Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Act 17:16 "Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols"

Many of you know that I read the Diary of David Brainerd sometimes as a devotional because of the heart that he had for Christ. I was taken aback this morning again of several things in this entry. 1) You can see his sense of his own unworthiness (which is common in his entries). 2) You can see his heart for his people to be saved. 3) You can see his love for Christ in that he cannot bear to see Him ignored or blasphemed. 4) You can get a glimpse of the prayer life of passionate pleas coupled with an amazing experience of being with Christ in that prayer.

Saturday, July 21. This morning, was greatly oppressed with guilt and shame, from a sense of inward vileness and pollution. About nine, withdrew to the woods for prayer; but had not much comfort; I appeared to myself the vilest, meanest creature upon earth, and could scarcely live with myself; so mean and vile I appeared, that I thought I should never be able to hold up my face in heaven, if God of his infinite grace should bring me thither.

Towards night my burden respecting my work among the Indians began to increase much; and was aggravated by hearing sundry things that looked very discouraging, in particular that they intended to meet together the next day for an idolatrous feast and dance. Then I began to be in anguish; I thought I must in conscience go and endeavor to break them up; and knew not how to attempt such a thing. However, I withdrew for prayer, hoping for strength from above. And in prayer I was exceedingly enlarged, and my soul was as much drawn out as ever I remember it to have been in my life, or near. I was in such anguish, and pleaded with so much earnestness and importunity, that when I rose from my knees I felt extremely weak and overcome; I could scarcely walk straight, my joints were loosed, the sweat ran down my face and body, and nature seemed as if it would dissolve. So far as I could judge, I was wholly free from selfish ends in my fervent supplications for the poor Indians. I knew they were met together to worship devils, and not God; and this made me cry earnestly, that God would now appear and help me in my attempts to break up this idolatrous meeting.

My soul pleaded long; and I thought God would hear and would go with me to vindicate his own cause: I seemed to confide in God for his presence and assistance. And thus I spent the evening, praying incessantly for divine assistance, and that I might not be self-dependent, but still have my whole dependence upon God. What I passed through was remarkable, and indeed inexpressible. All things here below vanished; and there appeared to be nothing of any considerable importance to me but holiness of heart and life and the conversion of the heathen to God. All my cares, fears and desires, which might be said to be of a worldly nature, disappeared; and were, in my esteem, of little more importance than a puff of wind. I exceedingly longed that God would "get to himself a name among the heathen": And I appealed to him with the greatest freedom, that he knew I "preferred him above my chief joy." Indeed, I had no notion of joy from this world: I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went through; so that I could but "gain souls to Christ." I continued in this frame all the evening and night. While I was asleep, I dreamed of these things; and when I waked (as I frequently did) the first thing I thought of was this great work of pleading for God against Satan.

There is a video that I took in Jauja, Peru this week entitled "Partying in Jauja." You can view it on my Facebook page, and I will try to upload it here later. Sadly, I was amazed, curious, but not provoked...

Father, transform and intensify my longings for You, and for my people and for the nations to see you as their chief joy. Let me experience You in my intercessions with this kind of passion, and let it be contagious. Let me dream about You, find my satisfaction in you, even at night after I have exhausted myself in labors for you during the day. Make me willing to endure all things for the sake of your people, that Christ may be formed in them and honored among them. In His name, Amen

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