Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sipping or Drinking Deep?

Last night, our pastor preached on Genesis 5:22-23 – the profound reality that Enoch walked with God for 300 years.

Enoch did not have a Bible. He did not know anything of the Cross. As far as we know, he was not indwelled by the Holy Spirit. He didn’t have a local church, a pastor, thousands of years of the history of God’s faithfulness recorded for him, Christian radio, commentaries, best selling books, or CBD. Yet he walked with God so fully and completely that he did not even die – he was simply taken up.

How did he learn the secret of consistency? How did he get to the point where God was his constant companion, confidant and refuge?

At the end of the message, we were challenged to identify things in our lives that hinder us from such walking. We were also challenged to ask the Holy Spirit to show us things we need to add to our lives in order to begin the journey towards the kind of walk that Enoch discovered.

Almost immediately, I knew one of the reasons I am so far from where I want to be.

I sip.

I pray, have my quiet time, and really try to think deeply. I read good books and teach and lead and invest in young men and women and employ my spiritual gifts in the body.

But I really don’t drink deeply.

I don’t linger in the presence of Jesus. I don’t pore and meditate and agonize over the text of Scripture unless there is a difficult passage I must teach. I rarely fall on my face and stay there until I’m touched by the hand of God. I don’t follow the advice of one of my heroes, Thomas À Kempis:
"The Kingdom of God is within you, saith our Lord. Turn thyself to the Lord with thy whole heart, forsake this wretched world, and thy soul shall find rest. Learn to despise all outward things, devoting thyself to spiritual things only, and thou wilt perceive the Kingdom of God come unto thee. For the Kingdom of God is peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit, the which is not given to the wicked. Christ will come unto thee, and give thee His consolation, if thou prepare for Him in thy heart a worthy dwelling place. All His glory and beauty are from within, and there He findeth delight. The inward man He often visiteth, sweetly communing with him, and granting unto him gracious comfort, peace, and wonderful friendship.

Come then, O faithful soul; make ready thy heart for this Bridegroom, that He may vouchsafe to come and dwell within thee. For thus He sayeth: If any man love Me, he will keep My word, and We will come and make Our abode with him. Give admittance, therefore, to Christ, and deny entrance to all others. When thou hast Christ, thou art rich, and He sufficeth thee; He will be thy faithful and provident helper in all things; and thou wilt not need to rely upon man. For men soon change, and quickly forget thee; but Christ abideth forever, and standeth steadfastly by thee unto the end."

And as a result I’m often tired, short-sighted, nearly powerless, and reasonably shallow.


Blogger Aaron said...

Ouch!! Your really cutting me man! That quote was so tight man!
Thanks for the challenge Steve.

I am going to go and try to "drink" and not "sip."


January 29, 2008 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Jeni said...

That's deep! I was just looking around and ran into your blog... I really enjoy reading it...

Thanks for the challenge!

January 29, 2008 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Just sharing the challenge...


January 29, 2008 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Christopher B. Brooks said...

Good word Pastor. I know that there are times when I too am a sipper. It is pretty fascinating how some of us are so committed to God's work, but don't do an adequate job of refueling our spiritual tanks. I am the first to say that I need to do a better job.

Okay, I'm the second. You beat me.

January 30, 2008 at 5:10 AM  

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