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My Prayer Today

08/03/2014 08:26 PM - Permalink

Would we pursue God differently if we knew we couldn’t see Him when we die?  We know and preach that we can worship God forever in the New Jerusalem – what most people think of as simply “heaven.”  But what if that wasn’t the case?  What if everything we will ever say to God, we have to say now… everything we ever do for God, we have to do now – in this life?  What would be the record of our interactions with Him?  What I’m really after is – do the behaviors of our lives, the attitudes of our hearts, and the patterns of our prayer reflect a love for God today?  Are they a gift to Him – the Giver of every good thing, or are we saving all that for later?  Is He the center?  Or are we?  What is His worth to us, as reflected by our pursuit of Him?

Consider the benefits of His love and presence… let’s go over a few:
  • “Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man all the things that I have prepared for them that love me.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
  • “Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
  • “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
  • “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
  • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
  • “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:2-5)
  • “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16)
  • The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)
  • “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.  Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.  The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.  The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.  The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself.” (Deuteronomy 28:3-9)
  • “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)
  • “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
  • “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23)
What about if we knew Him – not of Him, but really knew Him, and knew the benefits of His love and presence… but after a time – maybe a year or so, He walked away and said we had to come find Him?  How far would we go to seek Him?  Which stones would we turn over – and which would we leave alone?  Where would we look?  For how long?  Would our hearts be broken?  Or would nothing really change?  Would we even have realized He was gone?

Do we really treat the Most High like our first love?  Or do we just sing songs about it so we feel good about ourselves, and our obligation to the One who saved us? 

Is there a burning in our hearts for His Word, as if it were the newest love note passed to us from our crush at school – or perhaps what it really is, a substance needed by us so greatly, it can only be compared to food and air – a fuel for the very essence of our lives.  Do we regard His Word as the highest authority, as if we really believed Him when He said His words are spirit and life?  Or do we aimlessly beg for His “Spirit” while rejecting those spirit and life words from filling us to overflowing? 

Have we given value – in our daily lives – to the One who crafted us with His own hand, in His own image?  How has His love for us, or our love for Him marked us?  Is He our first and last thought? 

I have been considering these things as I have been evaluating my own life, and thought I would share.  I love God.  At least… I want to love God.  Does my devotion to Him… how I feel about Him… how I appreciate Him… how I need Him (and know it!) mean something?  Is it more than just a position stated when asked?  I want it to be.  I want loving God to change me.  I want it to be me.  Is it the overwhelming theme of my life?  Is it shouted in the intro, the finale’s crescendo, and every note in between?  Do I live a life worthy of – or in acknowledgement of – all that He is to me… all that He does in me… and all that He is worth to me? 

Not nearly.  My best is more worthless than filthy rags compared to all that He is and deserves – this I know… but if, then, He is the most worthwhile thing, what could I give Him – or show Him – that would be the most pleasing to Him, but a picture of Himself – in me. 

Lord, let us love you!  Let us be moved by you!  Let us be marked by you!  Make us truly like you!  Let us love your Word.  Let us love your way!  Let us live and breathe and move in you.  Let us reach the world for you, and show them your face (and not our own).  Let us treat you with the love and respect from us that you deserve… with the highest honor, the highest devotion, and the highest praise… or at least as good as we would treat our first and truest love – for God, we know that you are our first and truest love, and truly worthy of all these things.  Help us live for you even as you live in love for us... to possess and live by love for you surpassed only by how Holy you are. 

You said nothing is impossible... to pray for the impossible.  So this is my prayer today.

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