All of us lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of the flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in transgressions. – It is by grace you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:3-5
It has occurred to me that I have read the Bible an awful lot and have made myself the hero of many stories. For example, when I read about Samson in the book of Judges, I’ve basically gotten out of that story that if I follow and keep the rules, God’s power will reside with me. In the story of Daniel, I’ve thought that if I will fast, pray, and be willing to do things others won’t do, then God will make me a Daniel and protect me and save me from every Lion’s Den. Last, and certainly not least, I’ve read 1 Samuel 17 and thought, “If I will be willing to stand before my giant and give it my best shot, I will be victorious.”
Can you see what I’ve done? I’ve read three very popular stories and deduced that God will use me in the same way so that I will be the hero. In each of those scenarios, I end up looking good. Even big-time preachers say things like, “Be a David,” or “Be a Daniel.” I’ve never heard anyone say, “Be a Samson.” That one doesn’t sound quite as appropriate, but it is the one that I most relate with this morning.
In the story of Daniel, I’m more like one of the other Israelite captives enjoying all that Babylon has to offer. I’m not asking the guard to give me vegetables to eat for ten days while denying myself the best of the King’s table. I’m enjoying the best of Babylon.
In the story of David, I’m not standing before the undefeated giant declaring that God will give me the victory. I’m more like one of the other Israelites in the army scared to make a move. There is no way that I can spin the narrative to make myself the hero.
Then, there is Samson. He did absolutely everything wrong, yet God chose to show His power through him. Every victory was won simply because, “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power.” This I can relate to. Every powerful moment I’ve ever had with God was simply because He chose to come upon me. I would be a fool to think it happened by my own volition.
I don’t know really why I am writing this today. I guess I feel this call to just shrink into the background. I want to decrease. I want God to increase. I am so comfortable right now. I have the absolute best that life offers. I want to humble myself like Daniel and forsake it all. Not so I can be some big hero, but so that God will be as real to me as He has ever been to anyone who has ever lived.
Oh, to just want Him and Him alone!
Lord, I just want You this morning. Give me a heart that does not need to do anything grand. Give me a heart that just longs to be alone with You. I sit here so comfortable by the gas logs as I type this. Grant me a heart that would rather go outside into the cold and ask You to keep me warm as You surround me with Your presence. I don’t need to be some big hero. I just need You in my life. I need You working, molding, prompting, leading, guiding . . . I know what I’d be without You. I’d be a miserable wretch that didn’t even know I was miserable. I was deserving of nothing but wrath, but You showed me great mercy and grace. By that grace I have been saved. I love You, Lord. At least, I want to love You. Give me a love for You . . . for it must come from You. Help me to love You and honor You all the days of my life. Amen