Stay close, O Lord,
At the centre of it all,
Less of me, more of you,
Is our heart of hearts’ call
Standing at the back of a small church in Downtown San Jose, California, I came to this moment that will forever change everything in my life. A crossroads of decisions, a battle and wrestle within my soul, and many questions flooded my mind.
I asked, “Can this Christ, whom the Pastor just shared about truly be the way, the truth, and life? Can He truly love this broken, hopeless teenager who just almost died from an attempted overdose? How can I abandon Buddhism, a religion, and belief I and my family have always known? Am I loved? Where do I belong? What should I do?”
The ancient words of response from Simon Peter rang true “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68–69).
My questions were met with the answer of all answers. I encountered the One who is the giver of life and the lover of my soul. He alone has the words of life. Right there, on that Friday evening, with nothing to give except my hopeless heart, broken life, I abandoned all I’d ever known, surrendered my life and decided to follow the Saviour Jesus, making Him my Lord and King.
As the years went by, and opportunities began to arise, I came into contact with other idols. Idols that were not made with human hands, but with human hearts. Platforms, stages, people, ministry, and opportunities. How quickly and easily idolatry takes root and place in the human heart, becoming the central thing; and without even knowing, Christ is pushed backstage, no longer front and centre.
The stage is set, the lights are ready, the people have gathered, and the spotlight was on the star of the show. But Jesus was no longer the main star shining, it was me.
To choose Jesus and to choose to give Him the glory is what we desire, but it can be challenging when the temptation to receive the glory and take centre stage is right before us.
This is exactly what the enemy of our souls wants, for he also desired it. The glory, fame, and power. And he wants us to be like him, to take our eyes off of Jesus and place them upon ourselves and others. He longs for us to receive the glory that is only and should only be for the Christ who is worthy.
At Follower, we believe that from perfect unity, Father, Son, Spirit, all things were created in and through Jesus. From perfect love He chose to set aside his glory and enter into our fallen world, to demonstrate and restore what it means to be human.
He did so by pouring out His perfect life for all humanity and ultimately dying on a cross so that we could be reconciled to the Father. From this place of reconciliation, he calls us to a deep relationship with Himself through the Holy Spirit. As we choose to answer to His call, we recognise our need to get to know Him better, so we can place Him at the centre of everything. We want to do so by seeking Him and submitting to His ways, believing our only worthy response is to pour out our lives in utter devotion to Him.
Henri Nouwen said, “Jesus has to be and become ever more the centre of my life. It is not enough that Jesus is my teacher, my guide, my source of inspiration. It is not even enough that he is my companion on the journey, my friend, and my brother. Jesus must become the heart of my heart, the fire of my life, the love of my soul, the bridegroom of my spirit. He must become my only thought, my only concern, my only desire.”
Jesus-centred is Christ treasured above all others, above everything else.
Jesus is enough. He is all. He is everything. He is worthy and deserving of all the glory. On the stage of my life and on the platform of our hearts, Jesus has to remain at the centre and first place. Always and only Jesus.
“To treasure you above all others
To love you like we love no other
Your greatness soon will be uncovered
And all the earth will then know, and all the earth will then know
For you alone will be exalted in that day
Worthless goals will be exposed as idols that we’ve made
For you alone will be exalted in that day
You’ll be seen as rightful King and from our hearts we’ll say that
All is for your glory, all is in your name, all is for your glory
That in all things you may have first place
That in all things you will have preeminence.”