Sometimes when my mind is muddled and my heart is darker than I might like, I take five and pull a theology book off my shelf.
I let truths about God wash over me, and I ask God to remind me of all that is real.
Here is what I read this Monday morning:
“We must always be careful to emphasize that the knowledge of God come before any particular blessing that we may desire from Him.
The goal of all our seeking and all our worship and all our endeavor should not be to have a particular experience; it should not be to petition certain blessings; it should be to know God Himself – the Giver not the gift, the source and the fount of every blessing, not the blessing itself.” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones
So I’m starting my week: a little repentance.
Saying sorry for thinking an experience is the end goal – not God
Today I feel a little blick and so I want to connect with God – primarily so that I can feel better.
I think God is honored by the fact that I really believe reading about Him will make me feel better, but my feelings are not ultimate and God does not exist to make me feel better.
Reading Revelation has challenged me to ask myself:
do I want Jesus to return so that I get Him?
Or do I want Him to return so that I can feel better?
According to Revelation, praying for the return of Christ means that you are asking Jesus to come back at great cost to your comfort.
You might as well pray: I want to see You, and I know that means my earthly suffering will increase, persecution will increase, hardship will increase – but it’s worth it to have You.
If your whispered prayers of Maranatha are primarily fueled by a desire for your life to be less uncomfortable – you’re praying the wrong prayer. If what you want is to feel better right now, a million false gods stand ready to offer you the momentary comfort you truly want.
But if you pray Maranatha with a sincere heart, only God can provide what you hunger for: Himself.
This AM I want to say sorry.
I have used Him. I have used my sweet Savior and faithful friend. I have asked my Omnipotent Creator and King to work for my god of comfort.
Sorry for thinking certain blessings are the goal – not God
I want good things from God, and I love the my God is a good Father who longs to hear the desires of my heart. But the closeness in our relationship does not exist so that I can get good things from God. The good things exist so that I can get more closeness in our relationship.
What would it look like if our prayers for marriage were sincerely motivated by a desire to be able to understand more deeply the great Covenant we have with God so that we could know and love Him more? What would change if our prayers for our kids were motivated by a hunger to see the name of Christ exalted by disciples who reflect His Lordship and not simply a desire for them to be with us in Heaven?
What if God were the end goal of our prayers, and not just the means?
God is not to be treasured primarily because He gives good things. The gifts He gives are to be treasured primarily because they get us more God.
I want to say sorry to God.
I react as if His goodness ebbs and flows. I call His kindness into question when hard days come or He doesn’t do what I want.
I behave as if His goodness is determined by my perception of His gifts. Instead of clinging to the truth that the goodness of a gift is determined by the fact that He – the very definition of good – is the giver.
The truth is: starting my week by saying sorry means that I end up starting my week by saying thank you.
Thank You – for Your Son. His blood has guaranteed that my attempts to use You to get something lesser will fail.
His blood guarantees that You will give me You – no matter what.
His blood reminds me that You are the experience I crave and the blessing I seek.