One of the favorite things the enemy loves to steal is our prayer time.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. [John 10:10]
Far too many Christians don’t understand just how much of an injustice this is. If our car were ripped off, we’d be furious! We’d call the police, our insurance agent, and all our friends wouldn’t hear the end of it. But when the enemy steals-away our Devotional life? “Ah, I’ll pray later.” Or, “Hey, it’s not such a big deal, we’re saved by grace – relax, bro.” And all the while the Devil is rolling on the floor with laughter as, another one bites the dust and another day of spiritual Rigamortis sets in.
It’s time for God’s people to get furious over letting the enemy steal-away the most valuable weapon we have! Love your car? Love your Devotional-Life more.
I remember hearing the late John Lennon tell a story where he was at an art show.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14 KJV]
There was a ladder in the center of the room with a small magnifying glass attached to the ceiling with a string. He thought, “If this is something stupid, I’m leaving.” When he climbed up, he reached the ceiling and looked through the magnifying glass. There was only one word – “Yes!” It put a smile on his face, and he stayed for the whole art show. That one word, not only “dwelt” there, but it caused many to behold it’s “glory”, and were changed for the better!
Whatever I get from the Word of God, and my relationship with Him , it must become “flesh”. Why? So that people can relate to it, and desire to grab on to it! Titus Coan, of the Great Awakening in Hawaii, always sought to exemplify, and embody this verse to the precious Hawaiian people that God sent him to. Sadly, many times, people don’t come to the Church’s “art shows”. We don’t even set up a small “ladder” with something to catch the curiosity of the sinner. No, we build skyscrapers, and occasionally dangle a rope out of the penthouse window. And we wonder why people think Christianity is stupid? It’s time for the Church to wake-up and follow the model of Jesus! Let us dust ourselves off from our intellectual high-horses, and simply become a people who reach out to sinners with that tangible, life-changing love of God. Why? Because we want them to stay for the whole show, and make it to Heaven!
This passage paints a vivid picture in my mind of a soldier who is doing his own thing. While others have their uniforms starched and pressed, ready for the day, I see another soldier who is wearing his bermuda shorts and aloha shirt – totally not ready for service, battle, or even the daily line-up before the commander.
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.” [Acts 24:5 NIV]
Could it be he has a lamp that’s been neglected and snuffed-out from sin, and thus his sloppiness doesn’t really seem to matter? Jesus isn’t offering a mere suggestion in verse 35, it’s a command! I can just see the commander’s veins popping out from his neck as he shouts to his troops… “BE dressed! Keep your lamps BURNING!”
I wonder what most of us look like in the spiritual-realm? Are we beach bums or battle ready soldiers? The New King James version says, “Let your waist be girded…”. Could it be that we’re so self-absorbed, self-conscious, self-centered, all because we’re walking around with our spiritual pants around our ankles? Our lives must be girded with truth like a soldier’s belt. Can you imagine worshipping Jesus – Sunday morning at your Church – and having your pants down around your ankles? We wouldn’t be worshipping, we’d be worrying! It time to get clothed in Christ [Gal. 3:27] first thing in the morning. It’s time to get into the Word of God [Ps. 119:105], and allow it to get our hearts burning once again for the things of God! Don’t settle for a mediocre life when God has so much more! Christ is coming, and we must be battle ready.