I realized something today. I’ve turned into a pretty good idolater. Out of a deep desire to love the LORD God with my mind, I’ve spent a good part of the last few years with my nose in a book. I don’t regret this completely, because my time in study has been a tremendous blessing to my life in many ways. But I was struck today at how much time I spend in study vs. how much time I spend in prayer. I’ll block off hours at a time to study Deuteronomy or George Whitefield or Systematic Theology, but it’s a rare day when I spend more than a few seconds in prayer. I guess my proclivity for loving God with my mind has led me to neglect loving Him with my whole heart.
I’m not sure what to do about this. I thought about something dramatic, like swearing off commentaries and religious books for the remainder of the year, but that’s probably not practical. I’m not sure that swinging the pendulum to the other extreme would be any better (although maybe it would). I think the real issue here is my resistance to true, authentic relationship. I can contain what’s on the page; I can’t contain the One I find in prayer. And that scares me. So I simply retreat to the world of academics where I can learn more about God, where my skills of comprehension can grow, but where I won’t actually have to interact with Him. It’s the objectification of God, which I think is pretty dangerous. I’ve learned enough to know to approach Him not as object, but as subject.
Lord, I’m repenting of this right here and now. I don’t know what to do about this, but I know it needs to change. I want to know You, I really do; it’s the being known that terrifies me. But God, today I ask that you help me to put to death the god of study and books and knowledge. I want my prayer life back. Actually, I don’t. I want an entirely new prayer life, built around the fearful and vulnerable position of drawing into Your presence. God, give me the faith to know you and to be known.