Tonight I went to a men’s prayer group I had only attended one time prior. 2-2…that’s what I would usually call consistency.
The leader, @davidthopkins, challenged us to pray about what it is we want versus what it is we need. He even spurred us on to ask the Holy Spirit to help us open our eyes to what we really need. After a bit of time, here’s what the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to, what I shared with the group during debrief (with some minor edits), and what I wrote in the back of my Bible.
Too often we talk about spending time with God and reading his word. We talk about “chewing on” his teachings. But too often we take a bite of the Word and spit it out before we even have a chance to taste it. Other times we try to swallow it whole because we rush through the meal before us, and in our hurry choke on its richness until we vomit it out.
Instead of chewing on the Word we need to digest it. We need to select the portion wisely, chew on it for a while, and then swallow it. But that is not where we get the nutritional value from God’s teachings. It is in the digesting, that slow and monotonous process by which our body consumes and becomes one with its food, that we truly find gain.
But for most of us this just won’t due. It just doesn’t fit our timetable. We’re much too busy to eat the meal before us and wait to benefit from the sustenance it gives us. We’d much rather grab something that makes us feel good quickly… but doesn’t last… like a biblical Red Bull for our spiritual stomachs.
I don’t want to continue to read the Word just to learn more about my God. I want to read the Word so I can be with God more, and so I can recognize when we’re together even when I’m not at church, at Bible study, or saying my mealtime prayer.
So here is what the Holy Spirit lead me to write as a consequence.
What I Need
I need a place, and a space, to come and fellowship with the Lord and His Word.
I need time that lingers and hangs on every wise word from His lips and the pen on His anointed followers.
I need a heart that is open and receiving of the love and instruction of the Father, even when it seems to be delivered with the intent of disciplining a Prodigal Son such as I. (Discipline is not a punishment; it is a pull on the reigns of a horse bound for a deadly precipice.)
I need a Savior- I cannot save myself.
I need a Deliverer- I cannot deliver myself from evil.
I need a King, as I cannot rule myself except to ruin.
I need a Shepherd, for I am lost and far from the flock.
I need a Counselor and Arbitrator, as I am guilty and before the death penalty.
I need a Master, as I am a slave to myself.
I need a Teacher, as I am a fool of the world.
Lord of Space & Time, Holy Father, My Deliverer, King Above Kings, Shepherd of the Lost, Counselor to the Sinner, Arbitrator for The Guilty, Master of All Creation, and Blessed Teacher…
I need You.
This post was originally written on August 30, 2010, but more recently posted here to consolidate my writing. Enjoy!