July 22, 2016

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.

As I was reading just now this verse jumped out at me and I thought, this is what triggered that hymn! Open My Eyes That I May See has long been dearly loved, and now I know its roots. The thing is, anyone who genuinely loves God is going to want to know more and more of Him. Actually, it all fits in together. The more we know God’s love for us, the more we will love Him, which will mean we will want to be more obedient to Him, doing His will more and more consistently, which will increase our capacity to grasp Him and His love for us. It’s a glorious cycle! The world is filled with supposed Christians who don’t really pursue God. What a waste! When we accept that He loves us enough to send His Son to die for us, which is at the foundation of becoming/being a Christian, you would think that we would want to “snuggle into” that love, to experience it more and more, but sadly, it seems many people can’t be bothered with that because it takes up too much of their time. What misplaced priorities! As finite beings we don’t have much opportunity to experience the infinite, but God’s love is literally infinite, and it is poured out for us. When we get even a small grasp of that, the appetite for more just keeps growing. However, the devil and our flesh fight tooth and nail against that, seeking to distract us from God with anything possible. That’s why fellowship with God requires our conscious choice. However, if we will choose to press into God and make Him our first priority, we will find that the rewards are greater than anything in the world, or the whole world put together.

This is intensely personal for me on any number of levels. The hymn is one God used to baptize my wife in the Holy Spirit, before I could let go of myself enough to receive that baptism myself. I have had times of fellowship with God that were so intense I thought my flesh would give up on the spot. The first priority for every day is spending time alone with my Lord and His Word. And as a pastor, the cry of my heart is for those to whom I minister to have the same priorities, the same depth of fellowship. Sometimes I am exasperated and sometimes I just want to cry at those who know Jesus to a degree but won’t press in to know Him more. I can’t change them in my strength and wisdom, but I can pray for them and love them with God’s love. I am totally convinced that when we pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, intimate fellowship between God and the children He created to love are at the very heart of it. I am to submit my will to God to that end, for His glory.

Father, the message You’re giving me for Sunday is about intimacy with You. There is so much I want to say, so much I want to impart, that I feel overwhelmed. All of life is about this, so how can I even turn the first page in a single message? I ask for clear guidance and anointing, and for restraint so that I won’t try to say too much, but most of all I pray that Your Spirit would prepare the hearts of my hearers so that they may hear Your loving voice and respond in gratitude and obedience, for their eternal blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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