I am still struggling with blogging. I had hoped to approach Sunday’s message by Thursday with more confidence, but I’m not quite there yet. I’ve decided to look at an earlier message today, rather than last Sunday’s because I so enjoyed the book A Practical Guide to Prayer, by Dorothy Haskins and I wanted to make some notes before my fading memory caused my notes to turn from lovely salient points to gibberish.
Any way, here goes:
Today’s post concerns May 31st message. Pastor Stephen spoke on Philippians 3:12-4:1 and titled his message, “Planned Neglect” after a statement in Dorothy Haskin’s book, A Practical Guide to Prayer.
This passage opens with Paul speaking to the Philippians about spiritual maturity. 12 Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
Out pastor pointed out that looking behind rather than ahead causes us to dwell in the past. He compared the time-line of all eternity to a tiny little piece of our earthly lives. He elaborated that facing backwards is the enemy of Christ. It places our focus on earthly appetites. He went on to say that facing backwards is the opposite of spiritual maturity. Facing forwards shows our spiritual focus. He directed us to Hebrews 12:1-2.
What lives still for me in this message was the notion of planned neglect mentioned in Dorothy Haskin’s book. She says to neglect everything until devotion to the Lord is satisfied. She makes the case that all else is trifling compared to time with God.
In a similar way to Paul, Haskin’s is saying to choose wisely what you do, how you spend that portion of time here on earth.
In the language of care giving, a bit of panned neglect until devotion is satisfied, has eased me from worry about not getting enough done in a day to tending time with God.
This morning I read in Ecclesiastes 2 how meaningless and fleeting are our appetites when set against the wonder and mystery of God. It echoes a passage in Isaiah 40:7-8 which ends with the word of our God remains forever.
Thanks for reading.