This morning in my journal I wrote, “To be perfectly honest Lord, I don’t really feel like reading Your word or spending time with You.” It was , I was at work, with a stuffy head and jet lagged body. Not only did I not feel like spending time with God, I down right didn’t want to. Even so, for what ever reason, I pulled out my journal and sat down to write.
Immediately after that first sentence I regretted what I had written. “How arrogant am I?!” I wrote. “What can you do with me when I am so fickle? How can you love and use me when it is so easy for me to turn aside from you?” I felt like ripping up my journal and throwing it across the room. As hard as I tried to ignore it, I clearly felt the tug on my heart to put aside whatever I am feeling and finish my “devotional time”.
I pulled out Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest and flipped to today’s reading. The title Deserter or Disciple slapped me off balance. Just below it was written John 6:66 – “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” Ouch.
To be honest, I don’t remember too much else of what was written. As I read I kept thinking, “Could I desert my Lord? Would I?” The question now was, would I stay? Would I continue to press in and seek Him out even when I don’t want to? And if I feel like this now, would I be able to stand firm when everything in life comes crashing down around me? Or will I run?
I shut the book and wrote John6:66 in my journal, then picked up my bible and flipped to Ephesians. Since I was behind in my reading I decided to take the time and catch up. I started in chapter 4 and read through to 6. But it was Chapter 5 which captured my heart.
Eph 5:8-10 reads “For you were once in darkness, but now you are in the light in the Lord. Live as children of the light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”
“What please you Lord?” No sooner had I thought those words the reply “Clean hands and a pure heart” came echoing back.
After a bit of searching and trying to remember, I flipped to Psalm 24 and read
Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to an idol
or swear by what is false.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God his Saviour.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
Then the most amazing thing happens. David finishes his song with these beautiful words:
Lift up your heads, O you gates;
Be lifted up, you ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O your gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty –
He is the King of glory.
By this point I had goose bumps. The way I “feel” or what I “want” carried little significance. The King of glory, the Lord Almighty resides with me! My God and King is pleased with me when I seek his face!