Monday, January 5, 2009

I've Been Robbed

How you ever been robbed? Several years ago someone broke into our house and stole some of our belongings. How violated we felt. I am not talking about things this time. I am talking about a relationship. How interesting that I would relate being robbed of a relationship. However, for the past weeks, I have been somewhat unfocused. Alright, truthfully, the past 3 months.   As a Christian I have been going to church, singing the songs, saying the right things but there is something missing in my life.  It is an uneasy feeling, not a place I want to remain. What has changed in my life to cause me to feel this way especially after just celebrating one of the most important seasons of the year in the life of a Christian, Christmas. Hear me out.

Last week I was running from place to place in the car. It was not by chance that Chip Ingram was speaking on finding a time to be in the presence of God.  He talked about setting the alarm clock and getting up to start the day with God. I used to do this, and my relationship with God was, "Great." That was it. These past months I have allowed things to rob me of the one thing that brings fullness to my life.  As I reflect, these things included sickness, Thanksgiving, Christmas, wedding, YMCA, catching winter sales, and on and on yes, sleeping. Each morning I would awake, but not get up. Or I would get up later and try to read a few verses, then hurry to get somewhere else. We have busy lives. And interestingly enough, they are filled with things that are not bad in themselves, but things that prevent us from being obedient to God and rob us of spending time with God. 

Would I assert that we as Christians should make a list of "good" and "bad" things and set out to rob ourselves of anything that is fun or entertaining in life. Certainly not, Jesus did not. He participated in wedding feast, fished with the disciples, walked along the river side...but he did not forsake spending time with his Father, and was obedient to Him even unto death. 

Last evening Pastor Shane spoke to us about being obedient to God saying that partial or delayed obedience is disobedience. How true. And as he spoke, God began to remind me that I have been directly disobedient to Him. I had read the scripture, from Genesis 4:2, God told Cain, "But if you do not what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." In other words, if we do not recognize sin, and master it, it will have a foothold in our life. Did you get that, Sin is crouching at your door, waiting to robbing us of  the relationship we would have with our creator that ultimately brings us peace and fulfillment in this life. Think about that. Sin can come in any form. 

I love sleeping and laying in the bed, but I know that when I get up and give God the first fruit of the day, He is faithful to deliver me through the day. 1 Samuel 7:3 says, "If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods, ... and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines." In other word, He will restore you what has been robbed.

I get wrapped up in things of this world, and allow them to rob my time. Sometimes those things are "religious" things. WOW. What thing robbing God of you? I asked God to forgive me. I got up this morning as soon as the alarm went off as an act of obedience to him. So I am here spending time with God. He is speaking to me again, and I feel His presence. There is no such peace as being in the presence of God. When I finish, I will have time to grab a bowl of cereal before heading to the gym and then getting on with my day.

I love sleeping and laying in my bed, but I know that when I get up and give God the first fruit of the day, He is faithful to deliver us through the day. How easy is it for us to give up the things that rob us from experiencing God and his blessings. We complain about our circumstances but we refuse to be obedient to Him. Are you seeking guidance in a particular area of your life but it seems as though God is not listening? You may not receive an answer until you have acted on his previous directions.

Where are you in your life? Do you wrestle with getting up or is it something else that robs you of your relationship with God? Let me hear from you?