Intimacy with Christ: A Hard Sell (From the Big Room to the Broom Closet!)

My early legalistic ministry produced impressive organizational growth and some recognition. In time, however, it failed because it was rooted in my energies (also ignorance, arrogance, and even carnality) more than in Christ.

But then I heard the call of Christ to broken people:

“Come unto me (connect/yoke to me) all you who are wornout trying to do my work and I will give you recovery” (Matthew 18:28-30).

I responded and Christ began a new work in me.

At the outset, I was certain this message of healing and recovery through intimacy with Christ would be highly appreciated and earnestly sought after by a hurting world.

“Where has this message been?” they would ask. “We are worn out by the performance message and have been waiting for you!”

Actually, many have come who were hurting, and maybe all have been helped in measure, but not all have fully received the message which Paul called "God's grace in all its Truth" (Colossians 1:5-6).

After hearing me speak to a group recently on the subject of God’s grace (his love and care to make provisions for our healing, and the opportunity we have to receive it), a kind, older gentleman wanted to make sure I understood that “God does what he wants to do, that if he wants something to happen, it will happen, and if he doesn’t, then it won’t.” I learned he was a member of a prominent church where he was being taught the performance message (which, essentially, is to please God in order to earn his favor/win blessings from him). I was sad for him, not only because he hobbled around, looked to weigh 300 pounds, and said he was diabetic, but also because he had not yet learned the organic, sowing and reaping connection between his poor health and the choices he made (for diet, exercise, and supplementation) – also that he was putting the blame on God for his broken health.

Through the years, I have found the message of grace (God’s provisions for our healing, beginning with intimacy with Christ) is a hard sell. Kind persons politely walk out, go to sleep, or turn away. But I don’t have any other message.

I joke that a church would not want to invite me for a seminar if they were interested in increasing their numbers, but only if they were running out of space and needed to reduce, because, in only a few short weeks, I could have them meeting in the broom closet.

DonLoy Whisnant/Journey Notes 12C17