Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If I were cut open, would I bleed Bible?

I know I have shared this before and I feel compelled to do so again. One of my pastors was preaching some weeks ago and made a similar statement. My answer to the question is a resounding "no," and I am ashamed to say it. If I were cut open, I am pretty sure I would bleed other things, but not Bible.

If the road to heaven were paved with good intentions, I would be well on my way there - probably accompanied by many friends and acquaintances whose lives, like mine, are literally drowning in good intentions. And I'm not talking about intentions like they were New Year's resolutions - to lose weight, watch less TV, exercise more (or START to exercise), etc.

No, I am talking about good intentions like getting up earlier to spend time in the Word and prayer; devoting more time to real, in-depth Bible study; calling or, better yet, visiting those from my church or other friends who are set aside due to illness of inability to get out for a host of other reasons. Then there are my good intentions to be less critical and judgmental, less puffed up with my own smugness, more dependent on the Lord to make my way instead of leaning on my own strength (Proverbs 3:5,6).

You see, I WANT to live wholeheartedly for Jesus, but find it so easy to get distracted by all of this other stuff that we call "life." It's an excuse and I know it full well. I wake up each morning with the "intention" of spending time in my Bible and praying, but allow Satan to distract me with a bunch of other things - stupid things. I'll go out to the porch where I read my Bible and see that the plants look a little wilted. So I take "just a minute" to give them some water. Then I sit back down and look out the window and notice a huge weed in my yard right in my line of vision. So I get up, go out and pull that weed. And, yes, while I'm out there, I pull a few more. Maybe the lilies look dry so I get the watering can to give them something to drink. By the time I go back in to sit down and get to God's business, my own business has taken all my time and I need to get ready to come to work. I console myself with the thought, "I'll read and spend time with God when I get home and don't have to rush."

Fast forward to the afternoon: I arrive home, a little hot and tired, and think, "I'll sit down for a few minutes or maybe even take a short nap." An hour later I rouse myself, and say, "Let me look at the mail, eat dinner, and I'll spend time in the Word after I clean up the kitchen. I can read and no one will be there to interrupt me so it will be nice and quiet." Hello-o-o-o. Who do I think I'm kidding? By the time I'm done putzing around in the kitchen, throwing in a load of wash, or whatever, I sit down and I find I'm too tired to stay awake. I either nod off in the chair and go sit on the bed (with the "good intention" of reading and praying), and find myself waking up a couple of hours later when it is now time to get ready for bed. And all of my good intentions are once again as "filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6).

I am not bleeding Bible, but laziness, selfishness and a whole other bunch of "nesses" that don't now and never will count for eternity. So my challenge for you today is really a challenge to me. Let the stuff of life go and spend time - quality time - with the only One who is deserving of prayer and praise and glory and honor.

God - I purpose in my heart to put You first before all else that might distract and deter me from spending time alone with You. Give me the discipline to put all else aside and yield to Your working in my heart and life. Amen.

Lynn Randall

Lynn Randall is the Director of Human Resources at America's KESWICK. She is active in her church and is a gifted planner and organizer. She has a real heart for people as evidenced by her care, concern and practical encouragement.

James 4
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

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