Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Are you buckled up?

* The following is a repost from a few years back. My son doesn't ride to school with me much anymore, but when he does, at least he buckles up! 

It was our regular morning routine. Everyone piled into the car and headed to school. I looked back at my son and noticed he wasn't buckled. I wondered silently, "Why do I have to tell him every time? He's 13 - by now he should know this!" I remained calm and said, "Buddy, you need to be buckled." He nodded his head to show recognition. He'd heard me.

We got to the first stop sign and I looked back again. He still wasn't buckled. I was more direct this time. "Son, you need to buckle - now." He stopped munching on his breakfast and buckled his seat belt. With the click, my own thoughts started to roll.

How many times have I done this same thing? How many times have I silently acknowledged that I understood what God had said, and yet still didn't do it? My mind drifted to this verse from James (he always seems to speak directly to me...and I'm not always happy about it!) James 4:17 ~ "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." (NIV) Wait, maybe another version will be kinder to me...."So then, anyone who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it is committing a sin." (CJB) Okay, let me look at a different version. "As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don't do it, that, for you, is evil." (Message - vs. 16-17) This seems to be getting worse! In fact, the only translations that DIDN'T step on my toes were the ones written in other languages! (German) Wer nun weiß, Gutes zu tun, und tut es nicht, dem ist es Sünde. (Italian) Vi è adunque peccato a colui che sa fare il bene, e non lo fa. (Spanish?) A aquel, pues, que sabe hacer lo bueno y no lo hace, le es pecado.

Somehow, even in the languages I don't understand, I get the message. I am guilty of sin. No, I don't go out killing people, or committing adultery, and I don't make it a habit to lie or steal, or any of the sins we might think of as truly awful....but if I am honest with myself, I sin just the same. Just as my son sat in silent rebellion because he didn't want to make the effort that morning, I sit in rebellion when I do nothing. In school, we call it "defiance" when a student isn't doing anything particularly wrong, they just refuse to do what is right.

I really don't like the direction this blog is taking. I've gone from not obeying to sin to defiance. Actually, it's all the same, I guess I'm just finally recognizing it for what it is.....and to be honest, I don't like it.

How about you? What is it that God has shown you that He wants you to do and you sit there in the back seat silently nodding your affirmation all the while doing nothing? I heard it once said that if you didn't feel like God was speaking to you, perhaps it was because He is still waiting for you to do the last thing He told you to do. Is it possible that the deafening silence I hear is simply God waiting on my to obey what He's already shown me to do? Micah 6:8 " (NIV) "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."  (Message) "But he's already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It's quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don't take yourself too seriously— take God seriously."

The entire first part of Romans 12 gives further instructions. Then, of course, there is the kicker: 2 Chronicles 7:14 ~ "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." I've often recited this verse with emphasis on the humble and pray part - especially with the state our nation and economy seem to be in right now....but did you notice the second part, the "turn from their wicked ways" part? I've gone from disobeying, to defiance, to sin, to evil, to wicked - and it all started with a simple click.

I don't know what it is that God has shown you that you've nodded your head in affirmation to and then simply sat there, but I've got a few things on my own list. It's time to stop just sitting and nodding and "buckle up"....I have a feeling that when I do, it's going to be one exciting ride.

Have a great day - and buckle up my friend.

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