Thursday, May 31, 2012
Now that the Lakers' basketball season is over, leaving me somewhat disappointed for another year (but we are coming back, fear not), I have made a new choice on how to spend at least one hour each evening. Reading! Imagine that. Do you know how many unread books I have lying around in my office at home? Just ask my wife, she most likely has the answer on the tip of her tongue and it would not be too far from the truth.
So I have begun to read a book by Chip Ingram titled Living on the Edge. The sub-title is “Dare to Experience True Spirituality.” It is based primarily on Romans 12. In the early verses of this chapter of Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Pastor Ingram, sees the basis of surrender, submission and the worship that God desires from us above all other forms of worship.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.”
Consider for a moment these words in one of the early chapters of the book: “He [God] wanted to have the same place in my heart that He possesses in the universe.” And just a few sentences later, “He wanted me to bring my everything so that He might reign in my heart as he reigns in the universe.” “The same place in my heart," "reign in my heart,” are these not similar to what we pray each time we pray the Lord’s Prayer “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?” Consider for a moment what we are asking of God. We are asking for His reign on earth/in me/my heart. I am asking that He sits on the throne of my heart, governing/ruling without another challenger to oppose Him, including myself, without another to have a say in my decisions, but Him. I am asking for no other voice than His voice directing and guiding my life’s direction. I am asking Him to do His will in all things related to me. I am transferring to my God and Lord complete ownership of my life, past, present and future, of my home, of my marriage, of my work, of all that is important to me.
In a subsequent chapter, we are asked to imagine signing a blank check over to God, leaving the payee line blank, no amount filled out, just our signature with today’s date on the top, guaranteeing that we will pay/give/do whatever He fills out in that check, to whomever, whatever, wherever He decides and calls us to. Imagine that level of surrender to God’s will and reign. He then adds, “And then you take that check in your mind’s eye to the very throne room of God and slide it under the door as an act of worship to say to Him, ‘Lord, I want to commit all that I am and all that I have to you forever in this very day.’”
What do you think of this level of commitment? Is this not the ultimate act of worship to God? Where are you at this level of commitment? Are you willing to start today as you read these lines? Please share with me your thoughts.
Posted by Rector at St. David's at 10:06 AM