I have been lacking, as a result of my own complacency and apathy. A man, Tom Tanner, I know him only through other people, said this once, “If you don’t intentionally increase, you will unintentionally decrease.” He spoke these things pertaining to our relationship with Jesus. And, to be honest, I have not been increasing. Thus, well…you can fill in the rest from the quote above. I have been declining. And I know it. I read my bible and pray every other day. I used to read my bible once week in high school and felt fine, felt like life was at a high point. However, now, I skip a day and I feel like my life is tearing at the seams. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I do feel a significant difference in my life, just the way I feel about things, about what’s happening around me, about where life is going.
So, I want to commit myself to truly seeking out the Lord, always! Not letting up one day, to pick up another. But, as anyone knows, it’s hard to keep up. All the distractions of life–work, school, family, spouse, pleasure, recreation, entertainment, insecurities–take their aim at all your vulnerable time slots–Jesus time, small groups, church. Thus, I am dodging the bullets of my own desires to spend time with the Lord. I know this sounds dramatic and all, that’s because it is, on paper (or on the screen, in the internet’s case.) Nevertheless, I have to be committed to something more than passions an desires, because, as it is clear to all, they fade and falter just as the flesh does, but the Spirit is willing.
I spent time today meditating on the Lord’s prayer. It is not something I have never done before. However, I made it a point to be very intentional about listening to the Spirit while meditating. I guess, I should always do that, really.
First off, I was reminded of the scripture, “Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine” (Lev. 20:26 NASB). If I want to dwell with the Lord, if I want to speak with Him, if I want to call upon His holy Name, then I must be holy as well. In fact, in this Leviticus passage, God is commanding me to be holy, because He is. And, in all reality, I am aware that true holiness is unattainable, because I am human. (You could ask my wife that: she’s seen how human I can be.) I think the part about being holy that grabbed my focus the most is that I expect the Lord to come be with me whenever I please. And probably nine hundred ninety-nine times out of a thousand, I am asking Him to rest with me while I am an unholy devil. However, God, in his great mercy, still sits beside the ragged, sinful, selfish man I am. And from that, from the multitude of His mercies, I am thankful for His holiness. (For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. — Ps. 103:11 NASB.)
And the other cool thing I got when meditating on the Lord’s prayer is this: Pray expectantly everyday for the Lord to provide “the daily bread” for all parts of life. I found that “daily bread” is all kinds of life giving substances, whether it is physical bread for the day to nourish my body, or the Word of God to nourish my soul, or spiritual questions for my wife and I to discuss to nourish our marriage. I guess, ultimately, I can expect that God will provide for all parts of life, for He has come to bring “abundant life.”