I was deeply touched by a prayer from the journal of Robert Murray M’Cheyne that I read during my own prayer time this morning.
M’Cheyne wrote: “Oh God, please make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be.”
His prayer sounded so foreign from the sloppy grace/feel good message that is so often heard and practiced across America today.
I’ve looked into the sloppy grace/feel good idea—it left me empty and hungry for something more. Sort of like eating candy, sloppy grace/feel good religion gives you a quick high but it is empty calories, it doesn’t stick to your ribs, it doesn’t cause you to grow, it only validates your indulgent and unhealthy lifestyle.
On the other hand, M’Cheyne’s prayer struck a chord in my heart today. It acknowledged the lifelong struggle we have with sin and self (pardoned sinner) but it also challenged me to indeed struggle—not to settle with mediocre live-as-close-to-the-world-as-I-can living. M’Cheyne challenged me to run to win; to strive for the high calling of God; to be all that I can be as a Christian.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, one of the pioneering aviators of the early 20th century, once said:
- “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather, teach them to long for the immensity of the sea.”
M’Cheyne’s prayer stirred a longing for the “immensity of the sea” in my heart this morning. I don’t want to spend my life paddling around in mud puddles of half-hearted, lukewarm, low-commitment Christianity; I want to set sail upon the sea of God holiness and see where giving my all; giving my best for the sake of Christ will lead.
The ONE THING for today: Will you join me?
Philippians 3:7-11 (NKJV)
7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Note: If you are interested in reading more of M’Cheyne’s writings I recommend, Andrew Bonar’s book: “Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne” available through The Banner of Truth Trust.