A friend called me several days ago and wondered if I had any suggestions for small inexpensive devotions she could give to her team at a retreat she was hosting for her business.
A tiny little booklet I hadn’t thought of in years popped in my head. I first heard about this little gem from another friend and ended up buying 20 copies of it to keep on hand to offer out as the need arose. Tyranny of the Urgent by Charles E. Hummel.
She stopped by and picked up the copies I had on hand. I thought to myself, “I should read it again.” But I laid it aside and went about my business.
Last night I hosted the final session of a Bible study I led in my home. We went through Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. Can I just pause and say, please do this study. Even if on your own. Good gracious, it will be the thing your soul thanks you for for the rest of your life!
At the end of the video, Priscilla referenced this tiny pamphlet I hadn’t thought of in years. I’ve never heard it mentioned by anyone other than my one friend years ago. And here I sit learning how to better hear God’s voice when she mentions something that has only days before come to my attention again.
My friend sat across the room. Our mouths dropped, we met each other’s gaze with silent gasps. He had both our attentions.
Sometimes God speaks in whispers. But sometimes it’s like a shout in the ear in the middle of the night. Startling.
I climbed into bed with a full heart last night. A Bible study completed that we all stuck to through the summer. Not an easy thing in today’s busy culture. But they showed up week after week. Hungry and thirsty.
I opened that little black book and began reading. I got to a sentence that made in inhale sharply.
“Many of us have experienced Christ’s deliverance from the penalty and power of sin in our lives. Are we also letting him free us from the tyranny of the urgent? In this message he points the way: “If you hold to my teaching.” This is the path to freedom, continuing day by day to meditate on the Scriptures and gain our Lord’s perspective.
P.T. Forsyth once said, “The worst sin is prayerlessness.” Does this statement surprise us? We usually think of murder and adultery as among the worst offenses against God and humanity. But the root of all sin is self-sufficiency – independence from the rule of God.”
I stopped reading immediately. I needed to sit with this. Sleep on it. Roll around in it. Wrestle it down to the ground.
I closed my eyes. The next morning I awoke. I felt the Lord calling me into an even quieter time with him this morning.
I went to my writing room. I left my phone upstairs. I kept the lights low and opened His Word. I prayed. I asked Him to speak to me and let me hear Him. After I sat in His Word, I opened another book I’ve been slowly reading through each morning for the 2nd read through. Prayer – Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller. Absolutely amazing book.
Y’all. The very page I was on this particular day said this:
“Prayer should be done regularly, persistently, resolutely, and tenaciously at least daily, whether we feel like it or not. ‘The worst sin is prayerlessness,’ wrote Peter T. Forsyth.”
God had a word for me. Pray.
Last week I told my husband I felt God telling me to get on my knees. Literally. Posture into submission.
One of my greatest struggles is self-sufficiency. I know in my head that God supplies the power I need to do everything I do. Yet, if I’m totally honest, I often get from Him a touch of what I need then race forward leaving Him behind.
He gently calls me back. Wooing me to Him. Tender and sweet.
He tells me to lay down my first born drive and simply surrender it all to Him. Rest. Cease striving. Be still and know that He is God.
Is He calling you to spend more time sitting at His feet? To stop racing to the urgent demands and tend to the most important instead?
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