Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hey Dry Bones, What Is The Lack In Your Life?

I think more of us are in love with the idea of loving Jesus then with actually loving him. Love is an easy thing to say. It comes with no commitment because to us it only expresses a vague notion of some idea that we have not quite grasped. We like the thought of it but have never measured the cost of it. To say we love Jesus just means that we recognize some value there but we don't really want to think about it much; we have other things to do.

When I fell in love with my wife I wanted to know everything about her (I still do). I grilled her with a thousand questions about her past, her experiences, her likes and dislikes, her hopes, dreams, aspirations. I wanted to hear her opinion on everything. I wanted to know everything because I loved what made her her. Yet, this is a weak and faulty love coming from a weak and faulty heart. How much more should I be consumed with the One who gave up everything to give me his everything?

The truth is, most of us just pay lip service to our love for Jesus. How do I know? Our actions and our priorities reveal our heart. How much time did you spend in prayer yesterday? No excuses, just an honest answer. Write it down on something so you can see the reality of the figure. Now, how much time did you spend, hearing, reading, studying and meditating on the Scripture yesterday? No excuses; write it down. A number of years ago a survey was taken from Christians attending a conference on prayer. Keep in mind that most of the attendees were pastors and their wives. This survey revealed that these Christians, attending a seminar on prayer, spent less than an average of five minutes a day in prayer.

Everything we know and experience comes from Scripture and prayer. Everything about us as Christians come from the Word and prayer. A lack of time in Scripture and prayer reveals a lack of love for Jesus because if we were actually in love we would be consumed with being with him and knowing him. It means that most of us Christians are nothing but dry bones because we aren't even giving the Spirit the tools to work in and through us. Yahweh spoke to his people and told them why they were in trouble:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)

Let the Spirit convict where he must today. This is in direct contrast to what was said as the people were coming into the Promised Land, before they possessed it:

Do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do what is written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8)

Are we brave enough to admit the lack in our life? "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." We aren't anywhere near what we should be because we lack two very basic Christian disciplines: Bible hearing, reading, studying, meditating, and prayer. How can we love Yahweh with our entire mind, soul and body when we choose a life of lack? Yet, we are told that prosperity and success belong to those who meditate on and live the Word.

Our prayer should mirror that of the psalmist who prayed:

Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5)

It is a simple decision to allow Jesus' love for you to decide your actions and priorities. "Because you love me so much Jesus I want to know all about you; what pleases you and how I can honour you." It is when we make the decision to make the time for the Bible and to make the time for prayer that we grow in the relationship. I said "make" on purpose. It is something we have to carve out of each day. As we know the Word we will begin to live it. In this we will find the blessing of Jesus' prosperity and successful for our lives and we will go from dry bones to being trees planted by streams of living waters, whose leafs never wither. Is this not our great desire?

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