Sunday, April 26, 2009

Seeking You, Jesus

Where is the Lord God of Elijah? And where is the pursuit of the Risen Christ that burns the heart and is a holy irritant that relentlessly creates a discomfort with our present spiritual state? How is it we can live and breathe without the glory of His presence that both quenches and creates a thirst for Him? While the strength of things of this world chain us to this kingdom, we will never walk in a kingdom whose King makes Himself known to His following subjects.

God’s people are consumed with issues and morality and politics and money, and while we are entangled with the temporal the eternal is a lifeless musing expressed upon paper but void of the personal experience that might generate living manifestations that are completely at odds with this present world. In effect, we have become what we are supposed to help rescue. Why would a person in chains accept a key to those chains when it is offered from another person still in chains?

When and where did we lose the axe head of our pursuit to know Him? How could we be satisfied with meeting Him and receiving His redemption and then, as did Joseph and Mary, leaving Him behind? Does He receive honor from our weekly gatherings, scripted and time constricted, and never allowing the Spirit to move in our midst and most certainly in our hearts? Can a little more than an hour provide the necessary season for God to plow up the fallow ground that has been set aside in our hearts? When have we ended the day and slipped into bed only to realize we forgot to eat that day? And when have we slipped into bed, closed our eyes, and fallen fast asleep without even realizing, much less caring, that He has waited for us only to be disappointed?

Jesus, forgive and help us.

Who have I in heaven but You, Lord Jesus
What in this world can capture my heart but You, Lord Jesus
To whom shall I go to receive forgiveness but You, Lord Jesus
How can I live but through You, Lord Jesus
My comfort comes from You alone, Lord Jesus
All creation draws me to You, Lord Jesus
I have nothing but You, Lord Jesus
There is none like You, Lord Jesus
My breath comes from Your Spirit, Lord Jesus
My life is in You, Lord Jesus
All my hopes, all my dreams, all my desires, all my cravings, all my wants, all my needs, all my yearnings, and all my everythings are in You, Lord Jesus

I was, I am, and I will be nothing without You. It is no secret that You alone have made me into something different, someone that can actually know You, and someone who can actually serve You, and someone who can actually worship You. Apart from You I am a dead man walking in the midst of other dead men without a place to rest. There is nothing to return to, nothing at all.

So I will seek You with a thirst for You and Your presence. I realize some cannot understand and cannot comprehend the depth and meaning of Your presence. But one moment in Your tangible presence is worth more than living with kings and queens, and worshiping You is worth more than many ships of gold. Jesus, so often we speak and write of You as if You were still in history and stand far away, detached and observing as a disinterested spectator.

But in this post I speak directly to You and You alone.

I do not care who does or does not read this, and I am not embarrassed to come before You as a foolish child who is uncomfortably attached to his father. I desire You to take my heart of stone and create in my a heart of flesh that cannot help but seek Your very face. I have met You and I have spoken with You, but it is never enough and my spirit cries out for more, more of You. Captured within the confines of this world only strengthens my desire to be with You.

Houses and cars, money and things, and everything good that has come my way in this life vanishes as nothing when I am in Your presence and when my heart is completely set upon You, Jesus. When I first met you in 1975 it was so transforming that I could not communicate fully what had happened and Who I had met. You have been faithful to me through these 34 years and even through the worst of times You have been my stronghold and even my friend. I am consumed with being with You both here and someday in Your dwellingplace.

We have asked for signs and experiences that could serve as motivations for our spiritual journey, and yet what sign could be greater than the sign of the bleeding Messiah hanging dead on two Roman planks? All the far flung galaxies and all the wonders of this world could never approach the glory of your atonement. Let that atonement possess me in a way I can never imagine. I must only see your face through the crimson prism of your wounds and in my longing gaze I not only feel love, I see love; I see My Love. And that Love is my life.

I cannot be content with speaking about You or speaking about Your truth or even sharing Your gospel message, I must have You in my life as a spiritual reality, one that pursues me relentlessly and both draws me and creates a hunger for You as well. And all the daily tasks of this world as well as the sometimes endless Christian discourses do not satisfy, and in fact so often hinder me in my walk with You. I cannot enjoy this life without You and You ARE in a divine mystery my life completely. Everything seeks to tear me away from You, and even my own mind desires to wander around the worthless things of this world. Forgive me, Lord Jesus, you deserve total surrender from such as me who has been lavished upon with Your endless grace.

All these things I have written are genuine expressions of part of my heart, but in a part of my heart they are lies. But I will continue to pursue You, even in part, hoping that along the way my life will be consumed by the fire of Your presence and the reality of all You are. There can be no other way…

but You.


Anonymous said...

It kind of goes without saying, but - good prayer. It reminds me of two Baptist ministers who longed for more of Jesus and were crying out for more. Then, their lives were changed completely (they were already believers). This may upset your theology somewhat when you read their names. Charles Carrin and Don Dickerman. The thing they have in common besides being Baptist is that they were both regularly ministering to prisoners. It brings Matthew 25 alive where people talking to Jesus would say, "Lord, when were You in prison and we visited You?" And of course He says, 'When you did it to the least of these, you did it to Me.' It seems like when we visit people in the last place on earth, that you are visiting Jesus Himself.
Anyway, that was a kind of long way of saying - liked the prayer and amen to it for you. May all you prayed be given to you.

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