For some strange reason I was avoiding Don't Call It a Comeback . Not sure why but I had some sort of internal revulsion to it. But I decided to purchase it anyways because usually my feelings like that are stupid. I am glad I did. Kevin DeYoung’s first chapter is phenomenal. (Duh, Kevin DeYoung’s writing usually does ignite my passion for Jesus).
There is one quote in DeYoung’s chapter that I want to share with you because it is rocking me. It is actually a quote from W.E. Sangster who was interviewing a somewhat shy ministry candidate that said he doubted he would set the Thames on fire with his preaching and ministry. To this Sangster responded:
“I’m not interested to know if you can set the Thames on fire. What I want to know is this: If I picked you up by the scruff of the neck and dropped you into the Thames, would it sizzle?”
Wow. And as DeYoung points out this is very much akin to what McCheyne also said, “What my people need most from me is my personal holiness”. God is more interested in my heart towards him than he is in anything that I do “for” him.
Theologically that is a duh for me. I’ve preached sermons about this. But this quote (and the truth it stems from) confronts a deep-seated idol in my heart: attention. You see I WANT to set the Thames on fire. (Or maybe the Ohio). And I want to do it for Jesus. Well, not really. I’m sure that is in there somewhere, but I want my name to be in lights.
And here is the disgusting thing. I want my name to be in lights as being “gospel-centered, loving Jesus,etc.” If I am being honest with myself for far too long I have been more concerned with appearing to be gospel-centered than actually being gospel-centered.
Then I read this quote and it stopped me dead in my tracks (combined with a few things as precursors to God breaking me with this). God wants me to sizzle. The folks in Matthew 7 set the world on fire (Lord, Lord, didn’t we…) but they didn’t sizzle (depart from me I never knew you). Jesus wants sizzling servants not “successful” glory-stealers.
So, I am praying a simple, though passionate, prayer today. Jesus, make me sizzle.