Thursday, November 11, 2010

Our Hunger for Quick Relief

One of my goals in writing is to bring immediate help to every hungry Disciple who knows they want more and need more of Jesus … fast! It is to those who have the spirit and urgency of David that I write. Listen to his words, “Hasten to save me Lord, come quickly to help me … I am poor and needy.” (Psalm 70:1, 5) There is a depth, release and brilliance to the Christ Life that most of us know we are missing. How often I have prayed the words of David in Psalm 68-71 … these wondrous words and wisdom of his older age. Knowing my own sins and weaknesses, I have great difficulty feeling the same emotion of revenge David felt toward his enemies. Of course some of those actions were more brutal and vicious than I have ever experienced. Nevertheless, I do enter fully into David’s heart and quest to praise and grasp the sweet splendor of our Savior Lord’s intent in my life! His words here bring redemptive energy and hope into my daily existence! The secret is learning how this release of positive power can happen on an almost minute by minute basis!

“Do not hide your Face and empowering Presence from your servant; answer me quickly for I am in big trouble. Come near and rescue me; deliver me and redeem me because of my destructive and depressing foes (other people, demonic deception, exhausting circumstances, cultural lies and my own foolishness).” Psalm 69:17-18 (HDM)

“… I am poor, bewildered, weak and needy; come quickly to me O God as fast as You can! You alone are my only help and my only deliverer. I’m finally seeing that clearly; O Lord, do not delay.” Psalm 70:15 (HDM)

How wondrous was my discovery of these words so many decades ago! How frequently have I prayed them! I should have embraced them more often and more fully! The older I get the more regularly they are on my lips! I only regret I have been so slow to recognize and receive the implications of their power and healing! Space prohibits my plunging into the riches of these four chapters … Psalm 68-71. They are attributed to David although Psalm 71’s authorship is not stated. I suggest David is the author because the essence of four of his other great Psalms (22, 31, 35, 40) are contained in 71. This Psalm’s position between David’s Psalm 70 and Solomon’s Psalm 72 is also evidence of a Davidic summary of his life (see 71:18). All of us experience “the stimulating ups and sickening downs” of life, just as David did. I am strengthened when I see this great man’s desperation and his cries for help. I have felt the weight, despair and panic of similar emotions in my own heart! I’m confident most of my readers are right there with me!

My present testimony is one of increasing praise, calm and contentment! As I “put” more and more of my aging in Christ’s reality, I find a liberating release from what matters least, and I gain fresh excitement about what matters most! I promise you it’s a great relief the older I get! One of the greatest blessings in life is reserved for those who “age Biblically”! We have learned how to get “quick help” from the Lord!

My prayer has so often been, “Lord Jesus, help me quick” or just “Lord, help me!” The reality of this expectation is what I seek to share in my writing. I yearn to help my fellow strugglers find more and deeper Jesus Truth and ingest it more quickly! The key insight about “instant” help is that even “instant” takes time. Instant help is not primarily deliverance “from an issue” but to be exposed to Christ's Mind “about the issue.” It takes time to “learn” the Mind of Christ. But He has promised to teach us and show us His thoughts on His schedule according to our need and our maturity! If we “continue” to follow Him, we will always know “enough” of His Mind to help ourselves “instantly.” Real help that will last and change us comes from no other source. I call this the principle of Rapid Radical Release (see VFC Resource #4: Rapid Radical Release available on request from the Ventures for Christ office).

Even a “tiny bit” of Christ’s Mind on whatever “huge issue” you sense you are facing can radically alter its reality on your life! It’s amazing how a Christ Promise more fully understood can rapidly move you to an attitude of calmness, confidence and contentment! You literally experience a release “from” the unending churn of human frustration, failure and falleness and find entrance “to” the Savior’s present purposes of readying you for Kingdom destiny!

The most thrilling thing is that this can be an almost minute by minute activity and adventure! This kind of daily existence will be as rapid, radical and releasing as our mature yielding hungers for it to be! It is the essence of our Lord’s invitation, “… come after Me!” (Luke 9:23) It is what Paul means when he says, “For me to be most fully alive means I am continually consumed with Christ!” (Phil. 1:21, HDM) Hallelujah! This doesn’t mean there is more religion, more church, more good rules, more prayer or Bible reading, more good deeds, etc. in our life! Nor does it mean not finding more fun, more achievement, more relaxation, more pleasure, more satisfaction, etc. in our minutes. What it means is that we find the Presence of the Messiah in all of our minutes! Once this begins to happen “big time” we find the reality of the new life the Master has invited us to live!

When people see the reality of this Rapid Radical Release in you they will understand what the Lord meant when He said “come after Me!” It is then they might want to “chase Jesus for themselves”! We would do well by asking this penetrating question: “How many people think of chasing Jesus because of my life?” Answering this question is the true measurement of our “witnessing.” We can prove this best by being an example of finding His Presence in our minutes!