Thursday, January 28, 2010
WALKING AND PRAYING MY WAY TO ISRAEL (7)
Several years ago when were "church planters" in Illinois we were ask about certain words and phrases that were common to us in Arkansas, but sounded rather odd to our friends in northern Illinois. One such phrase was, "gettin ready." So often I would say to some of our mission attendees, "well I'm gettin ready to ....." You get the idea. One day Angela Callan, a full blood Italian, ask me, "Pastor Edwards, why is it that you are always getting ready to do something, why don't you just do it?" I really did not have an answer except just to say that it was one of those Arkansas idiosyncrasies.
The problem is there are a lot of folks getting ready to do something, but never get around to actually doing it. James says in
James 1: 22But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Have you noticed that there are industries that have grown up around the popularity of walking or jogging. There are sports store chains that specialize in the latest equipment for the avid walker. Now in order to make my point let us say I have this special friend who really wants to get into the walking craze. He goes out and buys the best walking shoes he can find. I ask him, "How do they feel when you walk?" He replies, "Oh, I have not walked in them yet, I am still getting ready, but don't you think they look great, and stylish, and comfortable?" "Yes," I say, "let me know how they work as soon as you start using them." I don't see him or hear from him for a couple of weeks. Then we cross paths at Walmart. "How are those shoes working out?" I ask. "Oh," he said, "let me show you what I have just purchased, "the latest in walking clothes." They are so comfortable, and I am told they will make my walking so much more rewarding. They are the right color, so it make them safer for me because drivers can see me at a greater distance." "Have you used them yet," I ask. "Oh, no, but I'm getting ready and I will let you know how they work out." I met him a few weeks later, and he was quick to show me some safety head gear. He was still getting ready. Later I met him and he showed me a magazine that was devoted exclusive to walkers and he assured me was really getting some good tips on how to make the most of his walks. It has been a year now, and he is still getting ready.
By The Way, folks do the same thing spiritually. They intend to get started walking with the Lord. They buy the most expensive leather backed, referenced, annotated Bible they can find. They look for a church that suits their musical taste, and look for a pastor that gives encouraging messages and humorous stories. They are just spectators, but they really intend to get involved one day really soon. Years later, they are still getting ready. the truth is, IF YOU WANT TO WALK WITH GOD YOU NEED TO START TODAY, AND HE WILL GET YOU READY.
I remember several years ago, witnessing to an elderly gentleman about his need to accept the Lord as Savior. He was 83 years old. Before I left him he told me he really wanted to accept Christ, but he was not quite ready, and as soon as he got things ready he would make his decision. In less than a year I was preaching his funeral. And to my knowledge he never got ready.
THOT: THE BEST TIME TO DO ANYTHING IS NOW