Night class was something we’ve never had before. But anticipation clung to the cool hawaiian air as we knew this speaker was special. We knew that after this night something in us would be radically changed. Radically wrecked. And radically ruined.
Andy Byrd opened with an incredible vision and word for us from Isaiah 60:
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
and the nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.”
He told us he came to light a match and throw it on us, the kindling. and that’s exactly what he did.
Luke 24: 13-35 | The Road to Emmaus.
There were two disciples walking to the town of Emmaus. it was just after Jesus’ crucifixion and peter had just seen the empty tomb. the resurrection. and it says in luke that it was even that very day that these two guys were walking and talking about “all these things that had happened”. then it says Jesus drew near, but their eyes were purposely kept from realizing that it was Jesus. he asks what the two were talking about and why they looked so upset. one of them answers Jesus like he’s crazy, that how could he possibly not know what just happened the past three days! how could you not know about the promised one, the redeemer of Israel, that was sentenced to death and was crucified! and even more, two women have totally lost it and told us that his body has disappeared and an angel told them he was alive! how could you not know about this, how could this not upset you. the one who was supposed to save us, the one who was supposed to restore the kingdom… is dead.
“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”
And he began to tell the two men about everything that had been prophesied about himself from Moses and all the prophets and interpreting scriptures. They came near to the town and were starting to depart but the two men begged Jesus to continue with them and invited him for dinner and to stay the night. Jesus came and blessed the meal and broke the bread and immediately their eyes were opened. They realized they were sitting with Jesus, that he had walked with them all this way, and instantly he vanished.
“They said to each other, did our hearts not BURN within us while he talked to us on the road.”
Jesus does what he always does. Just as our eyes are opened, just as the scales fall off, he leaves. Just to stir desire. Just to stir hunger. Just so we want more, more of him. The minute we realize, the minute we know, he vanishes.
Did our hearts not burn within us.
Nobody else makes their hearts burn like Jesus does.
Nobody else makes them burn in the presence of the man.
They couldn’t see him with their eyes, but they could feel him with their hearts. They felt alive in the presence of Jesus. in the presence of the man.
“We’re part of the journey of coming back to the simplicity of christianity. and it’s about a man, and his name is Jesus. and Jesus is the pinnacle, he is the crescendo, he’s the main reason, he’s the one thing, he’s the one desire. He is Eden. and there is something that happens in the heart of a human when we’re invited back to the simplicity of christianity, the simplicity of Jesus.”
How long have we felt the need to strive after Jesus. To make sure we do bible study, sunday school, go to sunday morning church, attend small groups, take mission trips, have regular quiet times… thing after thing after thing. striving. then striving. then some more striving. You’ll have the rhetoric of christianity, the appearance of godliness, the motions, the raised hands, the solemn look, the closed eyes. But do we have the substance of Jesus? Do we know the man? Do we know the power of god? Do we know the man. Do our mouths water and thirst after the true presence and substance of christ? Do we remember the intimacy? Do we long for something more than the lesser lovers we’ve been so captivated by? Do we hunger for something more, more than striving, more than the motions or the things. Do we know the man? Do we know Jesus?
Is that our desire? Is that our biggest desire in our life? to know this man? to know this love? to know this goodness? that our hearts burn in the midst of this god, this Jesus. that nothing can make me come alive more than he can, or am i entranced by the lesser lovers in my life? Am I so in love with the lesser lovers? Am I so mesmerized by my lesser lovers that I don’t feel the burning? that i don’t feel alive when I’m in the presence of Jesus, that my lesser lovers make me feel alive and Jesus makes me feel bored, dull, and sleepy. Do i have a raging desire to know the man more than anything else in life?
“These years we have on earth, we have a unique privilege to choose God without seeing him. It’s the only time that we have the ability to love God without seeing him. because we have chosen to say yes to god, we will always worship him, we will always be face to face with him. We will never ever die. We will never cease to exist. because we have made Jesus lord, we will always be in his presence. We have the great privilege of loving him without seeing him. We will never have the opportunity with sin all around us–to choose him. We will never have the opportunity in sickness to worship. We will never have the opportunity in circumstances that are hard, to say–you’re better. We’ll never have the same opportunity to have the option to run after other lovers. to be surrounded by sin. and still choose. to be consumed by god.”
I see the world, I see my lesser lovers… and i say no. and declare yes to Jesus. Declare yes to the man. I choose you. I choose you because you make my heart burn even when I can’t see you. I choose you because you are the only lover, you are my one thing, my one desire, my one passion. I choose you because you are so ravished by me, by one look, by one glance. I declare no to my lesser lovers because they can never fulfill me. They can never satisfy me. they can never make me feel alive like you can, Jesus. I choose to say you are better. I choose the simplicity of the man-of this man named Jesus of Nazareth.
So let us posture ourselves to know him. Let us set our eyes, hearts, and lives on being consumed by his fire. Let us know him as he can be known. let us see him as he can be seen. “Let our hearts finally melt and yield to the love of god that we know in our hearts to be real. Let’s be restored to unbroken fellowship. Let’s be liberated from our striving, and run to the arms of the Father and be embraced–when we least deserve it.”
Revival of the heart or bust.
Written by Student Amy Hulst – Original Post