I end my day by reading a chapter from whatever book of the Bible I happen to be reading. And then I read from the Bible Almanac, a book that has greatly increased my knowledge of the ancient world of the Bible, particularly the Isreaelites. It's also enhanced my appreciation for certain texts, such as Isaiah's poetry. I then bow down on my knees for prayer.
I wrote previously that when I bowed down He raised up. Humbling myself before God pleases me so, that I wonder why I resisted doing it as long as I did. This time, with head bowed, the thought came to me, I first had to love God before I could want to do His Will.
That isn't to say I hadn't loved God. It's just that I loved myself more. I wanted to do what I wanted to do and believe that as long as what I did wasn't breaking the Ten Commandments I was being right with God. That to me was doing God's Will. Every once in a while my Inward Teacher would bring to my attention a wrong I had done. I was so grateful for His teaching me because I knew had He not loved me, He wouldn't care whether I became a person worthy to come before God.
I had often heard other people say they prayed about whether they should or should not do something. I had never done that and wondered if I needed to pray about everything I thought to do. I tried it. Nothing happened. Then, one of the first times I had bowed down on my knees something George Fox wrote that had always confused me suddenly made sense. "And while I was in that condition it was opened unto me by the eternal Light and power, and I therein saw clearly that all was done and to be done in and by Christ and how He conquers and destroys this tempter, the Devil and all his works, and is atop of him . . ." Journal of George Fox, p. 14; Edited by John L. Nickalls.
George Fox in the quote was talking about his personal temptation but the gist of his opening applies to everything. What I suddenly understood was that whatever I or anybody endeavored to do or did that did not come by and through Christ Jesus was false. It was not true, or perhaps the better word here is real. That was a heavy duty opening for me. I began praying to do God's Will and not my own. I prayed that my mind wouldn't run ahead of what Jesus wanted for me because my mind overflows sometimes with ideas that seem so great, exciting and just what God would want.
Having come to realizing I first had to love God to even want to do His Will, I asked how did I come to love Him so much to want to do His Will? To see that doing anything other than His Will is unthinkable? I'll explore the answer in another blog.