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Friday, June 24, 2011

What If You Only Believed You Were at Home?

A couple of years ago I was called to visit a member of my church who had been rushed to the emergency room of a nearby hospital with a broken hip. I was already in bed and had taken pain medication for my back. The medicine had not taken effect yet so I reasoned that a quick roundtrip to the hospital would be possible before I started to get  fuzzy. The hospital was about five minutes from my house and I immediately went to the emergency room. While there, the patient's wife asked me to stay with her husband so she could handle another matter. She was gone about twenty minutes. I said my prayers with the patient and his wife knowing that I was beginning to feel the effects of the medication. I was sure I could get home without any difficulty since I lived so close to the hospital.

I really don't know what went wrong but I soon found myself driving past houses that I didn't recognize. I said to myself, "I don't know where I am," then, I giggled a bit and said out loud, "And I don't care!"

Fortunately, I managed to concentrate hard enough to find my way back home.

This morning I wondered: Are most Christians deluded in believing they are in the middle of God's will when they are actually somewhere else? Do they believe they are at home with the Lord when they are simply satisfied with being lost?

This is a clever deception. It would allow King David to think that he could still have a vital relationship with God even though he had committed adultery, lied and had a man killed. We wonder how he could get so far away from God and not know it. But look around at those Christians who gossip, backbite, cheat and lie who may be deacons or teachers at their churches. Do they really believe that they have a great relationship with God? I, personally, know that they don't but I believe they don't care.

King Josiah had the law read in his presence. It had not been read in a very long time. He heard how he and his people were violating God's desire for His people. He tore his clothes in anguish over the distance he and his people had been with God. He needed a wake up call for he, no doubt, believed they were in a great relationship with God until the law was read.

Have you ever had a dream that was so real that you aren't really sure that it didn't happen? Most dreams drop from our memories within minutes of waking but some have made such a strong impression that they remain behind. You were perfectly convinced that the dream was real when you were in the dream. You have awakened and can't be sure that it didn't really happen.

Could it be that many Christians are dreaming that they are in a perfect relationship with God while they are really far from Him? Do they think that going to church and talking about God is all there is to their faith? Have they forgotten that God also speaks to His children specifically? Do they know their own condition?

How else can you explain a people who go to church but don't change?

Isaiah 1:13-20 (ESV)
13 Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.
18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

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