Get in line

So Friday is my sabbath day…its my day off work. I am on my own for at least 6 hours of this day whilst my kids are at school and my other half is at work. Its so important for me to get before the Lord. This is a discipline. It won’t happen if we’re not disciplined enough to do it. Can I afford to do it? Nah..on my day off, financially, I could do with finding ways to earn some cash – we’re in a recession for goodness sake. But if I’m not before the Lord, I might as well just go away.

Never mind this garbage we feed outselves about not having the time to come before the Lord. Sure, you might be saying, well I don’t have 6 hours to take out. Sure you do. You just dont want to. You just don’t make it possible. You make time for everything else apart from the Lord. How do I know this? Because I am human and for so long I’ve been a failure at this stuff. And when I am failing at this stuff, sin gets a foothold in my life and I cease being the man that God calls me to be. And I am ashamed. If I want to go round doing this stuff in my own strength, then I’m stuffed. I haven’t got any. Come on, you know what I’m talking about here.

There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…if what I said makes you sit up and take note, then thats the Holy Spirit telling you you’re getting it wrong. But if you start to think ‘oh you’re useless, you’ll never get it right scumbag, think you follow God? HA!’ well, thats the enemy trying to get you down. God confronts us to show us the right path, not to beat on us. Come on, quit fooling around and get close to Jesus. Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you says James.

I didn’t plan to say all that, but I think it might help at least one of you reading. Happy to support you if I can….let me know.

What I was going to say is that what God has been saying to me to day is to step up. Some of you who know me may not realise I’m a horrific introvert. Put me on an island for a week on my own – man, I’m almost in heaven. But yet, the journey the Lord has put me on has so often been about being out there, with people constantly. More than that, out there with a message the few want to hear, not only in the church but in the world in general. The gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those of us who are being saved, it is the power of God for our salvation.

And lots of time, especially in the last 3 years where I’ve been in situations where hope has slipped away, I’ve stepped back from the front. When we allow other things to crowd round, it obscures our vision of Jesus and his call upon us to be his disciples and to make disciples of all the nations.   Another thing thats happened is that I’ve been swayed by too many people’s version of things. You know, we all need to learn and process what we’re learning. But we have to bring it back to the Lord and say ‘is this your thought Jesus?’ ‘Do you go with this?’ ‘Do I see this in you?’ ‘Is this how you went about things?’ ‘Does this fit with your message?’ If yes, we hang onto it and put it as an arrow in our quiver. If no, then we cast it aside. What do you need to cast aside?

If your god is the god who is only ever patting you on the back and afffirming your lifestyle and your plans, then there is every chance you’ve fallen into the mistake of making a god in your own image. This god will ultimately fail you because it isn’t real. The bible tells us that God disciplines us as his children, he pulls us into line for our own good and for his glory….but then pours out such an abundance, an ABUNDANCE, of grace and mercy. It will follow us all the days of our lives as we live submitted to Jesus.

Come on, get in line.

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