January 11, 2005

Tommy Tenney

This was very interesting to me today so I thought that I would share. This is from the Tommy Tenney (God Chasers) website of Daily Devotions.

Experiencing His Presence
Devotions For God Catchers
Week 5, Day 2

Let Hunger Rise and Have Its Say!

Have we become like the Laodicean church members who said, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” while totally unaware that they were “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked”?3 (The God Catchers, p. 63).

Rent a meeting room, set tables, and invite 200 guests to a five-course meal “fit for kings.” Then watch what happens when your guests are “served” by perfectly dressed and trained waiters delivering single servings of sugar pills, pieces of fruit-flavored chewing gum on toothpicks, breath mints, antacid tablets, and plastic wrapped candies. The guests may manage to preserve the pretense of civility for one or two of these “courses,” but the time inevitably will come when someone brave enough to break the silence will voice his hunger (and irritation with such a façade of a feast).

Would this one person’s honesty make his less vocal companions feel embarrassed at first? Would that make his honesty inappropriate or wrong? How does this example apply to your life and your local church experience?
The medical world uses the term, placebo, to describe the sugar pills physicians sometimes prescribe as “medication” for unknowing patients. These “medications” have no medicinal or nutritional properties, but the patients gladly receive them as the cure for what ails them. How many times do we go home after our worship gatherings happily clutching powerless spiritual placebos prescribed in place of the real cure for our gnawing hunger of the heart? (It is rare to find an insincere or dishonest pastor, so the problem must be that spiritual leaders are simply human too.)

We go through life trying to fill our existence with empty platitudes and man-pleasing programs while we gradually grow weaker and colder in spirit—until the day hunger finally rises up to have its say.

Have you ever felt hunger rise up in your soul to voice your hunger in desperate tones? What would happen when or if it did?

Why does it take so long for us to perceive our condition and seek the face of our Cure? In the absence of courage, truth is most often concealed and weakness is rarely revealed. God had good reason to warn us that fearing man is the equivalent of a dangerous trap set for our souls.4 Momentary fear races through entire church congregations when even one voice rises to God in uninhibited frustration and desperation, “God, I need You!”

When this kind of honesty surfaces in a church service, we start to feel awkward. That is because most of us are uncomfortable with this amount of intense hunger ...

We are afraid to recognize and confess our gnawing hunger of the heart, and we are even more afraid of its cure—a fresh and intimate encounter with the presence of God. It’s simple: God’s children need more than Daddy’s Word, Daddy’s gifts, Daddy’s daily provision, or the assistance of Daddy’s earthly assistants. We need Him. We desperately long to feel His touch on our lives (The God Catchers, p. 63).

Why would God release such a spirit of hunger in a local church? Why did He put this book in your hands? Could it be that desperate hunger part of His divine agenda for you?

What Do You Think?

Some of us have “faked fullness” for most of our Christian lives. Whether in church or on the job, we live with a pasted-on smile, and we refuse to leave home without it. The truth is that more and more Christian “fakers of fullness” are saying, “I’ve had enough of that.” Their inner hunger is beginning to get the best of them, and God is beginning to get interested once again (page 63).

1. What do you think? Are you personally acquainted with “faked fullness” and the pasted-on smile? Explain.

2. Honestly, is your inner hunger beginning to get the best of you? Describe what is happening in your life as you learn more about hunger and the pursuit of God.

Scripture Reading: Revelation 3:14-19, in which Jesus reveals the desperate condition of the complacent and satisfied church.

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

The New King James Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1998, c1982.

Prayer Father, not my will but Yours be done. In Your mercy, deliver me from the snare of satisfaction and the sin of complacency. Thank You for opening my eyes to my own desperate condition. I’m determined to pursue You and sooth my heart’s longing in Your presence.

Posted by Barbara at January 11, 2005 10:01 AM