I have learned over the years that we really are creatures of habit; thus, the goal is to find ways to transform our daily routines into Godly disciplines.
My wife and I have a Godly discipline that we refer to as our daily “devo’s”-we have “devotions” together and then separately throughout the day. Sometimes these times feel more like routines, but occasionally God rocks our world with a thought, concept or even an email!
Our format generally is to each read a chapter, reflect, ask questions and then pray. As we were praying the other day (routinely, I might add) we began to pray over our intercessory list of friends that we have committed to pray for on a regular basis and then we pray over our children, ending our time by praying for one another and then maybe some specifics about the day. On this particular morning I ended our time with the phrase … “and Jesus please walk with us today.”
Next comes the morning kiss and hug and then I gather up my backpack, lunch and phone (when I remember it) and head out the door and into the car for my fifteen-minute drive to K-House. More times than not I switch on a sports radio station and “veg” my way to work (I am trying not to do this as often as before!). But this time, when I got into the car I felt like someone was waiting for me-in fact, I know now that HE was!
The following encounter is a lesson that I am doing my best to learn. It all has to do with the phrase … “Walk with me today.”
When I began to drive, I felt like the Lord said quite clearly, “Dan, I do not want to walk with you today!” Can you image my shock? After what seemed to be an eternity I heard Him say … “I want YOU to walk with ME today!”
And then it hit me-in most of my daily routines that I call devotions, they were really “all about me”! “Lord, feed me from Your Word today.” “Lord, what insights can You give me today?” And then, of course, the daily prayer list, filled with requests for the Lord to do thus and such. Now, don’t get me wrong; I really cannot fault any of this. The real issue for me was what was missing-a simple request that, if answered and if followed, would make all the difference in the world. A quiet prayer that says … “Lord, I want to walk with You today!”
What does this mean? What is its significance? Consider the following steps:
1. Lord, help me to seek first Your Kingdom!
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
2. Lord, help me to decrease so that You might increase!
He must become greater; I must become less.
“I must decrease” is the term that John the Baptist used, and it simply means what Jesus answered with, and that is that we are to deny ourselves. As we put on humility, the Lord is able to use us to His glory, not ours. As we put on the servant attitude instead of being prideful, we put on the same humility that Jesus had. John knew, if not actually at least in the spirit, that Jesus was the redeemer and that the sin was to be taken from us in our relationship to Him. Without Jesus, we cannot get rid of sin in our lives.
Jay Atkinson, Latter Rain
3. Lord, help me to die to myself today and to put others before myself!
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
2 Corinthians 4:7-10
4. Lord, help me to see through Your eyes today-to see things from your perspective.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:16
5. Lord, help me to quiet my soul and to hear Your words and not mine.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
1 Kings 19:11-13
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
6. Lord, help me to walk in Your steps, to become just like my Rabbi and to be an Ambassador with integrity today!
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Can you imagine what a radical change this prayer could make in a world and culture that has placed the “individual” and his/her needs in the middle? What would become of our “ME FIRST” generation? How would this type of thing impact our marriages, our children, our churches, our ministries … our lives?
In conclusion, let me share with you something that is really pretty neat that happened to my wife. First some background. Over the last few months, life has been pretty rough and very hectic and, as you know, “life happens.” My wife in particular has had a ton of things on her plate and she is still dealing with the motherly emotions of being separated from her now-grown kids.
As she was communicating with a friend from San Diego via email, her friend sent her words of encouragement and ended her note XOXOXO-which is an abbreviation for “kisses and hugs.” Nothing weird about that, but right after the X’s and O’s and her friend’s name was the word Eli.
Sharon emailed back, asking for clarification, but her friend was adamant that she never typed that word. What came to mind from Sharon’s reading were the words from Matthew 27:46...
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Chris, Sharon’s friend, stated the obvious: “Sharon, God is giving you hugs and kisses today-not only is He aware of your situation, but He wants you to know that He loves you!
So you can see both sides of the coin: God loves us (He sometimes even sends emails), He blesses us (undeservedly), but He doesn’t want to walk with us; He has something better in mind. He wants us to walk with Him!