Here’s a scenario that’s happened to me dozens of times. If you are a woman, I’m fairly certain you can relate. I know some guys who can relate to part of the story too. Here it goes: I have some place to go where my style has to surpass my usual sweatshirt chic look and so I spend time doing my hair, applying my make up and finding something flattering to wear. I finish getting ready, look in the mirror and think, I think I look okay but I’ll ask Jacob to make sure. My husband, who loves me at my worst, also tells me I look great. So, feeling good about the way I look, we go to the event, have a great time and return home. Later, someone posts pictures on Facebook or I look at my own pictures and reality sets in. The way I thought I looked in the mirror is not how I look in the photographs. The way Jacob made me feel is not how I look in the photographs. So then I ask myself (a few times), How did you not see this in the mirror?? Is this what everyone else was seeing??
If this has ever happened to you, you understand the emotion – it’s shocking and upsetting! Well I had another similar incident a few days ago…
I started reading a new book last week, it’s called Letters to Pastors’ Wives, and at the end of every chapter are about 5 study questions that are meant to make you think and personally apply what you have just read. I decided to take this book seriously and write down my answers to each question instead of just mentally answering them. One of the questions instructed me to read Colossians 1:3-14 and asked How does the grace of the gospel – Christ’s life, death, and resurrection in your behalf – affect your longing for the Word? Below is part of the Colossians passage with emphasis on what I focused on at the time
We gives thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth Colossians 1:3-6
Per my bolding, what I saw was how specifically God planned for my salvation. Here’s what I wrote verbatim in my notebook:
Col 1:3-14 How does Christ’s love, death and resurrection affect your longing for the Word? When I think about it, how could I not want to submerge myself in the book that was written specifically to me by the One who died specifically for me. But in all honesty, most of the time I don’t think of it like that. There is a part of me that does not want to realize how indebted I am. If I realize how much I owe, my life would have to change.
So I know what I was thinking when I wrote this so let me help you read between the lines in case you don’t see what my answer was really saying. I was answering honestly that I know I should be desperate for the Word of God because of Christ’s sacrifice on my behalf but I am definitely not desperate for His Word. There are times when I haven’t been able to spend much time in the Word and although it bothers me, desperate is too strong a word. So then I asked myself why I wasn’t desperate and I realized that to an extent, the Word of God makes me uncomfortable because it sheds light on how much of my life needs to change in response to my salvation. Most of you don’t know anything about my spiritual walk but I do actually love reading the Bible. I like to study it and learn new things. When I read the Bible, my constant prayer is that it would change me. At the same time, there is obviously a part of me that doesn’t want to be changed. There are certain scriptures that I don’t spend a whole lot of time meditating on because they point out areas of my life that God does not like and I am uncomfortable changing. I don’t skip those passages, I just try not to dwell on them. So after re-reading what I answered I was really disappointed with myself. God has proven His love to me in ways that I could never begin to reciprocate or match and He also knows I could never repay Him for what He has done. So in light of that, how can I be so ungrateful and nonchalant when it comes to His Word? Only Christ’s passion for my soul could have driven Him to the cross – where is my passion for Him who has not only saved me from an eternity of hellfire but also loves me with an everlasting love?
I don’t have an answer but I do have a new prayer request. My prayer is that God makes my heart long for Him the way He cared about me when He allowed His Son to die for Me.
Here’s what Jesus said before He ascended into heaven:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:19-20
Jesus wants disciples who observe all things He has commanded. He doesn’t want people just to be saved and continue to live as they please. All believers were intended to be disciples and as disciples we need to have a passion for our Master’s words. If a personal passion for the Word of God lacks in your heart, I hope you will echo my prayer request.