If you are like me, you are probably amazed at how each year it seems that the ‘Back to school’ ads began to appear earlier and earlier in the paper and on TV. I remember when I was a young boy (I know, back when there was no electricity) it seemed that the back to school ads only appeared just a few days before school started. Today it is all about hitting the parents pocketbook much earlier and making those cash registers ring, ring, ring.
I remember how great summer vacation was and how much we thought we needed a break. A break from having to get up early to go to school, a break from having to sit in a boring class room and listen to a very boring teacher; a break from having to do all that homework; a break from having to take those dumb tests. Then just when it seemed that you were finally getting relaxed, you heard your mom say those horrible words, ‘It’s time for you to go back to school.’
Sadly I think too many Christians today feel they have earned a break from having to live as a Christian; from having to adhere or hold fast to what the Lord says in His Word, so they take what we might call, a vacation from God. Then when they feel they have had enough time to sow their oats you might say or let their hair down, they decide to go back to trying to live as a Christian should, back to Christianity. (I have to be truthful, I have taken those types of vacations and it never turns out the way I thought it would)
Way back when my wife Gail and I were doing youth, we went to a youth summer camp and I heard a message that has forever been burned in my mind and heart but I am sad to say that at times I have failed to hold to. The speaker was talking about what it took to being fruitful in our Christian walk and reaping all the benefits of that. He went on to say that as believers, we need to not think so much of the benefits that come to us because we are children of the Most High (and those benefits are amazing) but instead we needed to remain faithful;, faithful, faithful, faithful (He just kept on saying the word faithful over and over) Then after he said the word faithful many times, the speaker then said the word fruitful. Then he went back to saying the word faithful over and over again and after he said faithful many times, he again said the word fruitful. (Get it!!)
There is a parable Jesus gives in Matthew 25:14-30 that speaks about a man who was about to go on a long journey but before he left, he called his servants over and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another he gave two talents of money and to another he gave one talent of money. The man left on his long journey and when he returned, the one who he gave 5 talents to, he gave his master 5 more he had gained in return, to the one who was given 2 talents, he gave his master 2 more he had gained in return. To the one who had been given 1 talent, the servant reported to his master that he didn’t lose the master’s money because he hid it in the ground, so he returned the one talent back to his master. When the first two servants showed the master they had been faithful to gain more than they had been given, the master said “Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.”
We have been called to a walk of being faithful but that is very hard to do that if we continue to take breaks from His presence; from His principles. Isaiah 29:13 “The Lord says: These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is made up only of rules taught by men.” Are you far from the Lord right now my friend? Them run back into His presence, into His protection and never leave Him again!!
There are times we may need to take breaks from our labors, from our service for the Lord so that He may refresh us, but those are only breaks from our labors, from our service, not from the Lord or His principles. We take those breaks so that the Lord may refresh us and give us His rest so that we may be empowered to go back and do His work till he calls us home for our final rest. Faithfulness is one of the fruits of the Spirit given in Galatians 5:22-23 and it is what we are to be seen doing by the Lord.
At times I have sadly allowed the horrible lie; the horrible thought enter my heart and mind that I needed a break from God and His principles and for that I am deeply remorseful and sad that I let that happen for the Lord has never taken a break from watching over me, from loving me, from comforting me, from providing for me, from forgiving me, from blessing me and much, much more. My dear brother and sister, I believe we are in difficult times today; times that we need to draw closer to the Lord and His presence than ever before, not take breaks from Him. Stay close my dear friend to the One, who can take you through your most trying times; who can empower you with His Spirit!!!!!
Categories: A Pastor's Blog