It’s summertime, and many of us at one time or another this summer will be packing our bags to go on a trip. We will plan out what we need to take with us and how much money we need to take with us. We may even plan an itinerary in advance fir what we are going to do.
We will make our preparations.
Pack your bags and prepare to leave; the siege is about to begin. For this is what the Lord says: “Suddenly, I will fling out all you who live in this land. I will pour great troubles upon you, and at last you will feel my anger.”
And we will make these preparations because “we know we are going on vacation”. But can we really say with certainty that we “know” that we are going? Have we never encountered and emergency or a situation that changed or plans at the lady moment? Do we not believe that circumstances could get in the way of our planned destination.
I would argue that we don’t know that we are going, we believe that we are going, we hope that we are going if all things work out. But yes, we make our preparations as if it were an absolute and definite fact that we are going. This is because we believe strongly that it is going to happen.
And we have faith and trust in our own plans for the future. We find confidence and security in being prepared. We trust the plan because we have thought it through ourselves.
Don’t we find so much confidence in making our plans and preparations in advance?
When things happen and we are prepared with a plan in hand, doesn’t it give us a little taste of pride that we were prepared, that we were smart enough to plan in advance, that we were self disciplined enough to have made preparations for the unexpected?
But when something unexpected happens, something that we aren’t prepared for – isn’t it a source of frustration?
You see, this is a life blown by the wind of circumstance and of self reliance. We who are so prosperous and comfortable, we look to ourselves alone, we make our plans, and we leave God on the sidelines, treating him like a designated hitter, calling Him up when we need a hit to dig us out of the “trouble” that we find ourselves in.
Do we not understand that the “trouble” isn’t the problem? The circumstance isn’t the problem. The problem is us. We are more interested in focusing and preparing for the little things of life’s pleasures, we are comfortable being lukewarm in our relationship with God, we are better suited to doing things or own way instead of His – and we end up missing the fact that what we see as trouble or misfortune might be the very thing God put in front of us to bring us back into His will.
Are we preparing for our final destination as surely and confidently as we will prepare for our vacations this summer?
Do we even believe that there is a destination ahead?
Do we even take the Lord’s Word to be true and faithful?
If we say that we do, what are we doing to prepare?
Is it clear and evident that our focus is on God and our final destination as a Child of God, or are our lives clear evidence and reflection of our true father?
Are we sitting God on the bench, refusing a daily relationship with Him, refusing to repent of our sins, refusing to seek Him in prayer and time in the Word of God, refusing to share His Word with others, refusing to encourage and hold accountable our Christian brothers and sisters – refusing to prepare?
Yes, He is trustworthy. Yes, He is faithful. Yes, He is able to hit that spiritual home run for us no matter how far we have fallen behind on the score board of life. But how foolish is it for us to hide Him on the bench, hoping to call Him up in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the game, when we might encounter a double play that ends or season before we can get him up to the plate.
Isn’t it better to have Him in the game with us?
Isn’t it better to have Him active and alive in our daily lives?
How much time do we spend chasing the things of this world – entertainment, pleasure, etc. – and how often does it push Him out of our lives? How often does it leave Him forgotten on the bench?
This is Almighty God!
Do we not understand the opportunity that we have available to us to receive His very Word and instruction? To speak with Him in prayer?
Or are we still blind and veiled, seeing it as religion and nuisance, having no real interest in the things of God, because we really don’t know Him, we really don’t long for Him, we really don’t live Him?
Are we waiting expectantly for salvation from our sins, while refusing the very repentance and obedience that is the amazing grace of the Lord? Are we making no preparations for our eternal destination?
Are we only focused on this physical world and it’s pleasures and temptations, because it suits us better because we are a child of this world, unaware of the destruction and anger that lies ahead?
Or are we travelers in this world, more focused on preparing for our final destination, because we are a Child of God?
I hope that you are not confused about who you are friend.
I hope that you are preparing for the journey ahead.
Pack your bags, make your preparations – for wherever it is you desire most.
If your desire is the Lord, then cry out to Him, seek Him, not just once, but continually. Repent.
Know your destination, friend.