I Want To Be Obsessed With the Pearl of Great Price

I Want to Be Obsessed with the Pearl of Great Price by Jamie Rohrbaugh | FromHisPresence.com blogYesterday, I had the best time with God… and then I messed it up.

I was spending some time alone with Papa at lunch. It was wonderful. The Holy Spirit drew me into this amazing time of travailing prayer. I felt so close to the Father; it was like I had been absorbed into the Father’s heart. Time stopped, and I was totally lost in eternity.

It was sheer bliss. Nothing could be more beautiful, more fulfilling, more comforting, more pleasurable than that.

But right after I was done–before I even got up to go back to work–I messed it up. I had my phone with me, and someone sent me an ordinary question by text, and I responded rudely.

My conscience smote me for it. I could feel that I grieved the Holy Spirit. I was so ashamed of myself. I repented, but I still beat myself up for it. Then I had to rebuke the spirit of condemnation, and get right with God again.

I know Papa forgave me and forgot about it, but it felt awful to sin and tarnish that amazing time with the Lord with my flesh. I wish I hadn’t done it. It would have been so much easier in the long run to respond rightly to that text.

Why did I do it? On looking back, I can see that I did it because Jesus was not important enough to me.

If He had been important enough to me, I would have considered His commands, His feelings, and what would please the Holy Spirit before I sent that text. But I didn’t – not much, anyway. I sent it anyway, and it was sin.

That means I am not yet obsessed enough with the beauty of Jesus.

God, help me. Even writing this makes me cry. Papa God, I want to be obsessed with You. I want to be so close to You that I never, ever, ever sin. I want to know You more than I have ever known You before. I want to carry Your glory so powerfully that people get saved, healed, and delivered when I even walk by. I want to please You with all my actions and obey You 100% of the time.

I’m not there yet. But I want to get there. I’m trying to get there.

How do we get to that place of 100% obedience and intimacy with Jesus?

Jesus told us how to do it in Matthew 13:45-46:

Start-quoteAgain, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

Jesus is that Pearl of Great Price. He gave us the solution to obtaining His Kingdom and intimacy with Himself right here in His Word. We don’t have to wonder about how to go about it.

The solution is simple: Trade in everything for the one thing that really matters.

Matthew 16:24-27 tells us:

Start-quoteThen Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 

For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”

That means that if I want to be obsessed with Jesus and obey Him 100% of the time, I have to trade in my flesh. I have to trade in my time. I have to trade in everything I have. But in doing so, I receive the only One who matters in the long run.

I want to do that. I desire Jesus. Only He can satisfy. Only He is worth living for. Only He makes all things new. He is the Author, Finisher, and Restorer of all things. His beauty is incomparable; His glory matchless. He alone is worth the journey. He is the Pearl of Great Price, and He is worth trading everything for.

Are you with me? Do you want to go there too? You can. I can. All it takes is choices.

So what trading everything for the Pearl of Great Price look like, practically?

It looks like mundane choices. Usually not huge, earth-rattling choices. It looks like tiny choices that don’t appear to matter, but oh my friend, they do.

  • It looks like giving up my flesh so I’m not rude to a friend.
  • It looks like skipping that football game on TV so we can get in the Word instead.
  • It looks like helping my husband when I don’t feel like it.
  • It looks like walking away when I get angry, instead of going off at someone and making things worse.
  • It looks like getting away with God at lunchtime, instead of surfing the internet.
  • It looks like holding my tongue when I’d love to go off at someone.

Yesterday afternoon, I started listening to a song that illustrates all of this so well. It’s TobyMac’s “Lose My Soul.” Watch TobyMac’s music video here:

I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul. I don’t want to gain my flesh and lose the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to gain TV time and lose my intimacy with God.

I want to trade everything in for the Pearl of Great Price. Jesus Christ is worth any sacrifice, any trade-in, any effort. So by the grace of God, I choose to trade in everything today and receive Him instead.

What choices will you make today?

Image courtesy of Max Garcia on Flickr via Creative Commons license.

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One Comment

  1. Laurna Tallman says:

    Hi, Jamie,
    You have two brains. They work together in an integrated manner with the left half mostly dominating the right half (until you fall asleep when the left half mostly lets go). The left is the control panel, the seat of grammatical language, logic, reason, the rationalized belief system and it pays attention to detail and holds the morality that you have been acquiring all your life. By default, the right half of the brain is holistic, maintains a generalized perspective, is the place where the primal drives form associations with the perceptions of the environment to form an emotional life and it is amoral. (“Amoral” is necessary because you need an objective point of view on the world to be able to adapt your belief system to changes in the environment.) It is a storage bank of memories that the left-brain draws on continuously. If your left-brain receives too little sound energy, it cannot dominate the right-brain, and that loss of dominance causes most of the range of mental illnesses, including obsessions. (I am not making a big deal about your metaphor, but you might want to ponder what “obsessed” usually means. That’s not the direction for finding more self-control!) The “microchip” that conveys power to the left-brain is the right middle ear, which gates sound getting into the inner ear and on to the brain stem and left-brain. The secondary “microchip” that conveys power to the right-brain is in the left middle ear. (Both ears feed both brains, but I have to keep this simple.) You attain a state of consciousness called “prayer” by slowing down the integration of the left-brain with the right-brain, which gives you a reduced amount of left-brain influence (logic and reason) over the right-brain (emotion and primal drives). This adjustment is done in the ear and is delicate. We adjust posture and environment (your blog piece about your sanctuary) to support those ear adjustments. The ear muscle should not relax so much that it puts you to sleep or sends you into schizophrenia — those are total ear muscle relaxation and conditions of sound-deprivation to the left brain that slows integration to zero. During prayer, wonderful things happen. But when you withdraw from that state, you are more vulnerable because your right ear and left-brain may not spring back into their high-powered level of control right away. It depends on the condition of your right ear whether it can make that rapid adjustment and it depends on how much sound is available to power your brain. (It might also depend on how well you slept the previous night and how good your nutrition is overall and other physical factors such as blood glucose that also affect ear muscle function and brain function.) That is why you were rude to your friend: inadequate restoration of self-control. If you had ended your prayer session with singing, or even listening to music, you would have helped your left-brain to transition back to high alertness and high self-control. Increasing your meditative bliss or trying to fix your “tendency to sin” with even more bliss is NOT a solution. Depending on what you are reading online, your surfing actually could increase your left-brain dominance as effectively as a session in the Word. Doing something with your husband despite other inclinations is an exercise of self-control. Increasing the strength of your right ear muscle with focused listening, as I described a while back, likely would increase self-control. Increasing your left-brain strength with a more rational belief system — which I hope I am contributing to with this comment 😉 — also will give you more control over your right-brain tendencies. It is fascinating to find how many of our traditions in worship foster (1) that slight loss of left-brain dominance that creates “spiritual” or “mystic” states of consciousness that disengage normal temporal awareness — because the temporal lobe becomes slightly sound-deprived — and gives us future-awareness (prophecy in the foretelling sense) and (2) the revving up of the ears afterwards with music and strong exhortations to action that prepare the worshiper to go “back into the world.” The church service is designed to build up the left-brain logic and reason about worldly issues through reading the scriptures and preaching. It is designed to “open” the ear and the brain with music, which can also cause physical and “emotional” healing (“emotional” healing actually is physical, too, because it is making the left-brain more dominant). It teaches ways of developing more self-control and provides a community to reinforce those values. I won’t get further into the neurology of “sin,” but you get the drift — people with weakness in their right ears need more of the cognitive left-brain activities and fewer of the emotional right-brain ones. Music used appropriately builds right-ear strength and stronger levels of control in the left-brain. At the same time, music supplies the right-brain with more energy to do its thing, which the left-brain has to stretch a bit further to learn to control. Singing unto the Lord is a win-win solution!
    Much love,
    Laurna

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