Not until City on a Hill’s sermon series on Colossians, did I realize that most of the years in my Christian faith, I was barely living. I asked Jesus into my life at a very young age, and steeped in religious tradition, I did learn and grow in my faith. Excellent role models showed me how to be holy, like my dad, who I called, “The Walking Concordance.”

However, my spiritual growth was largely dependent on organized Bible studies. These really did induce growth and knowing Jesus, but I failed to understand that God intends for me to have so much more than just organized Bible study.

About seven years ago, in one such study, it was revealed to me that I needed and wanted a consistent, intimate relationship with Him, not just approaching Him with my laundry list of unfinished business.

One verse that revealed this was Colossians 2:17 when the apostle Paul was talking about traditions or rituals,

“These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

I came to realize that if I was merely focused on the Bible Study, I couldn’t focus on Jesus. If I stood in front of the Eiffel Tower, would I want to look at its shadow or the real structure? Duh! Yet, for 25 years, I had seldom looked at the structure, Jesus.

I also realized that idols in my life had interfered with my view of Jesus and kept me from feasting my eyes on Him. I began to pray for God’s gift of repentance (2 Timothy 2:25) and choosing to turn toward Jesus.

Since this awakening in my journey with Jesus, I have become more aware of His constant presence in my life. And what used to be a discipline, to spend time with Jesus, has become a hunger, desire and need.

Have you really come alive to Christ? Don’t be content with the status quo. Don’t just go through the motions of church services on Sunday, sometimes picking up your Bible, crying out to Jesus only when you’re in trouble, hopping from Bible study to study... A real, intimate relationship with Jesus can begin now! Studying the Bible is great, but knowing Him is being alive! Start by asking God for the gift of repentance from your old ways and a hunger for Jesus.