Friday, February 10, 2006

High Definition Religion

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up (Isaiah 6:1).

Attending a prayer retreat Wednesday, the question was posed to me: “Are you a pastor who prays, or a praying pastor?” There is a difference between a soul that regularly lifts itself up to God, and one that is relatively self-content and therefore prays only as an afterthought. And this question can be posed to anyone: Are you a praying Christian, or a Christian who prays?

How do you become one who honors God, and gains personal heart-satisfaction as well, through a deeper prayer life?

During this prayer conference, a couple images came to mind. One was of the Christian who thinks he needs to “pray more” in order to get God to answer this him. This is like rubbing a lantern longer and longer, hoping the genie will eventually appear. These motives, I submit, does not honor God – it barely rises above paganism.

The second image that came to mind was the difference between “black & white” and “high definition.” As I look at what hinders prayer in my own life, it is that God becomes more and more “black and white” while other desires become “high definition.” Other desires become more real, more interesting, and more captivating. Pursuing God through prayer becomes remote – and perfunctory.

However, if the truths of God’s word, the Gospel, and God himself captivate us – how can we not pray? How can we not seek him more fervently?

In my next post I will discuss how we might “see” God more clearly, how he might become more “defined” in our minds. Because unlike high definition TV, you cannot just click a remote and experience God. He has not ordained his relationship to us be something quite so…perfunctory.

Meanwhile, I encourage you to simply ask yourself: What is it in your life that is high definition? What tends to captivate you more than the God who created all things, and why?

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