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.
On Wed. Nite at United Youth we had a powerful move of God. My message was called, “The Right Kind of Heartburn”, as I preached on, “The Fire of God”. And I shared how John the Baptist said,
“I baptize you with water, but He… will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” [Luke 3:16].
After the Word I opened the Altar to those who wanted that Fire, and… [as the old-timers would say…] “The Fire fell!” Every person I prayed for ⎯ I could literally feel God’s Love for. Tears were streaming down my eyes, and you could see the effects of the Holy Spirit on them as well. There was no manipulation. The Holy Spirit was moving. Many were crying, bowing-down, collapsing under the power of God, and 11 received the gift of the Holy Spirit and spoke in Tongues for the very first time. There was no striving. It was as if God stepped into the room.
Even parents of the youth came in and wanted to receive prayer. One 19 yr old in particular just sat in his chair. I walked up to him and said, “I want to pray for you.” As I did I could smell the Marijuana all over him. I just hugged him ⎯ like a father of a wayward son, and just broke-down crying. After about 5 seconds this young man’s tears were all over me. His Mother then came in. He did something that I’ve never seen before. He grabbed his Mom’s hand and bowed his head in reverend submission to her. It was beautiful as they were re-united. That Mom came up to me today at Church and said, “Thank you, Pastor Robb. My son hasn’t smoked weed ever since that nite”. Tears were streaming down her face.
I’m telling you – seeing young people change so suddenly because of the reality of the Holy Spirit’s Love and Fire will do something to you!
I have to tell ya – I am totally stoked about our new Podcast! I just received an e-mail yesterday from iTunes that we are officially in the iTunes store!! >>> UNITED YOUTH CHURCH PODCAST
It’s very exciting! Please check us out, and let us know what you think. AND… if you leave a comment that would be totally awesome!
‘Love you guys!!