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Renewed passion

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o-PASSION-facebookAfter a renewed passion of my relationship with Jesus, I felt an urge to start writing about this. Not just because I want to write about the things my heart is full of, but mostly because I feel that many people, especially young people, become discouraged within current Christian thinking and (not) doing. In many cases, the church is arrogant, self-righteous, intellectual, irrelevant and without impact.

PassionI myself have experienced a discrepancy (contradiction) between my own life and the life I read about in the Bible and what Jesus calls to. In the period after my conversion, I was enthusiastic, passionate, took the Word literally and tried to live a radical life. Over the years, however, I became discouraged. In church, I learned not to take everything so literally, to carry out the things Jesus called for "in my heart," and to live a life of minimal sin and maximum security. Eventually I became disappointed in myself, the church and frankly ... in God.

As an independent counselor, I work for various clients. A few months ago, however, all work stopped and quite suddenly I found myself at home for several months. All the certainties you know were suddenly not so certain: Can we continue to live in our house? What if I lose everything? What exactly do I believe about God taking care of me? Leading me? Everything I had come to embrace as "truths" over the past few years, but never really had to fall back on myself, now came screaming for attention one after the other. For example: Is it possible that I believe that God takes care of me, while in Africa people are dying by the bushes? But also: Do I really believe in hell? And: Is it still possible to live a life that has impact, to be meaningful and to be like Jesus?

I know there are people who say, "My life was a big mess. I was drinking, partying and sleeping with everybody ... and then Jesus came and my life turned out all right. Blessed people those are. But me, I just had it all together. I was cool. And then I met Jesus and He disrupted my life. He turned everything I believed in, everything I cared about and hoped for, upside down. I'm still recovering from my conversion. (Shane Claiborne)

A western theology

During this period, I was strongly reminded that I embraced a specific (Western) theology. That, if I am very honest, I only accepted half of the Bible. The easy half. The half of God's salvation, a kind of one-time conversion after which you are in, belong. Possibly you may do something, change, but don't shortchange God's grace! And although God's grace and salvation is free and so you receive for nothing, I now realize that that is only the beginning. The part that faith without works is dead, that you are called to be a follower of Jesus, that Jesus says you have to lose that your life to find it, (...). Not for your salvation, but precisely because you are saved. From a love, a naturalness, following the Leader.¹ I have already been accused of belonging to the "from Mary to Martha movement. But this is what has made me experience an urgency: God's Kingdom is here and now! Everything we do (or do not do) now has eternal value (after all, God's Kingdom is eternal and will soon be fully known and known). And after I started reading the Bible with new eyes, the filters I had turned off, I suddenly see a gospel that is relevant, contemporary, progressive, social, loving, powerful but above all completely "upside down" from a worldly perspective. It costs you everything, but there is more to life than ever expected (and what riches to receive!)².

Believing in the supernatural is not just believing that after a successful, socially reasonably successful and reasonably virtuous life you will exist in the best possible substitute for this world, or that after a starved and failed life you will be compensated for all the good you have had to lack. It is believing that the supernatural is the highest reality, here and now. (T.S. Eliot)

How to proceed

From this new vision, I developed the passion with a number of friends and kindred spirits to work this out practically and get to work. We have gained a new heart and love for the church. Not as a building or collection of activities but the church as a collection of followers of Jesus. When we³, His church³, begin to follow Him³, the church can be inspiring³, passionate³, looking with compassion to the less fortunate³, giving meaning to a fallen world. In short: Getting to our purpose. What not all can happen then! Beyond this personal application³, we experience a shortage of good leaders and inspiring examples. Through this website, we want to express our experiences, thoughts and feelings, to use them to inspire a life that is meaningful, impactful, meaningful and giving, a life similar to that of Jesus. Yes, a life that gives life and leads to life.

(...) I had no idea where to begin. There were plenty of people who talked about the gospel and wrote books about it, but as far as I could tell, living out the gospel had not been attempted by anyone recently. (Shane Claiborne)

For I Have Seen is a collection of ordinary people who through trial and error try to follow Jesus and in doing so dare to raise their heads above the ground. Not for their own glory, but to tell the good news that Jesus lives and reigns. In the here and now.

The name "For I Have Seen" has something prophetic about it. That is our desire: A prophetic sound in these times. That is, we want God's Word to be heard in these times, about our destiny and about our future.

For I Have Seen

Jacob says in Gen. 32:30 "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. We may meet God and still remain alive.

John 1:14 says, "Yes, the Word became flesh! He has come to pitch His tent among us, and we have seen His glory, the glory that He derived from the Father as the only begotten Son, filled as He was with grace and truth. God who has come to dwell among us, making His Glory visible.

Jesus says to us "I assure you, whatever you have done for one of these least brothers of Mine, you have done for Me" (Matt. 25:40). In this way, we can also encounter God in those around us. Let us then meet Him by working out this way of life so that we can say "For I Have Seen"!4

God lets it be known in Ex. 3:7, for example, that He sees us even in our suffering: 'For I Have Seen.... (...)' and that He wants to be there for us.... In Job 31:4 it says, 'He knows my ways and is confident with all my steps.' So For I Have Seen is about the two sides: We get to see God and God sees us. 


Part of a lyric I wrote about this (which will hopefully become a song someday): Oh how You changed everything / Starting with my heart / My mind remembering You / Your spirit grows inside of me Now I feel so alive / So alive, for I know / I Know, for I have seen / Now I see what there's always been / And for what I do not see, yeah I believe

In the fervent desire to be a testimony to this with my life.


  1. Follow the leader is a game children play. One child is the 'leader', the other children follow the leader by imitating him exactly. The crazier the leader does, the more fun it is. This is where Francis Chan makes a great comparison regarding (not) following Jesus.
  2. As co-heirs of everything that belongs to our Father (Rom. 8:17), frankly, it doesn't really matter anymore what you have or don't have (Rom. 8:32).
  3. And there are a lot of them! Especially when you consider that we are among the richest countries in the world! 80% of the entire world's population looks at us as the "rich. Even if we ourselves perceive otherwise. Also... what did Jesus say about the rich?
  4. As I read somewhere: Two men talk to each other about poverty in the world, whereupon one says, 'I find it so hard to digest that there is so much poverty in the world, I am angry with God.' The other: 'Then tell Him, maybe He can do something about it. The first man again: "Yes, I have thought about that, but I am afraid that God will say the same to me.


Erwin de Ruiter

"One man tries to express himself in books, another in boots; both are likely to fail." - G.K. Chesterton

6 thoughts on “Hernieuwde passie”

  1. What an (H)honest, authentic openness from a child of God, so eager to reflect Jesus!
    You know, every day it is also my deepest desire to be able to radiate Jesus and to serve Him in every situation of my life. I want so much to be like Him because He is my great example and He loves me so much and I love Him. And then sometimes when comments come from people that sound like an answer to prayer reflecting on Jesus, I am really sincerely grateful for that and sometimes a little proud for God......
    But far more often it happens that all your best intentions, words, responses, gifts, et cetera are received as differently as you hope. Sometimes they even turn like a boomerang, completely negative against you....... That's what I wrestle with God about. Why do things sometimes turn out so painfully differently than you had hoped or intended? God is teaching me, through considerable pain that I don't have to wait for applause from people, but that He knows my heart and that He loves me not because of what I do for Him, but because of who I am. He knows that intentions are sincere.
    As your path with Jesus progresses, the lessons in my case also become more and more painful. I truly believe that God's intention in this is that we are being prepared for a new phase of His plan for our lives. What a LORDly God we serve, that He keeps on teaching me things over and over again, even though as a human being I sometimes prove to be stubborn. However, He pulls me through with so much love that I am moved every time. What a FATHER!!!!! How curious I am about the new phases of His plan for our lives............

  2. Yes, and then the difficult things and questions like "Africa. If God leads us like a shepherd through all the difficult situations we have to face, how much more would He not help His children in Africa in the sometimes harsh conditions? Just last week I experienced this again so powerfully when I was on that continent that I love so much. Really all day long you hear testimonies from people who have nothing, or hardly anything, but who want to tell passionately about the great miracles that God is doing in their lives......... God's dimensions are higher and deeper and more meaningful than our visible dimensions! I know that really doesn't say everything, but it helps me to be able to help there and live here. Maybe God will turn that around some day.

  3. Ha Kees, thanks for your response(s)! I personally find it immensely encouraging to keep discovering that there are more people who feel the same way about following Jesus! How cool it would be if we could come to a "family" rather than an "institution," to "action" rather than just "reflections," to living with and for Him rather than for ourselves. Now is the time 😉

  4. Hi Erwin, Cool to read how God has changed with you and how He is using you now. I think you write beautiful articles. The passion just comes out through the screen haha.
    You write that there is a group of people involved with you. Do you also come together?
    Greetings, Bram Wisse

  5. Ha Arnold, thanks for your response. Nice to hear! How do you see that? I am more and more inclined to think in personal discipleship and life as an end in itself for character formation and the possibility of being more entrusted in that growth. See last blog: There is also the issue of church/family: how to do that with others. I am dissatisfied with that in my own life. I would like more spiritual connection with people in living and working environments. How is that for you?

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