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Monday, April 30, 2007

Let Me Die Right

One of my favorite authors is A. W. Tozier. He's been long dead, but his sentiments are often a strong mirror of my own. His thoughts and pleadings of God are often very similar to what I myself would aspire to. He used to keep a prayer journal, and write some of his heartfelt prayers in it. It turns out that I do that too. Mine is just a journal, but a good bit of what is written in it reflects my conversations with God --- prayers if you will.

Tozier had a common prayer that he was said to have prayed often. It goes something like this, "Oh, God, let me die rather than go on day by day living wrong. I do not want to become a careless, fleshly old man. I want to be right so that I can die right, Lord. I do not want my life to be extended if it would mean that I should cease to live right --- and fail in my mission to glorify You all of my days!"

Well, that's a prayer I can definitely relate to. Somehow I seem to have viewed life as a journey for me to get right (with God) and hope to die right. My daily prayers are often asking God to help me live that day in such a way that my thoughts, words and actions are only glorifying and honoring of Him. As a matter of a fact, I prayed that prayer this morning!

I find it curious that Tozier saw it differently. He instead hoped to die before he became wrong. His was apparently a perspective based on a truth I've yet to grasp. It seems that Tozier knew God had already made him right. Christ defined us on the cross and we became right as soon as we embraced that truth. So Tozier assumes that this makes him right and then just prays that he would die before screwing that up.

Somehow, I'm humbled by Tozier's perspective. Do I look at my sins and failures and allow them to overshadow the definition that Christ already gave me? It appears that I might. God forgive me of that. I do want to die being right with God. I want to be known as a man who has walked and lived in the Spirit. But Christ already put me in that position when He hung on that cross for me.

"Lord, help me to grasp the real truth about who and where I am. Help me share Tozier's perspective about what that means. Help me to finish well, starting today. But also help me to embrace what is already well."

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