Joel Beeke in an interview was asked if his teachings on the necessity of a vigorous, daily, sincere prayer life . . . perhaps expected too much of believers.
"Does . . . maybe this kind of intensity question peoples' assurance a bit much?" . . . .
"Well," said Joel, "I think people need their assurance questioned . . . . It is loving [to challenge believers' sincerity and effort . . . ."
I heard that interview last night . . . and thought it is the same thing I am trying to do here. First, I dare do so, because I am applying the same vigor to my own prayer life--to my own need to be fully trusting in the Lord, along with believing . . . . Any time demands it, but especially with all that is going on in the world right now and anticipating some of the trials and events soon coming upon us.
Second . . . because I sure do like it when my own efforts and sincerity are challenged . . . as there is nothing I want more than to be pleasing to God and responding in the Spirit; and if I am fooling myself on some level, I want to know--I want it corrected . . . .
It is well time to put away the things of childishness and walk as a mature, adult in the Word--in His life and Spirit . . . . Sentimentality, emotionalism, superficial conviction, false conversion . . . will be of no help, no anchor . . . in these storms . . . .
We ought be acquainting ourselves with death--its inevitability in the physical . . . . It's necessity in terms of the old self . . . . It's threat used by the enemy to scare us into compromise, blasphemies, rejection of the Lord . . . . The reality of our future hope--of the Heavenly City of God--must gain in preeminence in our daily expectation--as a present experience, compared to the passing temporality of this fallen state . . . knowing and living with assurance that we are redeemed and will be resurrected . . . in the blink of eye . . . compared with eternity . . . .
These must not just be vague thoughts . . . dull-gray outlines, irrelevant in the now . . . . But instead, as we are consumed with love, with faith . . . in the knowledge and promises of His Word, the glory present in His presence . . . and the glory to come . . . should be crackling with energy, color, visceral imputation . . . vibrancy . . . within our prayer and communing life . . . .
Myself, I relish correction and encouragement . . . by strong hand or gentle breeze, and if there is any sting, I am grateful, for there is the sign of some hidden stronghold I have kept secret in some chamber of vanity and self delusion . . . . Bring it on! More light, more strait and narrow, more life, more Spirit, more holiness . . . less of grousing, fallen "king me"!