Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – Ephesians 5:1-2
Have you ever prayed the “dangerous prayer”? It may vary from person to person but it sounds a bit like this: ”God, I love you more than anything. Please God, make me more like you. Make me more like Jesus. I want to serve you Lord, but I’m a mess. I need to be more like you and less like me.”
I call this a dangerous prayer because I think while most of us can agree we want the end result of being more like Jesus, the path God uses to get us there is often challenging. For example, God took the Israelites out of Egypt, but after he had done that it took over 40 years to get Egypt (its gods, culture, mindset) out of the Israelites. The same is true for us, while salvation from our sins is as simple as believing that Jesus Christ died and rose again, leaving behind the mindset of the world so deeply ingrained in us and the allure of what earth has to offer is much more difficult process. Jesus lived a selfless life of complete sacrifice and surrender to his heavenly father. He loved the hard to love; he walked the path of suffering; he took the scorn and ridicule of those around him; he laid down his life for lost sinners like you and me. I don't know about you, but I know the person I am inside, and I know I am far from the man I just described.
When God starts chipping away at the selfishness of your heart to make it more like his, it can be tough to handle. But slowly the person we become resembles more of Jesus and less of us. And the truth is the more we let go of ourselves and let God form us, the more we become who we are truly meant to be, and that is an incredible thing.
“The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become - because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. . .It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.” – C.S. Lewis
I love the Christian singer and songwriter, Matt Papa. Not only is he talented, but the lyrics of his songs are always so rich with meaning. The acoustic version of this song came out a few days ago and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it and making it my daily prayer, no matter how scary that may be. I hope you’ll give it a listen. More importantly, I hope you will make it your prayer as well.
Whatever It Takes by: Matt Papa:
I’m slowly climbing on this cross. This is so much harder than I thought. My hearts been full of doubt and fear, But unfailing love has brought me here. So here is my life I lay it down. So I take a breath and trust you now.
Do whatever it takes to make me more like Jesus. I want to be a man after your own heart. This may hurt and I may break And Lord it’s hard for me to sayBut I mean it when I pray, Lord do whatever, whatever it takes.
I’m giving you the things I love. All you have for me will be enough. And I build this altar where pride once stood, And I’ll rest here knowing you are good. And I’ll rest here knowing, believing you are good.
So do whatever it takes to make me more like Jesus. I want to be a man after your own heart. This may hurt and I may break And Lord it’s hard for me to say,But I mean it when I pray, Lord do whatever, whatever it takes
To make me more like you. So here is my life; you can bend me and break me and wound me and shake me I’m trusting in your love to do whatever it takes.
So do whatever it takes to make me more like Jesus. I want to be a man after your own heart. This may hurt and I may break And Lord it’s hard for me to say,But I mean it when I pray, Lord do whatever, whatever it takes.