Be Still Know
Psalm 27:13 NLT
‘Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.’
I once read, “Prayer is not primarily a move towards God but the abandonment of love of self”. It is a challenging statement. As a young Christian I can recall pursuing God in search of the next adrenalin rush. It was as if I entered into worship or attended a meeting as I might queue up for the latest fairground ride. In Oxford I attended a concert in the Town Hall called Come Together. As a new Christian I was chasing down everything Christian I could.
The music was emotional, the story of God’s love self-evidently captivating. For the first time I saw people lift their hands in worship and so I closed my eyes and lifted my hands, swaying to the beat, and it was a great feeling. On reflection, perhaps a more polite expression of what I had long experienced on a Saturday afternoon on the football terraces of Stamford Bridge. I emerged exhilarated, happy, with a sense of peace and well-being. Sadly, it neither lasted nor made much of an impact upon my natural inclination and behaviours.
So often our initial response to everything is as a consumer. Be it products or people, I want primarily to enhance my own experience of life. If I approach God in this way, then it’s no surprise if I never find anything other than a product carefully crafted down the years by purveyors of the Christian faith. The primary purpose of prayer is to experience God’s love, and for that to happen I must get out of the way. Sadly, getting out of the way is a process more than a position, as there is much of me to move; aspirations, fears, reputation, needs – the list is endless.
I must take the time both to understand just how self-centred I am and then do the work of setting aside that selfishness to create some space for God in my life. Selfishness is not simply my insatiable appetite for personal goods and services. It is, alarmingly, also the fears and anxieties that constrain my freedom to live as God invites me to live throughout scripture
QUESTION: How might you empty your reservoir of selfishness that it might be refreshed by the love of God?
PRAYER: Lord, I praise you that your love is everlasting.