Thursday, November 10, 2011

To Do- Break the Chains

Hebrews 10:19-22
As I was reading today, I was thinking about all the times that I sat down in front of my bible, said my prayers and started to study. I also thought of all the times I failed to do just that. For me, personally, I need to be in His Word daily.  (I say personally, because my relationship with Jesus Christ and the needs I have are different than yours may be)
For many years, getting alone with God and having that quiet time was something that happened rarely- and my walk suffered for it. But it was not because I didn’t need it; it was because I didn’t always have time. All these things that I thought were important became first and alone time with my Lord and Savior went farther and farther down on my list. Today, I came across something that freed me from the condemnation that I was under. (Don’t you just love it when the Lord breaks chains?)
“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,” Hebrews 10:19 sang over me resonating with my soul.  You see, it’s not about how many times I pray, if I read my bible every day, it’s not about the “sacrifices” that I have made, it’s about the sacrifice of Christ. We can enter into the Holiest of Holies with a confidence, with freedom and without fear of judgment. Sometimes I get so caught up in “doing” the things I know I am “to do” that I forget the God who has already “done” it all for me. Our walk of faith is not a to do list, it is not, “I need to…read my bible every day at this time, pray at this time, fast on this day.” All these things are good and pleasing to God- but they are not want makes us Christians. Christ Jesus, His sacrifice for us- our faith in Him is what makes us Christians.
John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, except through Me.” He said it, and He meant it. It is not our “works” that make our faith strong; it is not our service that makes us right with God. It is Jesus Christ and Him crucified- simple.  Once again, I was reminded that it is not about me. I get so caught up in doing all the “right Christian things” that I forget the One who made me right- Jesus Christ.
So what am I saying to you all today? It is okay if you miss a day with the Lord, He is not condemning you for it (Romans 8:1) Did you forget to pray today? It is okay. 
I remember as a young mother that finding time alone with God was hard, let alone something that I could do every day. Some days I was lucky to get 10 minutes of time alone, let alone pray and study my bible. So what did I do? How did I stay in God’s word? I listened to preachers on the radio as I worked in my kitchen; I was given a Bible on CD and would listen to God’s Word in my car while sitting in the car pool lane. I cleaned my house with worship music playing. Being in God’s Word daily does not mean going to a desk with a chair and reading a few chapters, followed up by prayer. No, staying in God’s word means surrounding yourself with the things of God. This can come in many different forms, in many different ways.  
Hebrews 10 goes on to tell us that we are to “draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Being alone with God is important, and I do want to encourage you to find the time to do it- but if you can’t, then just draw near to Him with a true heart; a heart that is assured of His mercy and His love for you, no matter what you did or did not get done. He is not asking for your sacrifice, He has already taken care of that- He is asking that you draw near to Him, in whatever capacity or way that entails.  And to have that boldness in what Christ has done for you. You can’t hide anything from Him- He is God, He already knows. Speak freely with Him as you draw near to Him, be bold and confident, and be honest with God.
I hope that in some way, this encourages all of you today. Knowing that God is not asking for us “to do” but He is asking us to draw near, I hope this brings you peace and comfort, mercy and grace. May the Love of God be shed abroad in our hearts today, may we have boldness to enter into the Holiest of Holies, drawing near to God- wherever and however we can.