June 10th, 2004


Knock, knock, knocking on Heaven's door

"You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss..." (James 4:3). If you ask for things from life instead of from God, "you ask amiss"; that is, you ask out of your desire for self-fulfillment. The more you fulfill yourself the less you will seek God. "...seek, and you will find...." Get to work—narrow your focus and interests to this one thing. Have you ever sought God with your whole heart, or have you simply given Him a feeble cry after some emotionally painful experience? "...seek, [focus,] and you will find...."

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (10 June, "And After That What's Next To Do?")

Focus has been a real issue for me, honestly for a very long time. The internet and television have played their parts in helping to fry my attention span. I, however, am the true culprit, constantly looking for diversion and entertainment rather than applying my will in seeking Him.

The reason I involve God is that my problem becomes most apparent in seeking Him (or not). That's when the sitting still becomes the most uncomfortable, seemingly unnatural and unbearable. Solitary prayer is at best given bursts of a few seconds; time in Scripture only slightly more sustained. That's the tip off that what I'm dealing with isn't "just the way I am" and something to be indulged—it's a subtle, deadly stronghold against the advance of the Kingdom of God in my life. The fact that we are a culture of distractions provides good cover and lulls me into complacency with my state, but examined for a moment, what is true stands revealed.

See, I seek the same things from my diversions that I ought to seek from Him: seek something to get lost in, to be caught up in, to be engaged with. Something bigger than myself to give me purpose and comfort and direction, to occupy my body, soul, and mind. When they are so occupied, it would be difficult to claim that I'm "loving the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength," yet I indulge the compromise. Because I know if they are not occupied, I feel dead.

I'll spend hour after hour knocking on all the doors up and down the hall of my private Vanity Fair, going into any room that opens and playing with anything which holds the empty promise of feeling alive (or if not alive, then at least less dead). But it is a fearful thing to knock at the One Door. That calls for my humilty and an openness to be changed. I may have to wait for it to be opened to me, wait in hope born of faith that the promise of its opening is true. Even when I knock on the Door, the temptation to run to another which requires less of me and no waiting is powerful.

I'm glad God thwarts me and tires me out until I hear His call to knock. And I hope He will thwart me and tire me out until I hear His call to knock.

It is a humbling experience to knock at God’s door—you have to knock with the crucified thief.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (10 June, "And After That What's Next To Do?")
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