It can be extremely easy for us to forget our need for Jesus. If nothing really tragic is going on in our lives, then we start to feel rather self-sufficient and if we aren’t committing any “big” sins, we start to feel pretty good-natured. When this happens our hearts lose their focus on Jesus, we don’t pray regularly, and time spent in God’s Word feels more like digging a ditch than mining for gold. In times like these, few things help more than a good look inside our hearts.
The other day, as I was waiting to pull out onto the feeder road, I was beginning to get impatient because it seemed like the entire Fort Worth workforce decided to drive down that road at exactly the time that I needed to be home. At the first sign of a gap in the traffic, I darted out in between a sedan and a truck with tires bigger than our kitchen table. Apparently, I wasn’t going fast enough for the gentleman in the truck because he chose to formerly submit his protest of my actions by isolating one of his fingers from the others and pressing it against the windshield so I was certain to see. Sure this was an unkind thing for someone to do, but my reaction is what brought to light my need for Jesus. Although I never showed it outwardly, I started to boil with anger in my heart. As I drove home, instead of praying for that man and praying for my reaction to be pleasing to the Lord, I began to imagine myself slamming on my brakes in front of that man, getting out of my car, and walking right up to his truck to give him a piece of my mind. I even started to imagine what exactly I would say and how I would say it, so that he would feel as belittled as possible.
I’ve never really done anything like that, but that’s not my point. My point is that I don’t have to do anything like that to be in desperate need of Jesus. Our minds and imaginations reveal our sin-sick state before God. Bitterness, hate, malice, and jealousy lead our imaginations to invent masterfully wicked scenarios that we never act out, but as Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, “Everyone who is angry with his brother is liable to judgment” (Matthew 5:22). This means that sin isn’t just something we act out, it is something that is present in our thoughts, desires, and emotions. When you feel yourself begin to lose sight of your need for Jesus, make a choice to closely evaluate your thought life for a day or so and you’ll see that you are much more needy of his grace than your outward behavior reveals.