A hurried, "But I wanna go outside and play right now...I will do that later...ok?" as she ran out the front door.
This was my precious one's reply to my suggestion to read her Bible during the peaceful, quietness of the mid-afternoon. Now, I don't want to falsely paint my daughter here - she enjoys studying and learning about Jesus. And for this I rejoice and am truly grateful. But it's fair to say that "later" probably isn't going to happen, right? Not just for this young disciple, but often times for grown, "mature" ones, as well. Why is that?
Training. The wrong kind. Sadly, we are training ourselves to be satisfied with things that don't truly satisfy.
I am guilty. As I'm sure most all of us are. We train ourselves to wake up (usually as late as possible!) to answer the call of the masses on Facebook and email. We train ourselves to be satisfied with the false romance on television rather than the true romantic drama of God's love story. We exchange joyful real-life interaction with our family for hours of mind-numbing screen-staring. Slowly becoming less interested and enthralled with the things of God, and more and more entertained with fleeting pleasures of this world. Less amazed by the works of God, and becoming more and more captivated with discovering which woman Sean is going to end up with on The Bachelor. As C.S. Lewis so aptly states, "We are far too easily pleased."
We tell of our favorite T.V. shows with animation and passion, "Did you see what so-and-so did on ______?!" It's exciting! Then, when it comes to reading the Scriptures aloud, we use this weird automatic monotone voice (I know you know what I'm talking about here). Insanely passionless. Boring.
But our God is not boring. He is the very opposite of boring. Jesus is amazing! Astounding even! He is so much better than one-hour shows and far-too-much-time spent on Facebook! Enjoy these things - yes! - for God gives us all things to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17), but allowing them to dominate our thoughts, affections, and time - no! Let us not unwittingly over-indulge on good stuff, so much so, that we have too little room or taste for the best stuff!
The gospels are loaded with verses that tells us that the crowds and His disciples "were amazed" by Jesus. Why? Because He was, and still is, amazing!
"The men were amazed, and said, 'What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?'" Matthew 8:27.
They were amazed. And rightly so! He is like no other! As we read that verse, did our voice drop down to the boring Bible-reading voice, or did we really catch what we just read, "the winds and the sea obey Him!" Um...that's amazing! So much better and a LOT more exciting than reading someone's I-went-to-the-mall-today-and-found-really-cute-boots-check-them-out status!
Jesus is amazing! Let's be reminded: not only can Jesus command the wind and seas, but He also casts out demons, He makes the mute speak, He heals the blind (Mt. 9:33; 12:22), He withers a tree with only a word (Mt. 21:19-20), He causes the lame to walk (Mk. 2:12), He forgives sins (Lk. 5:20), He raises the dead to life (Lk. 8:52-55), and so much more! He did that then, and He still does it today!
Are we still amazed by this? Amazed by Him? When His Word is spoken to us, or in the quietness of our own rooms with the Bible laid out before us, would amazement be the description of our hearts and minds? Or do we need to re-train our affections and attention. To engage our minds and heart to the very One who made them; to the only One who can satisfy them - Jesus.
What a glorious, amazing, powerful, loving, wonderful God we serve!
Next time we approach His Word and consider His Presence in our lives, let us join with the myriads and myriads of angels in amazement with voices raised, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" And then join with every created thing in heaven and on the earth to declare with passion, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever!" Revelation 5:12,13.
We do not serve a boring God, let us not short-change ourselves by spending too much of our time on things that truly can't satisfy the longings of our soul! Let us lose ourselves in Him and thus find ourselves wholly found...and wholly amazed!
"We can well afford to make God our All, to concentrate, to sacrifice the many for the One. The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever." -A.W. Tozer