This may seem like a strange title, but after my comments on an article that I read this week on FoxNews, I think you will see the dilemma I am in.
However, before I continue with my comments on the article, I want to say that there are many who will take umbrage and be offended at what I will say here today. You see, we have become a nation of wishy-washy, whatever-floats-your-boat, don’t-offend-anybody, and don’t-judge-me church goers. Sadly, the transition was so gradual that most people never even noticed the shift.
There was a time that you would walk through an airport and knew exactly who the followers of Sun Myung Moon (also known as Moonies or members of the Unification Church) were and what they were trying to peddle. For those who have not looked recently, they are still around (normally older couples though) but they no longer wear their hair long in a braid. They do not have a shaved head, nor do they wear saffron-colored robes. Today, they are very much a modern organization that is still looking to attract followers to its mantra of global peace, defense of religious organizations, and extravagant marriage ceremonies around the world.
In seasons of distress and grief
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer
Have you ever prayed for an hour or more? I hate to admit that it has been a while since I have done so. It seems there are often distractions or things that come up, which hinder me, but I desire to get back to a time of not being rushed. And honestly I can do so.
If you study the lives of preachers of old who changed the world (or at least their sphere of it), you will find they had one thing in common: a life devoted to prayer and the Word. They were not perfect men but they were willing, and God chose to use them. Some of them not only prayed one hour but three or four or more. Today, prayer is often no more than a ritual–something we do before meals and maybe before bed. This, however, is not real relationship with Christ.
If you are married, your spouse no doubt expects you to talk to him or her. If you travel a lot, she may expect you to call home every day so she can hear your voice and know how you are doing. If you’re together all the time (or at least every evening), he would probably not handle it well if you were too busy to talk to him for at least a period of time.
So it is with God. He desires us to talk and to listen to Him as we rise up, as we walk by the way. He wants us to tell Him our joys and our sorrows. Yes, He knows everything but He desires communication just the same. He loves it when we let Him know how grateful we are for Him. I have learned this increasingly the last few years. Just as I would not like to be ignored by my spouse (if I had one), God does not like to be ignored by us. Yet way too often, He is.
You do not need to be a great person to do great things for God, but you do need to develop a close relationship with Him. It’s very possible. You need only draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you.
Scripture records Christ as “the last Adam” in 1 Cor 15:45. Were there others who stood in as an “Adam” in the course of redemptive history? I think the Bible shows this to be the case, with Noah, Abraham, David, and the nation of Israel (summed up in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) being the “interim Adams” before the last One appeared.
This chart shows my view on how Israel fulfilled this role.
Comparing Adam and Israel
|Formed by God from the dust of the earth.
(Gen 2:7; 1 Cor 15:47)
|Formed by God from the dust of the people of the world. (Gen 11:10 – 11:3; Deut 7:7)|
|Was brought to life by the word and breath of God. (Gen 1:26 & 27; 2:7)||Was brought into being by the word of God. (Gen 12:2 & 3; 15:1; Ex 3)|
|Had close fellowship with God. (Gen 2:15ff; 3:8a)||Had close fellowship with God. (Gen 15; Ex 15; 2 Kings 23:1 – 27)|
|Was given a covenant within which to live and prosper. (Gen 2:16 & 17; Hosea 6:7)||Was given a covenant within which to live and prosper. (Gen 17:14; Ex 19:3 – 6; 24:3 – 8; Neh 9 & 10)|
|Broke the covenant and received the penalty of death, which was carried out in due time. (Gen 3:6 & 7; 22 – 24; 5:5)||Broke the covenant and received the penalty of death, which was carried out in the fullness of time. (Deut 31:16 – 18; Judges 2:11 – 15; Jer 11:10 – 13; 1 Kings 11:9 – 11; Ezek 44:1 – 7; Hosea 6:7)|
|Was cast out of the garden, cursed to walk and work in the world which was wrecked by The Fall. (Gen 3:23 & 24; 3:17 – 19)||Was divorced by God, left desolate, cursed to walk and work in darkness until the light of Christ. (Jer 3:6 – 10; Matt 15:12 – 14; 23:37 & 38; 2 Cor 3:12 – 17)|
|As a type of Christ, Adam points us to the anti-type, Christ Jesus, in whom there is life for Adam’s children who are secure in the Last Adam. (1 Cor 15:45)||As an echo of Adam, Israel points us to the anti-type, Christ Jesus, in whom there is life for Abraham’s children of promise. (Gal 4:21 – 31)|
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. … But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
Years ago, Bob Dylan sang, “You’re gonna have to serve somebody. It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” Everyone on earth is either serving God, flesh, or the devil. My question today is: Who (or what) are you serving?
My brother quotes Larry Burkett as saying one can tell what a person’s priorities are by looking at his Daytimer and his checkbook. We usually find time and money for the things that are important to us. Sadly, God is not often the one who gets the majority of those things. Maybe we’re too tired to read our Bible or too busy to take a few minutes to worship Him. Brothers and Sisters, if that is the case, you are way too busy. Jesus was not too busy to come to earth and suffer horrendous things for you. Can’t you give Him even a little of your time?! Even that would be a start.
I would like to think that this post would be unnecessary for those of you who read this blog but I am not naive enough to believe that. If this does not apply to you, praise the Lord! Pray with me that God will strengthen His Church and continue to draw others to Himself. However, if God uses this article to convict you of something that you’ve become lax in lately, don’t hesitate to respond. Begin today to get on track to a closer walk with God than you’ve ever had before.
Our pastor reminded us today that it takes 30 days to form a habit. If you are not used to praying 5 minutes a day, I don’t expect you to take an hour tomorrow, but I would encourage you to start somewhere. If your typical prayer time is 5 minutes, stretch it into 10. If 10 minutes, try 15. Once you develop that daily discipline, it will eventually get to that place that you won’t want to leave His presence, and the good news is that you don’t have to! He will continue to walk beside you, and you will discover a joy and peace that has mostly alluded you before now.
If your life is busy to where you are running ragged and are too tired to have daily quiet time, pray about things you can eliminate from your life. Or maybe a simple change of schedule is all that is required. There is a way. In Jeremiah, God told His people, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek for Me with ALL your heart” (29:13). He will not ask you to do something that He will not equip you to do.
Time is too short to serve the flesh or the devil. Although there may be some immediate gratification, the end leads in spiritual death. That is not something I want, and I doubt you want that either. So I ask again: Who are you serving? I hope you can adamantly say the Almighty God who created Heaven and earth and sent His Son to die for you. If not, I hope you will change Masters today.