A Note from Hixon Frank
There I was, sitting in a booth at the International House of Pancakes. Across from me sat one of my spiritual heroes. How this meeting came to be is for another article but suffice it to say that I’m not “big” on meeting people I deeply admire. Strange as it sounds, I prefer my heroes to be “high and lifted up” not like the rest of us. But there I sat, staring at a man whose life and works had impacted millions of lives, including mine.
Steve Farrar, if you are not familiar with him, wrote a book called “Point Man: How a Man Can Lead His Family.” This book, along with half a dozen others he had written, stoked the Men’s Ministry movement of the 90’s and early 2000’s and made Promise Keepers a household name. I had been deeply and profoundly impacted by his books and sermons and I was, dare I say it, a little bit starstruck.
Steve, I noticed, seemed older and more weathered than I imagined him. The deep lines on his face seemed earned and full of wisdom that comes from experiences that tested his faith. So, doing my best to get a conversation going I started throwing out topics I thought we could connect on. Awkward at first, our conversation picked up and I began to feel at ease. It didn’t matter that he was many years my senior, we just started doing what men do. We talked sports (no problem), hunting (I had not a clue), classic cars (I was back in the game), different churches he’d spoken at, and the current state of the country.
As the conversation wound down, I took the opportunity to get more serious and ask him my “go-to” question for people I meet who have great influence, “Steve, how do you walk with Jesus?”
Steve responded, “You know, I’ve actually never been asked that question before.”
I was surprised, but leaned in and pressed further, “How do YOU walk with Jesus?”
He paused and pondered.
“Oh no!” My mind raced … “Had I overstepped?” “Had I cast doubt on my hero’s faith?” “Please say something!!!”
After the “eternal” 30 seconds, he resolutely said these exact words, “I start every single day with my black leather Bible in my red leather chair.”
To be honest, I wanted this godly man to share something a bit more profound. I wanted him to give me some unique shortcut or “cheat code” about being faithful in ministry, but instead he repeated, in his own way, what I had taught others for the previous 15 years! To walk well in your faith, you have to walk with Jesus… in the WORD, in PRAYER, and in PRIVATE!
He went on to say with piercing seriousness, “Hixon, this isn’t make-believe or some grand strategy. My attention isn’t paid to building some platform to bring glory to myself. I am keenly aware that what I write about and teach MUST be true in my own life or all of this (he waved his hands in a circle) is just a game”
“In the Word”
It seems easy enough. READ, ponder, meditate and study the Bible. Then simply PRAY, confess, give thanks, petition, and praise…. And do it all where no one sees you do it! It isn’t for show, and no one gives you accolades. But without it, that faith that we brag about will be a hollow performance for others instead of a life lived for an audience of one.
The Bible says it this way…
6 But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.
When was the last time you sat in YOUR “red leather chair” with YOUR “black leather Bible”? If it has been a while, here are some tools to get you (re-)started:
To open God’s WordGet a Bible you like! Study Bibles, modern translations are helpful. (Pastor Michael recommends Christian Standard Bible)
Get the GABC Bible Reading Plan here
Download the YouVersion Bible App and pick a daily devotional to guide you.
Follow a plan and read, ponder, memorize, and enjoy
To start a habit of prayer, consider…Download the app: “Bless Every Home.”
Download Prayer.com Bible and Daily Prayer app.
Pray in secret and God will see in secret.
You have been prayed for today!