"Dear Jesus, come into my heart" - we pray.
What we often mean - "Dear Jesus, save me from burning in hell, and help my life to make more sense. Make me successful. Give me super-healing powers from sickness. Bring purpose into the road that I'm already on, and help it to smooth out a bit."
Heard a quote from a book I'm reading this past week. It's from Francis Chan's "Forgotten God". Chan says, "Jesus Christ did not die on the cross in order to follow us."
So often we join our Israelite fathers in forgetting why God offers what He does. They often missed the point, assuming God's presence was with them for their own sake alone. We do the same thing, assuming God offers to transform our heart and life simply for our own benefit. How often to we pray, "God, please help me with this thing I'm about to do?" compared to how often we seek where God is working, and join in?
Salvation is a prayer that says - "God, forgive me. Come and fill me. Transform my nature to yours, for your sake. Use me in the lives of others, and in creation, bringing about life, Love, forgiveness, mercy, etc. I want to make all things "new" with you." (although even this prayer falls a bit short, by focusing quite a bit on "me". In reality, our salvation is only a small part of the amazingly huge thing God is doing, that we join with.)
We make plans, and ask God to bless them. We arrange our lives, and then ask God to come and fill it. We launch our ships, and on the way we pray that God would fill our sails.
But what if we re-ordered the way we live?
If we re-thunk what "salvation's" purpose was?
What if it was our nature to pray and seek where God is at work first? Where is God bringing healing? Where is God giving life? Where is mercy being offered? Where is humanity and creation being restored and made new? Where are prisoners being set free? Where are blind being made to see? Where are the lame walking, and the mute speaking?
Those questions lead to others. Where does God desire to work? Where is brokenness? Where is death? Where are the offenders? Where are suffering humans, and imperfections in them and creation? Where are the captives? Where are the blind? Where are the lame? Where are those who have no voice?
May we find those places, and pray that God would empower us to join in...