So, I'm on the prayer team for the Perspectives class-- http://www.perspectives.org/site/pp.aspx?c=eqLLI0OFKrF&b=2806295. Originally, I must confess I was skeptical about the class, the class's mission, and the legitimacy of the organization. I told my friend I'd be on the prayer team even though I wasn't sure why I was agreeing to pray for something that I didn't particularly trust. However, God's definitely changed my heart over the course of 3 weeks of being true to this promise--well almost. I missed last week, and doubled up on my time for this week. Praise God for that! But this morning, while I was praying for the listed requests, particularly for the believers in Athens, it occurred to me that all the scriptures about Christians being an army on the march could and should apply to the way we commit ourselves to the Lord. I wanted to re-write my prayer so I didn't freak anyone out by praying on the blog...but the most effective way for me to get what I'm saying across to you is to just go with what I said first.
I pray this for all the believers in Athens and otherwise: strip us of ourselves so that your Glory and Power and Goodness will not be hidden by anything we have made ourselves. What an honor to have the God of the Universe manifesting Himself in us! How could we hide such glory? Lord we are so prideful. I am so prideful. Strip me of myself. Leave only what you want. Show the world yourself through my words and actions. Lord how powerful you are to do such things to your creations. How beautiful your glory is when untainted by poor human efforts. Lord we have no right to edit You. You are unchanging, you are constant, you are eternal, and it is You who we are to show to the world, not to ourselves. God this is a huge task.
This is heavy, this is difficult, this requires your believers to give up themselves and conform to your orders -- much like an army man does for his commanding officer, or for his army. Lord I used to think that the Army was mean and old-fashioned to take away the individuality of the faithful and replace it with the Army-man. But I understand now. To have an effective minister, ambassador, member, of an organization, he or she must conform completely and truly to the ideals of the Head. Lord...how much more should we so do that for You? You desire only good, perfect, and eternal things for your children. We have nothing to fear in giving up ourselves for your plan. Lord you are Perfect, how could we not desire to become vessels for you? Show me how to put on your fatigues, put on your uniform, and never take it off. Show the city of Athens how to do the same thing. Show all your believers how to unite under the colors of your Gospel and fight for your true, unadulterated name to be known throughout the nations.
Show me how to use this blog for your glory, not for my own. Let my words be yours.
Amendment: After speaking with a valued friend last night (1/28) about this, I must make the concession that while God and the Army have similar requirements of their followers, the Army is a human institution, and God is the one Perfect being in this universe. That being said, I admire those in the armed forces--not just the Army--that have the respect to give themselves to the ideals of our country's defense. And yet, how much more of an honor is it to give up yourself to become a member of the kingdom of God and his Perfection! How easy it should be for us to be willing to give up our imperfect selves to that the God of perfection can complete his work on our hearts! O! LORD give me the humility to see how infinitely greater you are than I could ever be on my own!