What are you obsessed with?

Perhaps you say, “Nothing,” but in truth, all of us are obsessed with something. In fact, I would argue that God made us to be obsessed.

Many of us are obsessed with success, vehicles, clothing, people, sex, or a myriad of other things, but we were made to be obsessed with Jesus.

In the Gospels, it is apparent that Jesus was obsessed with the Father. He was wrapped up in and focused upon the Father, and He never did anything the Father wasn’t doing (see John 5:19, 30).

Jesus then says that what was happening between Him and the Father is the same thing that should happen between us and Jesus (see John 6:57). We are to be obsessed with Jesus.

Jesus is to be …

  • the word upon our lips
  • the thought on our mind
  • the delight of our heart
  • the ache of our soul
  • the tune of our song
  • the drive of our life
  • the focus of our eye
  • the excitement of our day
  • the flow of our life
  • our sole attention
  • our center
  • our consuming passion
  • our life’s strength and resource
  • the depth of our being
  • our everything!

Wouldn’t it be a bit odd if we said we were obsessed with Jesus yet never spent time with Him? Obsession demands involvement.

As A.W. Tozer said, “It is well that we accept the hard truth now: the man who would know God must give time to Him! He must count no time wasted, which is spent in the cultivation of His acquaintance.*

Knowing Jesus

While information and details about God are important, we must move beyond mere academics and experience God in intimacy and relationship.

When I teach this concept I often talk about the Greek word ginōskō.

There are a variety of Greek words for “knowledge” but ginōskō is often used to express knowing something through experience, relationship, or intimacy.

Just as we can know all the ingredients and methods to make chocolate cake and yet never taste it; so too, we can know a lot about Jesus and never actually know Jesus.

While details, facts, and information about Christ are important, it is only having relationship and intimacy with Him that matters.

Jesus said in John 17:3, “This is eternal life, that they may know [ginōskō] You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Eternal life isn’t know about God, but having relationship with Him.

At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made this declaration, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, in Your name did we not prophesy, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name do many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew [ginōskō] you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS’” (Matthew 7:21–23).

It wasn’t the religious activities that allowed them into the kingdom of heaven, Jesus’ requirement was a relationship with Himself.

The Life of Christ

The Christian life isn’t trying to mimic a holy, godly, or Christlike life; rather, Christianity is about allowing Christ to “dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being firmly rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17–19).

Are you completely “filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19) or as Paul later says in Ephesians 4:13, “… until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ …”?

That is a high calling indeed!

This is why it is imperative that we allow Christ, through His Spirit to indwell and completely transform our lives (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).

We don’t live our lives FOR Christ; rather, we must surrender, obey, and abide … allowing Him to live His life THROUGH us.

John wrote, “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9). John went on to say, “And the witness is this, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11).

This same message was Paul’s great declaration to the church:

  • Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
  • Colossians 1:26–27 – … the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
  • Philippians 2:13 – … for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
  • Romans 11:36 – For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
  • See also: 2 Corinthians 9:8; Ephesians 2:10

Peter declared, “… seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the full knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust” (2 Peter 1:3-4).

How to grow in your intimacy with Jesus Christ

If we are to be obsessed with Christ, growing in our knowledge (ginōskō) and intimacy with Him, how do we start?

While there is no “instant fix” for transformation, we can hold fast to the promise that “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). We must intentionally continue to press in and make Jesus first in every our lives—He is to be preeminent (see Colossians 1:18).

Here are three ways to get you started:

1. Abide in Christ

Jesus used a variety of analogies to describe our relationship with Him. In John 15, He used the picture of a vine and a branch. Just as a branch abides in (clings to, depends upon, holds tight to, rests in, and refuses to depart from) the life of the vine, so too we rest, depend, cling, and refuse to depart from Christ. He is our life.

Learn More about abiding in Christ:

2. Obedience to Christ

We often will not progress further spiritually than the last place we obeyed. Biblically, obedience is not a “have to” as much as it is an outflow of our relationship with Christ. As Jesus said, when we love Him, we will delight to obey Him (see John 14:15, 21, 23–24).


3. Putting Christ first by laying down idols

Paul says that Christ is to have “first place” in our lives (Colossians 1:18). Which means that anything that distracts or becomes more important than Jesus in our lives is an idol. We have a great need for God to “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23–24).




* Aiden Wilson Tozer, God’s Pursuit of Man [The Divine Conquest] (Camp Hill, PA: WingSpread, 2007), 5.

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