Fly on the Wall: A Discussion about Authentic Transformation
- Thursday, September 02, 2004
Willard: A lot of people do.
Crabb: They really do.
Willard: When they need to be told to do it differently.
Crabb: But stay in the Word. That may sound like a good old-fashioned fundamentalist talking, but it is good old-fashioned truth.
Willard: Well, unfortunately, it means to many people, not this life-giving thing that you describe. It’s become some form of legalism.
Ortberg: It’s not going to do anything for you, but do it out of obligation and then get on with the rest of your day.
Crabb: Tick it off.
Ortberg: Oh, when I was growing up, my sense of it would be, if I had a good, long, hard quiet time, then I could get on with the rest of my day and God would be happy with me. And if I didn’t, the rest of the day was going to be kind of shot. And I remember having a conversation with the mom of young kids, and she said, “It was easier for me to do that when I was in college.” I asked why, and she said that she had more time for that kind of practice. And it never occurred to her, and the church never taught her that it would be possible for her, while she was with her kids, to take a thought from Scripture and immerse her mind in it, to be in the Word while she is with her kids, and that counts. But we grew up with this idea that certain things count and others don’t.
Crabb: This goes back to the vision issue, Dallas. Can we get a vision that the word of God can be literally food? There’s the Scripture about eating the Word. I would say in my own experience, the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a different level of experience of eating the Word by letting God finish the sentence, by going to Him when I’m in my need. You hear so often, “Let’s put aside our problems and come before God.” I think that is ridiculous. Let’s come as we are, struggling, empty, whatever, and assume that God actually has a feast spread. He wants to feed my soul, and the Bible is one vehicle through which he feeds my soul.
Ortberg: I think that is the other side of it. I want to feed my mind. I’ll talk to folks at my church sometimes–because the temptation in the circles I run in is to think if I just get enough information, if we want to have godlier people in the church, let’s just cram them full of more exegetical information–so, I tell them sometimes, “God’s primary purpose is not to get you all the way through Scripture, but to get Scripture all the way through you.” And that’s one side of it. That’s one side of it. The other side is to slow down enough to be aware of what are the thoughts that are generally running through my mind. I’ll find that when I’m praying, I start having this anger fantasy about someone who used to be a deacon years ago, and he’d done something that I don’t like, and I’m doing something that is making him feel really bad. Or I’m having some success fantasy where I’m doing something that’s just wonderful. I used to think that those are failures in prayer, but from some wise coaching I now think, if my mind keeps going back to those things, then maybe I have some issues around anger, or forgiveness, or significance, that it would be good to talk to God about. But one of the problems is the train that my mind usually runs on is something I’m not even aware of, let alone talking to God about. So I have these times of thinking godly thoughts, but the rest of the time the life of my mind is quite apart from thinking about God.
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