February 28 2006
This blog is extremely long.... but please read it and stick with it. I think that you'll get alot out of it.
So, lately I have been struggling with some difficult decisions which must be made in the future (and even near future). What am I going to do when I get home? When should I go home? Should I try and finish school early? Should I wait until May to graduate? What should I do this summer? And a host of other things in my life right now.
But as I was pondering and even agonizing over the thoughts running through my mind, I decided to call my buddy. The funny thing is, is that I didn't call him to vent my concerns and frustrations, but instead to check up on him, and how he was holding up under the weight of life. Its funny how when we look to sincerely go out of our way to edify others, the Lord, in His infinite grace and wisdom, will use the situations in both or our lives to encourage one another.
As I was draining my heart to him about what was going on in my life (totally unforeseen from my end), he did something unexpected. He actually cut me off and asked if he could call me back. Personally, I wasn't upset or mad, but a little taken aback. "I mean, here I am pouring out my heart to you, and you want me to hold on while you call me back in a few minutes? (forgive my language butâ€¦) That's kinda ballsy."
Little did I know that it would be the best thing that could have happened to me tonight.
I was sitting up in a tree right outside of the annex which has become my get away spot to escape the world and just be alone. And, I was quickened by the Holy Spirit to go and get my Bible while I was waiting for him to call me back.
To make a long story short, I began reading my Bible and when he called me back, we began to discuss the scriptures. And that's when it hit meâ€¦â€¦â€¦
The Lord nudged me and quietly just told me, "Hey, you wanna know what I want? (What my will is for your life? What I want you to do this summer? When I want you to graduate? Where I want you to go to seminary?) Then get in my word."
Simple as that. Nothing extravagant. Just, "Get in my word." Something that I have heard all of my life, and yet this hit me hard. All because of this one verse. Colossians 1:9 It says, "For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding."
And it was if God was saying, "If you want my spiritual wisdom and understanding, you gotta go after it. You've gotta fight for it. You must work HARD for it. It is not something that is just given to you at your conversion all at once. You must grow and become a skilled swordsmen. Some may be gifted naturally by me to wield my sword and my truth, but you must still train and train hard in order to be a Master Swordsman."
And at this, I must stop myself and do something unusual as a writer. I must apologize. I must apologize that it has taken this long to get done with my introduction. However, it is not until now that I can actually address the concern brought to me in that moment. It was not until you could walk with me to this place and time, that you could fully understand (I think) what I am about to say.
The American Church is plagued with a sickness and an epidemic that is killing the witness of Jesus Christ among a lost and dying culture.
It is summed up in this statement that I made to my buddy that went something like this, "You know, I've been in God's word lately and all, but I haven't BEEN IN God's word lately."
We have this thought in Church today that if we can only get 15 mins a day of prayer or scripture in, we're doing alright. Wow, we've sacrificed something for our Lord. We've done a great favor to the kingdom of God.
MY GOD, MAY YOU HAVE MERCY ON THE SOUL OF OUR COUNTRY AND CULTURE.
What has happened to the Martin Luthers? What has happened to the Pauls? What has happened to the William Tyndales? The George Whitefields? The Jim Elliots?
What has happened to these men and women of the faith that did nothing but eat and breathe the Word of God?
These men were completely engulfed in the Word of God. They could not go anywhere without first consulting the holy, inerrant, infallible scriptures of our Holy God Almighty, to who all praise and honor and glory is due forever and ever.
Martin Luther did not come up with the 99 Thesis just sitting around with his butt in the pew at a Sunday morning meeting saying, "O Heavenly Father, please spark in me a desire for your word." Instead, he was diligently involved in the study of his Father's word. He had his nose in the Word of God, challenging what had been taught and weighing it against what the Holy Scriptures said to see if it would measure up to their standards.
Paul and William Tyndale were both imprisoned and beaten for being faithful to our Lord and Savior. And, just as Pastor Smith said last night in his message, both of their final requests were similar in nature. Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:13, "When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, ESPECIALLY THE PARCHMENTS." Likewise, Tyndale, while in jail for printing the bible in English for the peasants of England to read and understand in order that they might have an intimate and real relationship with Christ Jesus, said, "Bring me a new blanket, a wool hat, some patchings for my leggings, a woolen shirt, and my HEBREW BIBLE." (paraphrased)
You see these men, these men of valor and excellence, understood that it wasn't enough to have a mere 15 mins. in the Word of our Most High God. They realized that it was only through a deep study and understanding that they could unlock the mysteries and truths of the scriptures found in Christ Jesus. (read Colossians)
We always say that we want more of Jesus. We want to be more like him. We want to be his disciples in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and all the world. Yet, we are not willing to be like Jesus.
Jesus woke up to go and discuss with his Father while it was yet dark outside. Jesus was up before dawn several times to just pray with the Father. And He and the Father were one and the same! How much more should we as followers of Christ follow his example?
I'm not saying that we must be caught in a legalistic/ritualistic rut of getting up before dawn to prayâ€¦. This is not Islam or some other false teaching of a remnant of hope that would try and pass itself off to be the truth of God. This instead is an intimate relationship with the Father as only available through Jesus (John 14:6) and can not be earned through any earthly means (Eph 2:8-9). (I'm sure to make somebody mad with that statementâ€¦.. don't tell me, take it up with God Almighty)
But instead we must realize that the only way to save America from becoming the next Rome, that which would implode upon itself because of its sin, WE MUST GET IN THE WORD. That is the only way that we will be able to show ourselves as approved workmen not ashamed of Christ or the calling to which we so mercifully share in, is to revert back to a hunger and longing for the deep things of scripture. (2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 1:8)
In fact, I think that this entire expose on a crazy rant of my own can be summed up in that one verse of 2 Timothy 2:15. It is with this that I will leave you.
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."