I am going to call us all out on something today. Why? Because I am desperate for the power of God to rest upon His people. If we are not honest with God first and then with others, we will not have the fullness of life. So let’s brave ourselves, shall we?
Without their permission, I drag others into my quiet time with the Lord. Far too often I read the Bible with others in and on my mind. My quiet one-on-one time, the only time God requires me to be selfish with can easily become selfless, in all the wrong ways. I think I am reading the Word with the intentions of having my heart conformed more into the likeness of Christ, but if left to my mindless wanderings I find myself dragging all my unanswered prayers and “disobedient” people, into the throne room with me. My quiet time is getting crowded.
“My husband still isn’t doing the thing that I have been asking him to do.” or “My friend is still letting my down.” Whoever it might be, I drag them into the throne room with me and tie them to the whipping pole of God’s word.
Lord have mercy on me, the sinner.
“ Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”- Matthew 21:43
The other morning, while reading this verse I found my old, sick self, attempted to resurrect itself from the grave. When I read these words, I thought “Oh man. Sucks to be them. Unless these people get it together and start producing fruit, like me, the hurt is coming. Oh God, do something. Help them!” Do you see it? Do you see me backing off from the pain rather than pressing in? Me! The same the same person who tears up when emphatically singing ‘Break my heart for what breaks yours.’ When I drag all my baggage into the secret place I so quickly turn into the Pharisee who stands by herself and prays “God, I thank you that I am not like the other…”(Luke 18:11)
I was reading to be right and not to be wrecked.
It’s too easy for to read God’s word through the lens of our own hurt and pain. We need the Spirit to “cleanse our lens” before we begin our selfish time with God. Otherwise, our selfish time with God will become a stupid, selfless, all about others, in all the wrong ways, kind of time.
I read God’s word because I want to see God. I read God’s word because I want to hear from my Father. And ultimately, I read God’s word to be changed—to be more like Jesus; God, who took off his royal robe, put on flimsy flesh and stooped down to wash the feet of 12 fear laden, dense and prideful people. His confessing confidants who all scattered when things didn’t go the way they had hoped. Twelve people He could have backed away from and called unworthy, but instead he pressed in and pressed onward towards Calvary. He trusted that things would get better if He did. He did this for people like me.
That’s my Jesus. The One who loves wild and free. The One who has captivated my heart, wrecking me for love I crave and have yet to fully know.
You are invited to join me over on Periscope today at 10 am PST. We can talk about how we can keep our lens clean in our selfish time with the Lord. If you are someone who finds yourself snagged continually by others, this is for you. (And me)
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