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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Have You Had a Your Time with the Lord Today?

The initial stages of turning away from God are not volitional. I doubt that Solomon thought that he would be led away from his Lord by his wives. They were ways to enhance his borders. Many of them became his wives as an exchange from one ruler to a greater king. These lessor rulers gave their daughters in marriage as part of their commitment to Solomon. This was the way of signing contracts. It seemed to be the logical thing for a superior king to accept. Yet, Solomon, who had built the most magnificent temple that Israel would ever know, no longer served his Lord fully because of these foreign wives.

I am at home this morning because I have a plumber coming to fix a leak. You know how it goes; he will be here sometime between 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Normally I am in the office by 7:00 AM. The first thing I do in the office is have a time with the Lord. It structures the rest of my day. However, my first reaction today was not about spending that time. I could just get a few things done around the house before the plumber arrived. Then, I would spend my time with the Lord. Initially, I failed to see the danger in this.

Anything can become a ritual. Even spending time in the word and prayer can become a ritual. You always have to guard this. However, my time with the Lord each morning has not become a ritual. It is one of the few times during the day that I listen. It is a necessity.

I know what I do when I don't make my time with the Lord a priority. I either minimize it to get it out of the way, postpone it to a later time during the day or forget about it altogether. My past has proven that I can forget my time with the Lord for weeks. Those in my congregation who have a time with the Lord can tell when I have failed to make this time. Those who don't have a time with the Lord don't notice. However, I would know even if none of my congregation did.

It is very easy to forget this devotional time. No one holds me accountable to it. It would be easy to simply pick up the Bible, read the first verse that I see, say a short prayer (God, bless the missionaries!) and say I have had my time with the Lord. I would not have listened to Him. I would hardly have acknowledged Him. I cannot call that a special time with God.

I know that my devotional time with the Lord is the most significant thing I do to become like Christ. I know that it changes my heart and that changes me from the inside out. My devotional time with the Lord changes my reactions to the events in my life. It changes the way I make decisions. It even changes those decisions. I cannot go far from the Lord when I have had a serious time with Him each day.

Each day I have a crucifixion. I take up my own cross. I climb my Golgotha. I am crucified. Then, I truly live like I have never lived before. My Lord lives within me. I live a life in the flesh is done by faith. There is no more ritual. No one has to see me do so. I am His.

Road away from God has many slight deviations. Eventually it turns you around until you are going the wrong direction. You must guard your hearts. You must guard them daily or you who are serving the Lord fully today will wake up some day wondering how you could have hurt the One you said you loved so much. You will be far away from Him without recognizing the small compromises you made along the way. It isn't worth it.

The only life really worth living is one which is given to Him.

Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

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