My 'thought' for this week comes from John Piper. It is found in his book of 120 readings entitled: "A Godward Life." This particular reading is called: "The Lord's Touch." It does not specifically address Christmas, but it is what I have prayed for myself and my church family for the new year, and would pray for all of you as well. Enjoy.
"Saul also went to his house at Gilbeah;
and the valiant men whose hearts
God had touched went with him."
(I Samuel 10:26)
"Reading these words has moved me to pray for a new touch from God. What a wonderful thing to be touched in the heart by God! There is nothing unusual about the Hebrew word here: it is simply "touch" in the ordinary sense. God touched their hearts.
The touch of God on one's heart is an awesome thing. It is awesome because the heart is so precious to us -- so deep and intimate and personal. When the heart is touched, we are deeply touched. Someone has gotten through the protective layers to the center. We have been known. We have been uncovered and seen.
The touch of God is an awesome thing because God is God. Just think of what is being said here. God touched them. Not a wife. Not a child. Not a parent. Not a counselor. But God. The One with infinite power in the universe. The One with infinite authority, infinite wisdom, infinite love, infinite goodness, infinite purity, and infinite justice. That One touched their hearts...
The touch of God is awesome because it is a touch. It is a real connection. That it involves the heart is awesome. That it involves God is awesome. That it involves an actual touch is awesome. The valiant men were not just spoken to... God with infinite condecension touched their hearts. God was that close. And they were not consumed.
I love that touch. I want it more and more. I want it for myself and all my people. I pray that God would touch me and all his church in a new, deep way for his glory. The text says they were valiant men -- 'the valiant men whose hearts God touched went with him.' The Hebrew word carries the sense of strength and courage and substance. O that the saints of God would be valiant for the Lord -- courageous and mighty and full of weighty truth and beauty!
Pray with me for that touch. If it comes with fire, so be it. If it comes with water, so be it. If it comes with wind, let it come, O God. If it comes with thunder and lightning, let us bow before it. O Lord, come. Come close enough to touch. Sheild us with the asbestos of grace, but no more. Pass through all the way to the heart, and touch. Burn and soak and blow and crash. Or, in a still, small voice. Whatever the means, come. Come all the way and touch our hearts."
With our eyes of faith focused on Jesus, the Word made flesh, let us pray for the touch on our hearts that will make us (like the men spoken of in this passage) to be valiant people for Him -- people of "strength and courage and substance."