Thursday, May 15, 2008

Take It To the Curb

We've been studying the book of James, chapters 4 and 5 this week. Accordingly, the lessons in my life have dealt directly with being worldly; preferring the things of the world rather than waiting on God, and looking to things to secure my heart in trials instead of embracing the test in perseverance - life applications of all the things we are learning about in James. In my daily dealings with these lessons and their personal application to how I live, none of these worldly 'things' satisfied or gratified, of course. In fact, I was left feeling much emptier that before. (I have much to say yet about being worldly, as I perfected the practice again this weekend. But I will write more about that later. This is more pressing.) Now that I've been cleansed of my most recently revealed faults and redirected by His Word, thankfully, I am ready to encourage you about, well, being ready! So, what do we do when the Lord graciously shows you your weeds and brambles?

Well, what do you do the night before trash day? You go around your home collecting all that is in each waste basket to toss it into the big street can for the pick-up scheduled in the morning. You prepare. You do it the night before, while you have time, so your trash will be ready and your can will be found at the curb when the trash men come around. You also do it so you can rest, knowing it's been done. In preparation, you go around gathering all that has been tossed out or laid aside during your daily comings and goings. All that you don't want to keep, all that you want to be without, all that has no use. These are the things, like our sins, our wickedness, or worldliness and our pride that we want to have taken away. These are the thorns that choke out the Word and make it fruitless. These are the things that we need to toss out and take it to the curb as soon as it is revealed to us. Really that is our part in this growing and living. Recognize that which is in us that needs to be discarded when the Lord reveals it to you and gladly throw it out! Let it go, see it for what it isn't and remove it. Put it in the bag, put the bag in the can and take it to the street ahead of time.

Isa 30:22 Then you will destroy all your silver idols and gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags. "Ugh!" you will say to them. "Begone!"

Isa 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.

Get rid of it while the Godly sorrow of the sin is still fresh. Be cleansed and freed. Find rest. Because what happens if we miss the trash truck? Or what do we do when we forgot the night before and now hear the truck barreling down the street toward our house? We frantically try to get the can to the road before they come by! We don't want all that garbage sitting in the can, rotting, until the next collection day, even if it's only 3 days away! Quick! We forgot the trash!

Rev 22:7 "Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the prophecy written in this scroll."

Luk 12:35

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,

Luk 12:36

like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.

Luk 12:37

It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.

This is just a picture of what it will be like when Jesus comes again. We must prepare, just like we do each week with our trash. It is a simple example, something we all do, every week. Something that needs to be done as much spiritually as it does physically, except, we won't have time to collect all the spiritual garbage that has been revealed to us when He has come to collect us. All those filthy things that we choose to live among, as if we have plenty of time to gather it and discard it, will still be lying around not ready to be taken away. There won't be time to get it all in the can and the can to the street. He is here! Be ready. Be prepared. If the Lord's Word reveals some thing in your heart that is not beneficial, or hinders your race, take it to the curb. Repent of it, ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse you of it and throw it away.

1Jo 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.

Have it out of your house, out of your heart. Move onto the next day's preparation knowing that all that you collected today has been removed, and you are cleansed if you have asked Him to cleanse you. Thank You Lord!

Jam 4:10 When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor.

Thank you, Lord. All that you have shown me, all that I need to recognize as garbage and useless, even defiling, I gladly throw it away and ask You to take it away that I might be ready when you come again. On to the next thing Lord. May I remember this lesson well. May I be ready when you come again, this time to collect me.