I love opening older books and finding new gems to energize and inform my life. This week I had the pleasure of finding such a gem in a devotional book. Lloyd Ogilvie writing on Mark 6:5 where the gospel writer tells us about the time Jesus did no great works because of the people’s unbelief says this:
“Tell me what makes you discontent and I will tell you what drives you. Show me your indignations and I will show you the imperatives by which you live. Tell me what stirs you enough to change things, and I will tell you whether you are living while you are alive. This inventory can show us quickly whether we are dealing with soul-sized issues or piddling about in the eddies of irrelevant self-pity.
In a devotional published in 1981, Ogilvie writes words that seem tailored to the world situation in 2017.
Jesus affirms a creative discontent as a major characteristic of discipleship. This is a part of life as it was meant to be. A driving dissatisfaction with ourselves, our relationship with God, and the world in which we live is evidence that we are in touch with the Holy Spirit. If a dominant desire is in us to grow, to live more fully, to heal the wounds of the world, to bring justice to the dispossessed and suffering, [emphais added] then the Lord is at work in us. Too few of us have a fermative unrest, disturbed with the inconsistency in ourselves and society.
Jesus took His listeners from an abstraction about God and brought them to the concrete evidences in them and society which indicated that they had no right to be satisfied. They were proud of their growth, but He showed them that they had hardly begun; they were proud of their Hebrew heritage, but He showed them the tremendous responsibilities they had in sharing the secret of God’s love with the world. When our dissatisfactions are in harmony with Christ’s, then we know that we can depend on His power to find an answer.
God’s Best for My Life: A Daily Devotional, (Harvest House Publishers, 1981), devotion for February 18.
Let’s stop “piddling about in the eddies of irrelevant self-pity.” Let’s change the world for Jesus and the hurting, the hunted, and the suffering of the people around us. Let’s be the change that so many are unconstructive complaining about. Let’s love better and serve better than those who don’t know Christ. Let’s “really live while we live.” Let’s live passionately for and like Jesus.