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Archive for June, 2010

It has occurred to me of late that during my lifetime I have asked some really huge things of God – physical healing, financial blessings, jobs, etc.  I asked these things of God without reservation knowing that He was more than capable of granting it all.  I understood the immense power of God and I believe I understood His great love for me.  I knew that He had made promises to me – promises for hope and a future, promises that He would prosper me and not harm me.  I claimed all of His promises as a joint heir with Christ. 

But what was I willing to do for Him?  What did He ask of me?  I did make sacrifices for His sake.  I led ministries.  I taught.  I studied sporadically.  I prayed occasionally.  I did some things God asked of me.  I even did some really big things that God asked of me – things that many other Christians probably wouldn’t do.  But was I living a truly disciplined spiritual life?

God doesn’t ask us to put a stopwatch next to us while we pray.  He doesn’t ask us to record every prayer we ask and keep count of each one He answers.  He doesn’t ask us to read the Bible cover to cover.  He doesn’t ask us to give up anything on His account.  Or does He? 

I think He wants us to be willing to do those things and whatever else He may ask us to do at any given moment.  I cannot presume to know the mind of God.  I cannot presume to understand why He asks things of me.  It is not for me to know or understand.  It is only for me to listen and obey.  Spiritual discipline exercises my soul.  It gets me in shape for the race set before me.  When athletes train for a race, do they not use a stopwatch?  It aids in their preparation.  It gives them a number – a goal.  It helps them to endure for a specified length of time.

If I use a stopwatch during my prayer time, does it not aid me as well? It gives me a goal.  It helps me focus for a specified length of time.  Many would argue that a stopwatch would impose an artificial time constraint on God.    No, rather it imposes a time constraint on me.  For a set amount of time I am making a commitment to focus on God.  I am committed to reading His words, seeking His wisdom, hearing His voice, interceding on others’ behalf.  I am roping off a period of time everday that is specifically set aside for God.  No excuses.  There is nothing else as important.  I am making a holy vow to God and keeping it.  How can I do anything less?  He died for me.  How can I not devote time every morning to spend alone with Him?  There is no one else who has paid such a price for me.  This world has nothing that comes close to the magnitude of His love for me.

It is time to be real.  God does not desire a half-hearted relationship.  God does not want what we have left over after we have tended to everyone and everything else.  He wants us fresh and focused.  He wants to give us power.  He wants to show Himself powerful through us.  He will not give us His all if we are not willing to give Him our utmost.  His light shines brightest when we have fully bathed in His holiness and reveled in His glory.  He offers us everything He has, and we take and squander and whine and protest.  It is time, He says, to be real.  Seek Him first.  Seek His best.  Bathe in His holiness and allow His light to shine brightly for everyone to see.  Set aside time for Him daily.  Carve out a special place for Him in your life as I do now in mine.

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