Turn up jesus

Something had happened to me.

Slowly. Subtlety. Barely noticeable.

I had become a church professional.

I could do meetings. I could host, smile, and do small talk with the best.

I could preach, teach and prophesy.

All with a single goal. To build the local church.

It was a good goal, a lofty goal. But somehow, in the midst of it, I relegated Jesus.

Not totally. I didn’t lose Him or ignore Him, I simply lowered His standing. He became one thing amongst many things.

Programmes, events, prayer meetings, leaders meetings, social action initiatives. All manner of stuff and Jesus. That’s what He now was. Part of my stuff. I still loved Him, still served Him, still worshipped Him. It was just that He was now part of my life.

Part of my life.

In the business of church, Jesus had become part of my life.

It all came to a head during a time of worship. I was happily singing, lifting my hands, doing all the things I knew to do. Then, quite out of the blue, I heard the whisper of the Holy Spirit.

“You’ve turned down Jesus.”

I knew what He meant. Instantly knew. Like a dimmer switch, I had turned down the light of the world to a level that made me comfortable.

I had made my relationship with Jesus comfortable.

Jesus. The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the lamb that was slain.

Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The name that will cause every knee to bow.

He was now my comfortable Jesus.

When the Holy Spirit whispered those words to me, my heart broke. But he hadn’t finished, and He whispered a second time.

“Turn Him up.”

It wasn’t so much a command as an offer. I could continue living with a comfortable Jesus. The safe Jesus. The Jesus who was a part of my life.

Or I could turn Him up. I could serve Jesus, who is a consuming fire. I could move from Jesus being a part of my life to Jesus being my life. My whole life.

I had spent too long making the church my life. The church was never supposed to be a consuming fire, that’s Jesus’ job. The church is the body of Jesus, his hands and feet to the world. But it’s Jesus we worship, it’s Him we praise, it’s His name we glorify.

Let’s turn up Jesus.

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash



  1. Margaret Baird
    May 3, 2020

    Oh Wow. How very honest of you, Owen. May we see more of Jesus’ stuff in the days to come: I am longing for that.

    • Owen Crane
      May 4, 2020

      I am too. I longing for honesty throughout the church.

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