Monday, August 4, 2008

Put something up

ok ok i am putting something up...see thing is i read something and i am like man i need to share that and then by the time i get around to i don't. Why? Because i am lazy. I am come to that understanding. it is hard for to me to admit sometimes, but it is the truth. And laziness isn't just something that is to be laughed at and thought of as just something that is a by product of my personality.Laziness has come to effect a lot of things in my life not just my dedication to put things up on the blog. Laziness effects my spiritual growth, my physique, my friendships, and my work. Laziness is something that i truly battle. Whenever i just lay around and do nothing the devil always strikes. It is true with me that idle time is the devils playground, and unfortunately i have learned this the hard way.

It took me 2 months to finish my last book "When I Don't Desire God" and it has been one of the most influential things i have ever read. Why? Not because i "Don't Desire God" but because i do desire God. I desire God all day, but too many times i fall into a time of spiritual despair and need help because my laziness has allowed the devil to overcome my life. But back to the book...it taught me so much. It had some many good little nuggets in it that seemed to point directly to my life. i need to read the book again so i can fully devour it, but i will say from my initial perspective it gave me so many things to use in my life to fight laziness and sin and i will give you a few examples here.

1. Pray...for so long i have always thought as my prayer life to be the same as everyone else's prayer life. You know i lay in bed or get on my knees or simply bow my head...tell God how great He is, ask for His forgiveness, pray for other peoples needs, pray for my desires, and keep everything in accordance with His will. But in the last few days i have found that there is more to prayer than that. In fact in three days... i was randomly confronted through video sermons and book by Andy Stanley, Mark Driscoll, and John Piper on prayer. I am pretty sure this was God telling me i needed help with prayer. Anyway in the end i learned these things

--Andy Stanley pray according to Gods will..As it says "Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done." too many times without even realizing i try to conform Gods will to mine. I do this by saying stuff like God help me to stop lusting...then i go watch some tv show that promotes sex. See praying for Gods help was good. But i wasn't praying for His will to be done. I was just praying for him to save me without me even putting up any effort. Andy Stanley made a reference to when Jesus was praying in the Garden the night He was captured and how He prayed all night long...and at the very end He says "Not what I will, but what Thou wilt" i mean that is prayer right there. So the first thing i remember is to always keep things according to His will. Turn whatever it is you or are holding over to God. Because it is His will that must be done.

--Mark Driscoll be respectful yet original in prayer. Mark speaks of how when you are coming to prayer there isn't anything special or any kind of prayer that must be quoted exactly every time. Mark speaks of how in the end you are coming to your Father. You are coming to the One who has saved you...so say exactly and whatever you want to say but say it in a respectful way. Big words and elaborate thoughts don't impress God. Humility and Love are what He is after.

--John Piper says pray often. Pray in a regimen however many times a day and follow that regiment everyday. Find a quiet place where you can come everyday at the same time and offer up to God all that is on your heart. John Piper makes a reference to Daniel...who if you have read the story had an incredible prayer life. Daniel was told only to pray to the king, and Daniel being a faithful follower of God wouldn't pray to the earthly king. He prayed to God the same way he had done always...at the same time...at the same window. And what happened to Daniel-he was thrown in the lions den-and what did Daniel do-he prayed-and what did the lion do-he didn't eat Daniel. Why? Because Daniel had supreme faith in God to deliver him from evil. He was a consistent and diligent prayer his entire life.

So the first thing i learned was prayer

The other thing I learned was to look around. "The Heavens declare Your wonder." Look at all God has done. Look not just at each day being a day. Realize that each day is an individual and different. Each day and everything around was created by God. And if that doesn't humble you then look harder. Look at people not just as people, but as individual creations by God. I tell you it is a completely different perspective on life if you do this it is truly amazing.


Whew...i tell you i could go on and on about what i learned. Things about reading your Bible, learning about other religious scholars, memorizing scripture. I tell you "When I Don't Desire God" by John Piper is truly an amazing book and i think all people should read it. Whether they are in spiritual despair or not.

But in the end i have to end this in by just saying thank-you to God...because He is the only good in me.

2 comments:

HealthAdministrator said...

Matthew,
So good to hear from you over the last two posts I've read of yours. By the last two I mean your response to my last post and your front page post today. Thanks so much for the honesty and encouragement that flowed from your words. I loved reading them.
Some words on some things: This summer has been a roller coaster of a ride for me as well. Mainly cosisting of lows, lower lows, and normal. So, not a very cool roller coaster but nonetheless.
God has been so faithful to me in many ways. I will mention two: Psalm 16 and Psalm 32.
"I will praise the Lord who counsels me even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord before me always. Because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also rests secure,
because You will not abandon me to the grave. Nor will You let Your 'Holy One' see decay." Psalm 16:7-10
What great and precious promise! No matter how dismal the situation the ultimate problem (i.e. death) God has dealt with. He will not abandon us to the grave for HE WAS ABANDON THERE FOR US! And as we know He rose! Sweet stuff.
"Blessed is the one against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
Day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; MY STRENGTH WAS DRIED AS BY THE HEAT OF THE SUMMER." Psalm 32:2-4
In David's testimony of holding back confessing his sin to God he tells of how his body was beaten. How God was seriously crushing the crap out of his pride and stubbornness and it was taking its tole. As I have surely experienced this feeling this summer it adds meaning to it for me that he says "My strength was sapped as by the heat of the summer." Pretty cool.
O' the freedom from freely confessing our sin to God and O' the hard heartedness that keeps me from doing so. This psalm is great for leading one to that freedom, and I believe it has helped me much.

Love you Matt. Thanks so much.
Also, I am adding a link to one of Piper's sermons on "Spiritual Depression" it is a sermon from psalm 42. Nasty stuff.


http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByScripture/1/2806_Spiritual_Depression_in_the_Psalms/

"the engineer" said...

So i am now reading Martin Luther's commentary on Romans and that is some pretty special stuff.
although he is sometimes hard to read his words are ever so applicable to life today.

i am only in chapter one and i have only started it but the first thing he talks about is how Paul declares himself a servant to the Lord Jesus Christ. Luther said that just this opening paragraph states Paul's humitlity and glorification towards God. Paul is expressing that he is a servant meaning that he is following doing a duty that has been set upon him by someone or something. and that person who set it upon him is Jesus Christ. Luther speaks about how this showed all of the Romans that paul wasn't coming because he wanted to preach one of the greatest messages appart from Jesus. Paul was coming because he was a servant of Jesus Christ.

it is some pretty cool stuff. i would recommend it because he also goes into to how an epistle must hold his office and how ministers must be in their spirtual journey. and since i know that you are still wanting to go in this field i think you should def read it. the book is actually modeled after the notes and text that martin Luther gave to his students in a class he taught back when he was a teacher. The book was lost and then recently found in the Vatican Library. It is some pretty cool stuff.

but hey enough for now.