Going DeeperMay 15, 2019
May 8: The Faith to PersevereMay 29, 2019
Imagine Satan meeting with three young demons as they set out on their first job assignments. He asks each what their strategy will be.
The first says, “I will tell them there is no Hell.”
The second says, “I will tell them there is no Heaven.”
To each Satan responds, “That won’t work. Deep down inside they know better.”
But the third young demon says proudly, “I’m going to tell them there is no hurry.”
Satan beams and enthusiastically declares, “You will get millions that way!”
Last week we pictured a scene at the beach. People are napping, throwing the Frisbee, splashing about in the shallow water, all the way to snorkeling and even deep sea diving.
I’m sure you have experienced this yourself. I would guess at some point you have tried to convince a friend or family member to join you in the fun. You likely said something like:
“Come on, you’ve got to try this. You will be amazed at what you can see! You’re missing it.”
I am just as sure you have both heard, as well as said yourself:
“I’m okay right here. I’m doing just fine.”
Or … “I’m too busy right now.” Or … “I’ll get to that later.”
Now let’s suppose the deep water diving is what God wants for you. It is, you should know. But you don’t really care. You’re busy. You’re distracted by too many … not even close to truly important … activities.
You would say you care, you would even declare that you care, but come on, “If it’s important to you, you will make it happen. If it’s not, you will make excuses.”
Jesus told a story about a man who wanted to throw a huge, over-the-top banquet, replete with the finest of foods and drink. A gala not to be equaled, and surely not to be missed.
“A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’” (Luke 14:16ff)
Sounds a bit like our beach scene, doesn’t it?
But listen to what Jesus says next: “But they all alike began to make excuses” … all in essence saying, “I’ll get to that later.”
God’s blunt response to their excuses may surprise you: “I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.”
Jesus is telling us, he is telling you, that his Father doesn’t appreciate you taking his invitation lightly. He is not interested in your excuses. Even more, he is angered by your lack of interest … by your lukewarm attitude.
Yes, angered. (That may sting a bit, and if it does, let it.)
Jesus is calling you to a deeper relationship. He wants you to know him. He wants you to know his Father. The deeper you go, the more his world and his kingdom will open up to you.
I close with God’s own invitation to you:
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you Holy Spirit energy and clarity, so that you may know him better. … so that you may know the riches of his glorious inheritance for those who dig deeper, and his incomparably great power for those who surrender their lives to him. (Ephesians 1:17-19 Sam’s paraphrase)
Note to all who read Oswald Chambers daily devotion “My Utmost for His Highest:” We have put together a podcast of 3 minute summaries of each daily devotion.
If you go to “Understanding Oswald” in Podcasts, you can sign up for it.
It is also on our www.721ministries.org website.