the check out line as well. So Wendy grabbed the bear, and bought it with her other groceries. Then she went over to the grandfather and introduced herself and explained that she had saw the girl ask for the bear, and had overheard him tell her no. “God has been so generous with us, and I really felt God wanted me to buy this bear for her. I hope that is okay.”
Wendy said that the man’s face, which seemed to be somewhat angry and worried, melted into joy and disbelief. He said, “This is my granddaughter. She wanted the bear for her mother, my daughter, who is in the hospital. When we got here, I told her she could either buy flowers or a stuffed animal for her mother. She chose flowers first, but then wanted the bear as well, so that her mother would have a friend tomorrow after the surgery. You have made her very happy. Thank you.”
Indeed, the little girl was beaming and hugging the bear.
This is my wife…the close friend of Jesus.
The Love of Jesus
Tonight, with Thanksgiving coming up, she is taking a Pumpkin Pie over to our neighbors. We have been trying to develop a relationship with them, which has been difficult since they don’t speak English very well and we don’t speak Spanish. Wendy had been giving free English tutoring to their girls on Thursday nights. Anyway, they have never had a pumpkin pie before, so she made one for them. It is just another way she is showing love to our neighbors.
Now seriously… who needs to speak in tongues or have dreams and visions when you see Jesus loving others through your life in such tangible ways?
The Kingdom of Heaven is not about speaking in tongues, dreaming dreams, or seeing visions. It is about loving others like Jesus. If you want to know Jesus, all you really need to do is look for opportunities to love others. In so doing, you will reveal Jesus to others, and Jesus will reveal Himself to you.