‘I’m asking Yahweh for one thing,Only one thing:To live with him in his house my whole life long.I’ll contemplate his beauty;I’ll study at his feet’.
Only one thing?
‘For me to live is Christ and to die is gainfor I determined not to know anything among youexcept Jesus Christ and Him crucified’.‘I count all things loss….That I may know Him’. Paul ‘Come to me oh you who labour and are heavily laden’.
‘Incline your ear and come to Me; hear and your soul shall live. Listen diligently to Me and eat what is good and your soul shall delight itself in abundance’.
Isaiah on behalf of Jesus. These were men who knew what they were talking about. Both Paul and Isaiah saw God and had a profound change happen in their lives. Jesus’ focus was already in the right place. He didn’t have to be turned away from anything because He only lived for His Father. Both the other gentlemen had to develop a new focus. They had to be turned through an experience that opened their eyes. I am not talking about conversion as in becoming born again; I am talking about conversion as in a change of focus.Paul was pursuing a cause that consumed his life. When he saw God, everything changed. David was a man who was after the heart of God: ‘only one thing mattered’.The fight for a cause, whether it is evangelism for the Evangelicals, believers baptism for the Baptists, the Holy Spirit for the Pentecostals, the gifts, prophecy and healing for the Charismatics or the wineskin (how we are different) for the Emergents, can be a lonely road. I have lost my focus every time when I tried to find my way in the fog of reasoning and conversation about any of these topics. It cost me much lost time and effort and very nearly killed me through burn out.
I am an ‘evangelical, Spirit filled, baptized, prophetic, post modern emerging Christian’ who found his goal and fulfillment in the last word of the description.Our quest is still in our deepest being to find out who we are. We need identity and it is easier to identify with a cause, a philosophy or a physical structure than with a person we can’t see or feel. So I want to become ‘a Post Modernist’ or an ‘Evangelical’ or a ‘Pentecostal’, or a ‘Catholic’ or for that matter if it is relevant, ‘a Gay’, because then I can be part of a group that gives me some form of acceptance and safety in the fact that we are different and together in our difference.
We can have only one identity and that is Christ. We should only be seeking our new identity in Him. Our lives and our conversation should be about Him if we believe that Paul, David, Isaiah and Jesus had something valid to say: ‘only one thing do I seek…’ I have discovered after many years of journeying what St. Augustine meant when he said, ‘Too late loved I thee, O Thou beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late I loved Thee! And behold, Thou wert within and I abroad and there I searched for Thee; deformed I, plunging amid those fair forms which Thou hast made. Thou wert with me but I was not with Thee. When I shall with my whole soul cleave to Thee, I shall nowhere have sorrow or labour, and my life shall live as wholly full of Thee’.
Is this the practical outworking of Rollins’ statement (pg 56)?
“Truth is God, and having knowledge of the Truth is evidenced not in a doctrinal statement, but in allowing that Truth to be incarnated in one’s life.”