John 14:9 “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

Knowing Jesus. Such a simple statement, yet for me the current enigma that dominates my thoughts and dreams. Let me explain.

I was born again in 1998 during the worst time of my life. I was alone in a cell facing life in prison for narcotics trafficking. I called out, Jesus answered and so my new life in Christ began.

Several miracles later, I found myself in full time ministry and it would seem to all around me that I knew God. I even thought I had grasped the essence of Who Jesus was, yet deep inside I knew something was missing.

Over time, my relationship with Jesus had digressed from pursuit to maintain. In the midst of ministry and accolades I had lost intimacy with the One who came into that cell so long ago. I still prayed. I still led ministry. I still heard from the Lord, but I also felt distant from Him.

It wasn’t that Jesus was holding back. It was that I had lost a zeal for His person.

A few months back, my wife and I attended Jesus Regional Dallas. I was excited to attend, but not sure what to expect.

If I am honest, the last seven years have been tough ones. In that time, I left a prominent position in ministry, pastored a small growing church, got fired for being too Pentecostal, and started a new work in a different city.

During those seven years I experienced pressure daily from within myself to quit. But I kept on; even when I felt exhausted spiritually. Not to mention that I was also conference weary.

Usually about the second day of a conference I am ready to head back home. By the time the “done that seem that” attitude has taken over. When you are tired and somewhat jaded, bad attitudes reign.

This conference was different though. No agendas. No rehashed paradigms of ministry. No emphasis on big names. Just a pure passionate pursuit of Jesus and it changed something in me.

I fell back in love with Jesus. I fell back in love with getting to know Him. He became the One Pursuit of my life again.

I left that meeting with a new intensity and desire to pursue intimacy with the One who gave all to pursue me.

No longer will I lead a body of believers or attend a gathering being around Jesus without really seeking to know Jesus. Now I am on a mission to know Him.

I refuse to be around Him and miss Who He really is.

Let me close by saying this. I can’t simply put into words what it means to know Jesus. I can’t give you five steps to knowing Jesus in 2019. In fact, I don’t think their is a formula for that.

What I do know is many of us spend our lives around Him but never really encounter Him. He wants that to change. He wants us to intimately connect with Him.

Jesus is infinitely more interested in you and I knowing Him than spending our lives in church hearing about Him. He is not a far off Savior. Jesus’ heart is to be up and close with us all.

I pray that you catch His heart and run after Him with all that you have.

Pastor Shane.