I need three things… no, four things,… no, five….
I am in need of a great many things. And I don’t mean want, I mean need if I’m going to be more like Jesus. But I am only going to mention three today, as they seem greatest at the moment.
1. I need prayer to be like breathing.– I am a prayer advocate, I’m the one always calling for more prayer by the leadership of the Church. I’m on the prayer team whose job it is to encourage a life of prayer in our congregation, and yet I don’t pray well, or often. I need to be one who has “soaked himself in prayer”, as Richard Foster describes a friend.
2. I need to “eat this book”.- I’m a teacher in our congregation, I know a lot of scripture, and I know a lot about scripture. I also don’t read a lot of scripture lately. I need to be someone who reads, and meditates, and chews on, and eats the scriptures. I need to be with the bible, as Eugene Peterson says, “like a dog worrying a bone”.
3. I need strength to let go of the “self-sins”. I’ve honestly given up much of myself to God. I’ve come to the place where, when looking at the possibility of death, I’ve said, and meant, “You are my King, I am yours to do with as you please.” And there are still things in me that I won’t, or can’t let go of because of what they might bring about in my life. I feel like this prayer from A.W. Tozer,
“Father, I want to know Thee, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all Those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” (The Pursuit of God)
I need these three because what I know isn’t nearly as important as how I live.