Jesus Didn't Give Us Flowcharts ~ BitterSweetLife

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Jesus Didn't Give Us Flowcharts

Check this quote from E.M. Bounds. At this point in my life, it falls in the read it and weep genre.

I feel it is far better to begin with God, to see His face first, to get my soul near Him before it is near another. In general it is best to have at least one hour alone with God before engaging in anything else.

I certainly agree, but right now, this advice only makes sense to me if you are single or married without kids. Or a monk. And the monk is the best option for success.

Sometimes "best practice" approaches to your spiritual life end up being unworkable, which makes me happy that Jesus gave the disciples the Lord's Prayer and not a set of flow charts. If I couldn't talk with God in the car or the shower, and grab pieces of scripture on the fly, I'd have to hang it up right now. Give up this "be like Jesus" idea.

Instead, we have a God who'll meet us anywhere, anytime, and doesn't ask us to perform cute Christian tricks when we're fighting to make ends meet and keep our eyes open. Yet another example of grace, yet gift to celebrate on Christmas.

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Anonymous said...

So true. We need to remember there are no formulas for a relationship with Jesus, just as there isn't a formula for my relationship with my spouse (although after nearly 15 years of marriage, I could argue otherwise)....

There is no best way to have a devotional life either - it's just good to make the time...anytime...for Him.

Tyler said...

I also like Tom Wright's comments on the cross - that Jesus didn't give us a theory or a model, he gave us a meal.

Ariel said...

Thanks, fellows. If there's a formula for knowing God, it's a very slippery one with multiple variables.

I like that quote from Wright.

Jimmy Snowden said...

Isn't it amazing how so many people have so elevated prayer that it is now seen as thee attribute of godliness? It seems like everything bows to prayer. Sure, prayer may be an indicator of spirituality, but should we consider one who merely prays a lot to be Christlike? I just don't see a Jesus who fails to engage crowds because he is too busy praying. Sure He leaves the crowds on occassion to pray, but this suggests that he was ministering to them for quite some time. Anyway, I am not against prayer. I just think we have gone way wrong with it. Leonard Ravenhill, in his book "Why Revival Tarries," says that a pastor who does not pray at least two hours a day is not worthy of the pulpit. Where does this come from in the Scriptures?

Do you have any thoughts about the place of prayer in American Christianity? Once again, I think we should all pray, but there seems to be an unbiblical infatuation with it.

Also Bounds always talks about prayer being the place of humility. I can say from experience that nothing attacks the root of humility than prayer. "I pray 3 hours a day and I keep it quiet! I wonder what they would think if they knew how much I pray." Pride puffs up with knowledge, and make no mistake about it--pride billows with prayer.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife