life centered in Jesus

Several years ago I developed this picture of what it means to live life with Jesus at the center (click image to enlarge). At the center is Jesus and me, in a close, personal friendship. My life is in His hands, I am surrendered to Him.

Outside of the center, my life is a revolving series of persons, places and things, aspects of life that I need to work through, figure out, balance and choose. Every day I make choices about what I will do, where I will go, how I will respond etc.

Living with Jesus is taking each aspect of life captive to Him, seeking His guidance and wisdom for how to deal with that particular area.

Unfortunately, we are often weak at the center in terms of our connection to Jesus. And in the void, one or more of those aspects of life moves in, takes over, and becomes the guiding priority for our life. This area becomes our ‘god’.

The reality is, anything in the center, other than God (as represented to us by Jesus, and empowered by the Spirit of God), will lead to a deflated and defeated life. Only through Jesus can we experience the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc. in the center of our being. Only in Jesus can we find the wisdom and strength and direction to choose and live wisely in the many aspects of our lives.

There’s a simple song that summarizes this well: “Jesus, be the centre, be my source, be my light,  Jesus. Be the fire in my heart, be the wind in these sails, be the reason that I live, Jesus. Jesus, be my vision, be my path, be my guide, Jesus.”

What is at the center of my life? Who (or what) drives me? Jesus is asking me to welcome Him into the center, and to live my life in, for and with Him. He will help me deal with these other areas of life!

What is Jesus saying to me about my money? my job? my sports? my health? my forms of entertainment? my emotions? my anger? my addictions? What is competing for center place with Him? Jesus made it plain, we cannot serve both Him and money (or work, sports, pleasure, etc.).

Jesus is waiting to speak with me about all of these areas. He has a wise perspective that can guide me through all of the challenges and opportunities that life will present me. Will I go it alone, or will I surrender to His wising, loving counsel?

Any thoughts or feedback about life centered in Jesus?


  1. What I find refreshing, that only the Lord can do, is how He changes everything when I make choices of obedience to Him.

    When I simply acknowledge
    “Lord I choose You, I lay down my crazy perserverance to figure things out, I choose to honour what You are saying to me, what You want me to do”

    … then a funny thing happens … the anxiety, the emotions, the perspective of reality, my relationships, my circumstances … so many things change.

    When I say change, its not always according to what I would expect – they just change, like only a power that is bigger than my expectations or wishes can do … things change, they become different … its an incredible, refreshing change! Its not always circumstances that change, somehow it is mostly me that changes how I look at things.

    And a beautiful result or rather gift occurs in me … peace … quiet, calm, peace …

    What I have found, is that it all comes down to the simple act of my heart in “choosing Him”

    Thank you Lord.

    Help me never to forget this … even in the dire midst of deep emotion and circumstance.

  2. This is good to talk about.
    The thing I see is that I always want to be independant.
    What is good for me is to come to God like a child and be needy every day. Needy for Him to teach me, love me, heal me, refresh me and fill me and to enable me to love Him back!
    So God, please, keep on teaching me to be dependant.

  3. Thanks Karen
    The book I am reading right now Life With God (also by Foster) talks about the central place that reading the bible has in the disciplines. He makes the point that the whole message of the bible from beginning to end can ONLY be understood as the Lord reminding us that He is with us – through all the messy details of our lives – and inviting us to be with Him – again, through all the messy details of our lives. I also recommend this book as an expansion on Celebration of Discipline.

    What I am trying to do right now is, as often as I can, throw out lifeline prayers to Jesus, whenever I think of it, to center myself in Him. Verbal reminders like, “Lord, You are with me” or “Lord, I am with You!” or “Lord thank You for…” or “Lord, help me with…” etc. As often as I can, whenever I think of it.

    Thanks to everyone who is a part of this blog conversation, it is helping me in my own journey to the center with the Lord!

  4. We are fully human without Jesus being the center we cannot live our lives as we were created to live. We will never be perfect and even as we attempt to put Jesus in the center, our lives will continually become unbalanced with us pulling away from the center OR us pushing Jesus to the side. The great news is that He is ready each time we mess up to forgive us if we will just humble ourselves, return to Him and confess, allowing Him to realign us with Jesus once again in the center. It’s a hard process, it requires great discipline and full reliance on the Holy Spirit and I can speak this from personal experience. I have known/ experienced Jesus at the center of my life by daily commitment and determination to purposefully ask Him to abide there. The past two years, I was pushing Him aside bit by bit as I made the center focusing on the negative things around me. I allowed myself to focus on the things that frustrated me about how we ‘play’ at church rather than church being what it truly was meant to be- a 24/7 lifestyle of living His love to the hurting and broken world around us, bringing glory and honour to Him, allowing Him to use me to draw others to Him. Long story short- He waited patiently for me to taste the bitterness and experience first hand the unbalance of what life was like when He wasn’t the center of my life. He was right there waiting to realign me when I was ready to allow Him to do this. He never forces Himself upon us. I know that it is a matter of time before I am neglectful, I get lazy about the spiritual disciplines I need in my life to put Jesus daily in the center of my life (actually more like moment by moment) or that I get swayed to the unbalance of life without Jesus as the center because after all that is the easiest way to live. I am full of imperfections. I know I will fail again but it is a great place to be in to know that once again, Jesus is my ‘fall guide’ waiting and ready to catch me and hold me up if I just surrender to Him and not go it on my own. I need to stop and take time to listen to His voice as He not only loves me but as He also convicts in His loving and tender mercy when necessary. Just as tires need to be realigned and balanced, replaced when worn by daily use, so too does my life. I am so thankful that He has once again come to abide in the center of my life. I am ready LORD for You to deal with all the things that bring unbalance to my life, pushing Jesus away from the center. Grant me strength to be refined so that I may become all that You created me to be……

    A great read for teaching us how to be centered in Christ is Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster of course the Bible is alway first and formost for teaching and learning but God has gifted many great people to assist us along the journey. Give it read, but only if you’re willing to put these disciplines into practice. Brother Lawrence, another example of a life lived centered in Christ- Practicing the Presence of God

    A question to ask myself daily is: “If I am not willing to live with Jesus as the center of my life, why would others be drawn to Him in and through me?” I must live what I believe or it has no value or credability…….

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