More like the child, Less like the Pharisee

I hope I was more like Jesus today than I was yesterday and I want to be more like Jesus tomorrow than I was today.  I want to learn to pray like He did.  I want to be real and honest like He was.  I want to walk wisely as he modeled and to have a heart full of compassion as he displayed.  Jesus battled in prayer and so, I want to do the same.  I’m learning more about that and it’s not an easy thing.  It drains me… And yet, it nourishes me as I look to the Word for guidance in my prayers and as I walk in faith that leads me to obedience.  I’m glad that God doesn’t require perfection but asks for honesty.  I was very challenged and encouraged as I read these words tonight…

“The desire to make a good impression has become one of the most powerful of all factors determining human conduct.  That gracious (and scriptural) social lubricant called courtesy has in our times degenerated into a completely false and phony ettiquite that hides the true man unde a shimmer surface as thin as the oil slick on a quiet pond.  The only time some persons expose their real self is when they get mad.

“With this perverted courtesy determining almost everything men say and do in human society it is not surprising that it should be hard to be completely honest in our relations with God.  It carries over as a kind of mental reflex and is present without our being aware of it.  Nevertheless, it is extremely hateful to God.  Christ detested it and condemned it without mercy when He found it among the Pharisees.  The artless little child is still the divine model for all of us.  Prayer will increase in power and reality as we repudiate all pretense and learn to be utterly honest before God as well as before men.” (A. W. Tozer in God Tells the Man Who Cares)

“In our address to God we like to speak of Him as we think we ought to speak, and there are times when our words far outrun our feelings.  But it is best that we should be perfectly frank before Him.  He will allow us to say anything we will, so long as it is to Himself.  ‘I will say unto God, my rock,’ exclaims the psalmist, ‘why hast thou forgotten me?’ If he had said, ‘Lord, thou canst not forget.  Thou hast graven my name on the palms of they hands,’ he would have spoken more worthily, but less truly.”  (David M’Intyre in The Hidden Life of Prayer)

I don’t want to be like the Pharisees.  I want to look like the artless little child.  Pure.  Genuine.  Without pretense.  Utterly honest.  Frank.  True.

I can’t be that on my own… but through Christ who strengthens me, I will grow to be more and more like the child and less and less like the Pharisee.


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