I woke up this morning with an overwhelming sense of anticipation. Actually it sort-of hit me last night. Someone actually asked me after our church service if I was ok. But I think it was just starting to root.
26 Days now. It’s been 26 days since I started this 31 day challenge to find the stuff that was getting under my skin that God just might be using to train me.
WOW it’s been full-out bootcamp. Like Basic Training. Fatigue(s) and all!
Doin’ stuff I’d rather not do.
Waking up when I’d rather stay sleep.
Well, you get the point.
So anyway, all day today I tossed the feeling around trying to put my finger on why I had this gut level anticipation. I mean like something BIG was about to happen. I even cried out to God asking Him if it was something for inneractive, my children, my marriage, my finances?
NOTHING. He gave me nothing.
Then mid afternoon I started pondering and what came to me was, this question.
“If you stood in front of God, would He know you”?
Was that question for me?
Then again, a clarification of the question…
I mean really, you know Him. You speak of Him. You ‘work’ in His name. But if you walked right up to Him *(if that were possible) would He know you?
So a light bulb went off. You know how when you hear something you are almost certain is in the bible but you really don’t know where it is? YEAH. I was there. So what’s a girl to do? I googled it!
Matthew 7:23. “Why do you call me Lord, Lord”
I couldn’t take just that. I had to start digging around to find out why God was asking that question so I went to the source, the beginning of the Chapter.
And I wanted to get a “make it clear” version, so I chose the Message.
Check THIS out… the title of the chapter alone started to reveal my anticipation! Just keep reading…
A Simple Guide for Behavior
1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
6″Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege.
7-11″Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?
12″Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.
Being and Doing
13-14″Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.
15-20″Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.
21-23″Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance— isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’
24-25″These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.
26-27″But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”
28-29 When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.
…that explains it.
26 Days…and counting