Sunday, January 1, 2012
One of the first books I remember reading after coming to the Lord was The Cross and Switchblade by David Wilkerson. I don't remember how it landed in my hand, but I arrived in East St. Louis in February, 1967, and a month later would lay on the floor by the heat vent in the bathroom in the middle of the night and read this book. [The apartment didn't have any other doors, and light in the other rooms would have kept my roommate awake.]
So much of it stood out to me. I have read it many times over the years and given it away to new Christians, especially if they come from a tough background. It really is an amazing story. [Since reading the book I've been involved with Teen Challenge, a ministry developed by Wilkerson about 50 years ago.]
One of the aspects of the book that was laid on me was what the Lord laid on Pastor Wilkerson: to daily tithe his hours. This meant that, in spite of the hours serving the Lord in church, he would spend 2-1/2 hours reading the Word and praying. It usually was pushing midnight before he could finish. And, in time, through this obedience, the Lord dropped a newspaper article into his life and he felt called to go to NYC. Much of what happened seemed very insane to many people [including himself], but the door opened and his whole life changed.
Occasionally, the "tithing time" aspect is dropped onto me. Not often; just sometimes. The "call" to do so might last for a year, or only a few weeks or months. There's usually a change coming in ministry, family, lifestyle... a door opening or closing that I am not aware of or prepared for, and this always is a help.
Well, it hit me again last week. The first time in several years. The focus is to read devotionals, spiritual warfare books, prayer books, the Word, and worship and pray.
I'm not a "Resolution" person. Partly, because I'm not focused enough; easily side-tracked or drawn away from my "good intentions".
However, when this enters my life, I truly do try to be faithful in the reading and worshiping. Going beyond the "tithe" time occurs occasionally and I'm overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord in the everydayness of life.
This isn't a very exciting post. Possibly boring. But I felt led to share this with you. Not that I'm telling you to do this, too. AIN'T!! But some of you who are friends and family or "God-family" can be accountability partners for me. You are free to ask me any time regarding my commitment. And I promise to be honest.