Thursday, August 7, 2014

Penciled Prayers: Disposing of Life's Trash

"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish [dung], in order that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:8).

Dearest heavenly Father, I come to You with love in my heart for You. Reading just a few pages of Ambrose this morning brought me to a place of conviction, great joy, and fondness for You, my Lord. While certainly not inspired holy writ, I am still grateful for Ambrose's pen.

While reading Ambrose, I read Philippians 3:8. Compelled to turn to Your Word to read the verse in Your intended context, I was convicted of how much I lack by way of humility and devotion to You, when compared to the life of Your servant, Paul. There is so much, there are so many things that I have yet to relegate to the dung pile. Hobbies, interests, affections: so much that is interfering with my walk with You, Lord Jesus.

Oh Father, please help me. Holy Spirit, please assist me in counting all things as loss--including ministry--because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord!

Lord Jesus, thank You for saving me! What have I lost or counted as loss that I might gain You, Lord? Does it amount to anything at all in You eyes, Jesus? Lord, I say I know what I've yet to count as excrement, which keeps me from the closeness and intimacy I desire with You. I say there are things I've yet to count as loss for the sake of knowing You more. But do I, Lord? Have I, Lord? Will I, Lord? Holy Spirit, without Your direct intervention, I will continue to love aspects of the world and the things in the world. Lord Jesus, I don't want it anymore. I truly only want to be a sojourner in this world, a pilgrim from a kingdom not of this world.

Holy Spirit, please show me today, as I travel, serve, and otherwise live through this day, where the rubbish is in my life. Purify me of any dung that I still wantonly or unwittingly cling to for my own pleasure or my own glory. Wash me, Lord, and I will be clean. Make me willing and make me able to count all earthly and spiritual contaminants to which I cling as filthy rubbish so that I may gain more of You this day. Help me, Holy Spirit, to dispose of life's trash. Order my heart, my affections, my priorities in such a way that I want all of you and all You have to give. And if I cannot have that, if I cannot have You, then may I desire nothing at all.

In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

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