At last summer’s family Bible conference I finally got caught. Before the evening service, a friend sitting next to me at a cramped table in the front row saw a bunch of permanent magic-marker scribbles marring the entire inside cover of my Scofield KJV.
He picked up my Bible and flipped to its title page and found dozens more scribbles. He gave me this look like, “Are you from Mars?!” and then whispered, “I’ve definitely got to hear this story.” Thankfully the service had just begun and I was off the hook. I didn’t have to explain how the scribbles were from scratching out deadline dates I had written down.
This past Saturday I got out my black marker and my Bible for what HAS to be the last go-round. I wrote in it the deadline 10/2/10. Earlier in the day, I was working on writings for my book and realized my brand-new HP Pavilion laptop had a defective keyboard. Among other things, the left corner of the board’s inner casing was loose and the left side of the space bar didn’t move the cursor.
This was all very upsetting to me since I had already downloaded all my files, etc. to this new machine and I didn’t know whether I’d be able to get a replacement or have to wait for it to be fixed, etc., etc.
Thankfully, as per my after-church visit to a Best Buy on Golf Road in Schaumburg, I am now waiting on a Dell Inspiron laptop that I hope to pick up Wednesday after their Geek Squad has reloaded all the proprietary software I had purchased for the HP. My new Dell model will be in “lotus pink” color since it was the only machine left from the store’s weekend sales.
So, to get back to this date I wrote down in my Bible, it is the last entry of a very embarrassing process begun in 2004, shortly after I quit my Park Avenue office job in Manhattan for the sole purpose of writing a book. The date stands for me devoting at least one hour a day—no matter what—to completing my book. It also stands for me making my life Christ’s life in general. In other words, stop all selfish living and independent decision-making. His will is to be my will.
Jordan says many years ago he copied out of a book a poem that he then wrote down in the flyleaf of his Bible. It reads:
“My pail I’m often dropping, deep down into this well. Yet never touched the bottom, however deep it fell. And though I keep on dipping, and by study, faith and prayer, I have no power to measure the living water there.”
Jordan explains, “That’s because that book is the written Word that declares and makes known the LIVING Word!”
Jordan says that when talking about living in the identity God gives you in Christ, “you’re talking about having a truthful, honest scriptural memory of your past as well as your future.”
He continues, “Because as a believer your past goes back to where? It no longer goes back to Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden; it now goes back to Christ and Calvary. You see that is a memory about your past. That is a way you understand your past history and the radical change that’s been in it. And that does effect the way you think about yourself in the now, doesn’t it, and what’s going to happen to you in the future.
In Numbers 11, it says the “mixed multitude among them fell a lusting.” The (Red Sea survivors) complained, “We remember the fish, the cucumbers, the leeks, the melon. All we got’s this stupid manna but boy we can remember those big feasts we had in Egypt!”
Jordan says, “Now what was the reality of Egypt? They were slaves! Was life so wonderful there? Was the food they had to eat; were they eating at Pharaoh’s court? No, they were a bunch of slaves seeking out what they could get. They weren’t getting roast salmon and halibut and grouper. They were getting carp and smelt, mullet, bottom-crawlers, catfish, river buzzards. They weren’t eating high on the hog.
“But they get out over here and they completely readjusted the past. And it made them real dissatisfied with the present. Now, if they had thought properly, what would they have done? They’d have said, ‘We got this manna, it’s like coriander seed. We can make anything in the world out of this stuff! God gives it to us every day!’
“Not only do they get completely bored with what they have but then they reinvent the past. Memories. You got to be careful. What you’ll discover is that the negative memories you create are very, very dangerous to your relationships. So what do you do? Nurture fondness, nurture admiration, nurture love and respect. Focus on the things that make you.
“You need to develop; you need to write out your story. You need to have it written out, memorialized and kept. You need to tell it to your family. You need to have it where you can go and repeat it. For example, have you ever sat down with a picture album? At funerals now it’s the popular thing to put up pictures and remember. That’s just, ‘Retell the story.”
The biblical definition of the word “submit” is “to give your heart over to another person’s will,” explains Jordan. “Sub is under. You put yourself under them. You give your heart over to your spouse’s will, for example. That’s the challenge; that’s the dare of love. It’s the dare of faith. And if you dare to do it by faith, because God said to do it, you’ve made the decision based upon the truth of what God’s Word is.
“My emotions can follow the truth, the decision, and if they don’t, I’m still doing what’s right. If I’ve allowed my emotions to look at something and say, ‘NO, I won’t follow!’ my emotions can look at my balance and if it’s overdrawn, they aren’t going to follow.
“And if you know what God’s Word says to do and you do it by faith and your emotions don’t follow, it’s because that bank account with your name on it is empty! If it has a balance, your emotions will look at it and say ‘Oh, hey, there’s someone who values me; I can feel good about them!’
“But if your will says, ‘Here’s your Savior, you’re to serve Him, submit to Him,’ and your emotions look at a bank account that’s overdrawn, they say, ‘Oh no, that won’t mean me good.’ And they respond that way. This is terribly important for you to understand.
“You can’t allow the tyranny of your emotions to run your life and make decisions or you’re going to wind up in the can. You’ll wind up in error; you’ll wind up in a kind of destruction. It doesn’t work to let your emotions run you. That’s why some little strategies don’t work. That’s why the selfish demands, and the disrespectful judgments, and the angry outbursts, and the independent behavior, they don’t work. They’re not strategies that get success. They just get more of the same.”