Sample text for I saw the Lord : a wake-up call for your heart / Anne Graham Lotz.


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02 I Saw the Lord
Copyright 2006 by Anne Graham Lotz
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Lotz, Anne Graham, 1948 -
I saw the Lord : a wake-up call for your heart / Anne Graham Lotz.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN-13: 978-0-310-26287-9
ISBN-10: 0-310-26287-9
1. Bible. O.T. Isaiah VI -- Criticism, interpretation, etc. I. Title.
BS1515.52.L68 2005
242'.5 -- dc22
2005030104
This edition printed on acid-free paper.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible:
New International Version(r). NIV(r). Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International
Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. Other quotations
are from the following sources: the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible
and The Holy Bible, New Living Translation (r) (nlt ). Copyright 1996. Used by
permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189.
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A Wake-up Call
I had been speaking in back-to-back sessions for three days, and that
night I collapsed into bed, dead to the world before my head even hit
the pillow . . .
Eventually the brilliant rays of the not-so-early morning sunlight
coming through the blinds pried my sleeping eyes open. As I lay in
bed, enjoying the warmth under the down comforter, my mind began
to stir before my body did. My first thought was, Why is the sun up so
early? Then my body stirred, and I rolled over to look at the clock. It
said 7:30! For a moment I lay in a stunned stupor -- then I hit the floor
with a muffled, "Oh no!"
I was scheduled to lead the final morning sessions of my intensive
seminar at The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove at 8:00! And
the final sessions involved not only my giving a sixty-minute message
followed by a commitment service,
but it also involved my leading
communion for the first time!
Grabbing the clock, I violently shook it and silently demanded, Why
didn't you go off? Now there's no time to prepare for all I have to do this
morning! There's not even time to get dressed! I shouldn't have relied on
you, you stupid clock! I should have asked for a wake-up call instead!
Have you ever slept through your alarm? Or found out too late that it
didn't go off because you had mistakenly set it for p.m. instead of a.m.?
I will never forget the sick feeling I had that morning at The Cove when
my alarm, for whatever reason, did not function. I had peacefully slept
on and on and on, oblivious to what time it was.
I have learned the hard way that I need wake-up calls when I'm on
the road in ministry so I don't miss something important. But from
time to time, I also need them in my own life. The daily routine of
responsibilities, the never-ending challenge of deadlines, the persistent
pressure of problems, and the hectic pace of everyday life tend to preoccupy
my thoughts and time with the urgency of the moment. If I'm not
careful, I may miss something vital that God has for me -- something
He may want me to see or do, some blessing He wants to give me or
someone else.
I believe this kind of vital message was delivered during the week
of August 29, 2005. Two days before it made landfall, a category 1
hurricane suddenly exploded into a category 5 over the exceptionally
warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Her name was Katrina, and she
came ashore that Monday morning just east of New Orleans, effectively
eradicating anything and everything for hundreds of miles. The
On more than one occasion, I have heard Coach Landry state that
during his career he came across many good athletes -- but very few
great ones. He said the difference between a good athlete and a great
one is eighteen inches -- the distance from the head to the heart.
From his observation based on a lifetime of involvement in sports, he
explained that good athletes have exceptional ability and a thorough
36 I Saw the Lord
understanding of the game, but great athletes have heart -- a passion
to play that drives them to selfless sacrifice, brutally long hours
of practice, undivided focus, and ultimately, to achieve extraordinary
accomplishments.
In almost thirty years of ministry, I have observed many good Christians,
like Coach Landry's athletes, but very few great ones. And the
difference is the same eighteen inches -- the distance from the head
to the heart. While there are many good Christians
who have a head
knowledge of Scripture, attend church regularly, are familiar with
church traditions and rituals, and are comfortable with prayer, group
Bible study, and outreach ministries, there are very few who are great.
There are relatively few Christians
who are in love with Jesus, who
put Him first in their lives when doing so demands that they sacrifice
their own time, money, and desires. There are very few Christians
who
want what He wants more than what they want -- and are willing to lay
everything on the line to pursue it. There are very few Christians
who
are willing to risk their job, reputation, status, friendships, financial
security, and even their life for the sake of sharing the gospel and pleasing
God. We just seem to lack a clear knowledge of God and a passionate
heart for God that, combined, are the hub around which everything
in our life should revolve.
Not only do some of us who call ourselves Christians
lack heart
knowledge of God, we don't even seem to have much head knowledge
either. We know God's name and job description -- isn't He the One
who lives in heaven and sends people
to hell? We know Jesus died on
the Cross to save us, but we're really not sure from what, although we
have prayed and asked Him to come into our heart. And we know going
to church is the right thing to do and makes us feel good. Besides, we
can make nice friends and develop strategic business contacts there.
And spiritual gifts? Aren't they what we exchange at Christmas?
If we're honest, even though we're authentic Christians,
we would
say that although we don't know much, the little we do know is more
about God then actually knowing God Himself.
Others of us have exceptional gifts that we exercise in an endless
variety of church activities. We seem to have a working knowledge of
God in our heads --
we can quote Scripture . . .
we can pray out loud . . .
we can sing many hymns from memory . . .
we can list some of God's names with their meanings . . .
we can give a vague account of creation . . .
we can give a thumbnail sketch of the history of Israel . . .
we can define names like Abraham, Moses, David, and Elijah . . .
we can dramatize the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus . . .
we can trace the three journeys of Paul
(with help from the maps) . . .
we avoid the Holy Spirit and the book of Revelation . . .
-- and we seem to be satisfied that that's that!
Why is it that we, and so many others who call themselves by God's
name, seem to lack heart . . .
for His Word?
for prayer?
for the gospel of Jesus Christ?
for a lost and dying world?
for each other?
for Him?
Our selfish attitudes and ambitions demand to know what's in it for
us . . .
before we sacrifice anything,
before we give time (if it's convenient),
before we give money (if there's some left over),
before we tear away our all-consuming focus from ourselves,
our families and our friends,
our concerns and our careers,
our struggles and our status,
our pleasures and our possessions,
our bank accounts and our stock portfolios,
our exercise and our entertainment,
our debts and our diets,
and from just about anything else other than the kingdom of God.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Bible. -- O.T. -- Isaiah VI -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.