Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Asking for insight (Psalm 119:34) and making the discovery through obedience - with a story from the life of Dwight L. Moody.

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 119:34 (TM)
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me - my whole life one long, obedient response.

STORY: as told by Gary Inrig -
A large group of European pastors came to one of D. L. Moody’s Northfield Bible Conferences in Massachusetts in the late 1800s. Following the European custom of the time, each guest put his shoes outside his room to be cleaned by the hall servants overnight. But of course this was America and there were no hall servants.

Walking the dormitory halls that night, Moody saw the shoes and determined not to embarrass his brothers. He mentioned the need to some ministerial students who were there, but met with only silence or pious excuses. Moody returned to the dorm, gathered up the shoes, and, alone in his room, the world’s only famous evangelist began to clean and polish the shoes. Only the unexpected arrival of a friend in the midst of the work revealed the secret.

When the foreign visitors opened their doors the next morning, their shoes were shined. They never knew by whom. Moody told no one, but his friend told a few people, and during the rest of the conference, different men volunteered to shine the shoes in secret. Perhaps the episode is a vital insight into why God used D. L. Moody as He did. He was a man with a servant’s heart and that was the basis of his true greatness."

The Psalmist desired to be obedient and so, he prayed for insight. The obvious often is missed while we linger on other things. Dr. Moody did not pray for greatness or influence. He didn’t desire praise or gratitude. He simply was obedient to the Lord’s commands and thus, gives us all the insight we ever need to move beyond ourselves into a deeper spiritual journey with God.

There isn’t any glory in being a servant, i.e. polishing shoes. That is in truth a humble task. At Shell’s City, Miami, Florida (a large box store that was very popular in the early days of Miami there was a shoeshine man. He was always singing and smiling and whistling and wishing everybody to have a good day. And, oh how he made his rags keep rhythm with a snap here and a snap there to whatever gospel song he was singing. I believe that he had discovered the insight of obedience … whatever we do, do it to the glory of God, do it with joy, and do it to the best of ones ability. He had discovered a deeper spiritual journey with God by being obedient to the Lord … and in his obedience discovered the spiritual insight that comes from being obedient.

Herein lies an answer during our Lenten journey … a revelation of sort … we already know more about being obedient to the Lord than we are capable of doing in our lifetime and yet, we still pray for more. Could it be that by being obedient in those areas that we do know we will gain great insight about those spiritual areas that are just on the horizon of our soul?

Help us to be faithful in what we do know so that the greater spiritual gains will come to our spirits. 

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