A good friend asked me today what a Christian Mystic is. I laughed.
I told him, “You are going to be SO excited once you discover for yourself how adventurous and fun a relationship with Jesus Christ can be. Being a Christian Mystic means you are experiencing God for yourself. You get to enjoy the dynamic, adventurous, fun person of Jesus. Your very best friend.”
Being a Christian mystic is an experience of our union with God.
Paul writes: “I am struggling for you… that you may be encouraged in heart, knit together in love, and filled with the full riches of complete understanding, so that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:1-3
The Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good…”
The Bible just isn’t enough!
The reason I say that is because Jesus does! This Scripture used to describe me so well:
“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.” John 5:39-40 NLT
I have now come to see, based on what Jesus says, that the Scriptures are far from complete. You need more.
“hmmm… are you sure you want to phrase it that way Daniel?”
“Uhhh… yea, I guess so.”
“Ok. I guess you like getting persecuted or something don’t you?”
My point is this:
“The Bible is the treasure map. Jesus is the treasure.”
Listen, the religious of Jesus day practically had the Bible memorized! Rob Bell points out in his talk “Dust”. In Jesus day, most Jewish boys by the age of 10 would have the Torah memorized. Genesis through Deuteronomy memorized. Those who showed promise as a good and bright student were accepted as disciples of a Rabbi. (Do yourself a favor and click the above link to Rob Bell’s talk). It was these exceptionally bright and promising students who had the entire Bible memorized who grew up and became the men who rejected their own Messiah and King and crucified him.
So yea, Jesus came to a culture well versed in Scripture yet they missed recognizing their own Messiah. They refused to come to, and submit to Jesus. They didn’t “know” him. How different are we?
Eternal life is found in relationship with the Living God. A real relationship with a real person. You are “saved” by knowing him.
Jesus will one day say to all those who didn’t know him: “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” ~ Jesus Matthew 7:21-23 NLT
After all, it is knowing Jesus that is the very definition of eternal life (John 17). God is a very relational God. It is ALL about relationship.
What does it mean in the above verse to “do the will of the Father?” What is the will of the Father?
Well, from my studies in Scripture, the Father’s will is found in believing and loving Jesus and equally important, to love others. And God tells us we can’t possibly hope to love God or others without first being loved, without first receiving His love. So receiving and basking in the love of God is the first step to our love bankrupt hearts toward the will of the Father. So essentially, the Father’s will is to love you.
I believe that above all else God is asking you, “will you let me love you?”
Will we have the courage to stand in his love or will we be cowards that run and avoid and evade him – for all the various insane reasons we choose to do that?
God himself is that supply of love by which we can do what he wills. There is no love apart from God, for God is love (1 John 4).
“God is love… in whom we live and move and have our being.” – Bible
This idea has completely transformed the way I view reality. A paradigm shift took place as I began to believe and meditate on this. All of life becomes a mystical God experience when we realize this and practice the presence of God.
WHY THE WORD MYSTIC?
Well, because “mystic” is a Christian word that describes our “knowing” – our experience of God. Time spent in conversation with God can be something of a magical exhilarating experience. It can get pretty wild and wonderful. And also, due mainly to our unbelief, it can be a very frightening experience.
In order to not be stricken with stark terror and have a psychological meltdown when coming into his Presence, I would advise you to believe the Gospel – the Good News of Jesus. He has already single handedly saved you and it’s not your fault. As one translation of a verse says,
Ephesians 2:7-10The Message (MSG)
7-10 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
Yes, a brush with the Divine can be dangerous but you are bound to encounter him one day very soon anyway. Wouldn’t it be foolish not to get to know him now?
There is a quote from Narnia when one of the children asked if Aslan was safe:
“Safe? Who said anything about safe?
‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King.”
More from brother John on the subject: