Monday, December 1, 2014

Zealousness For Zeal

I have struggled for years since I reemerged amongst the human race from my long, early retirement from reality to get back to a faithful daily one-on-one with God personal devotional time. I used to do this faithfully all the whilst I chronically shunned corporate worship in a church context contrary to sound doctrine and the direct command from God to "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is" command found in Hebrews 10:25.

I have now flipped that and chronically show up in church and at weekly bible studies but the vast majority of the time hit each day without sitting down with God and praying and reading God's Word for even five minutes to start my day (or end it). I struggle with the desire to do it as I start my day thinking about all the stuff I want to do and proceed to jump right into it (or am tired at the end of the day and ready to crash by the time I'm done on my damned computer. I have gone from one narrow extreme to the opposite self-limiting extreme.

My pastor once described it this way: there is horizontal worship we do with the brethren, otherwise known as corporate worship, and there is vertical worship one-on-one with God in a devotional context. Taking that further there is even Old Testament prophet-style worship by way of going out to some isolated place to encounter God. That is even something I used to do (or thought I did) when I was shunning corporate worship. My pastor also once sagely pointed out that if we love God's children we will want to be around them and be with them in corporate worship. If we don't do that then we don't love God's children and we don't love God regardless of what we think or say: end of story!

This morning I was listening to God to start my day (for a change) and right before taking the rare step of setting aside time for God in devotions I experienced a personal epiphany. Time and again the Psalmist asks God to give him zeal to seek God as if it wasn't always an automatic thing to desire it. I had not really noticed this before and it explained my own private dilemma. Not only do I need to do my daily devotionals but I need to first want to do them. I need to ask God to give me that desire in the first place as it is not always integral to our personality to wish that given all the distractions and diversions in our lives.

Now I understand why the Psalmist makes that request and I need to make that request as well. My growth has been retarded and stunted by this shortcoming in my life and it has made me vulnerable to attack from you-know-who. By the way, Psalm 119 features great examples of what I am talking about in regards to the Psalmist... which was the passage I read this morning and will read before I go to bed (half earlier and half tonight).

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