Thursday, September 19, 2013

Prayer as Being Led and Traveling Without a Map (PrayerLife)

Jesus never wore a "WWID" bracelet ("What Would I Do?"). As he hung dying on the cross he didn't look left to see a little yellow band around his wrist and then reason that he should love and forgive his enemies because that's what he would do. As Jesus said "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they do," surely it came from his heart, from his very being. That is who he was. Who a person really is emerges, without striving, from within themselves.

On the other hand, it was Jesus' enemies who did not know what they were doing. (Luke 23:34) By extension, this includes us. We, who now follow Jesus and have been reconciled to God through the death of his Son, were once his enemies. But of course, since friends don't need that kind of reconciliation. Jesus, on the cross, defines "enemy" as: one who does not know what they are doing. We are the ones who need the "WWJD" bracelet, not Jesus. But not forever.

As The Reconciled & Redeemed (viz., you and I) become more and more morphed into Christlikeness (Gal. 4:19) they begin leaving the WWJD bracelet home. The true, being-transformed Jesus-follower gains the heart and mind of Christ. When you have the mind of Christ you don't need reminding. You don't, as Thomas Merton put it, need a map. Merton writes:

"The real function of discipline is not to provide us with maps, but to sharpen our own sense of direction so that when we really get going we can travel without maps." (Merton, Contemplation In a World of Action)

This is also known as: being led by the Spirit. An inner "GPS" ("God Positioning System") is placed in you, and God's heart and mind becomes more of your heart and mind.

Pray to be led.