Thursday, July 11, 2013

Are You Ready?

                Last night I found myself on my backside with a large bump on my head. A flight of stairs and I decided to get into a fight, and the stairs won. I was pretty shaken up and all alone. I had to call my husband and my daughter to come and help me. I was in excruciating pain. I prayed and asked the Lord to heal me, and also sent a quick text to my bestest sister in the Lord and asked for prayer. As I was lying down with ice on my back, I could feel the prayers taking hold. I was feeling much better by the time I went to bed.  I was able to walk, and able to move around without feeling like someone was slicing my spine with a knife.

But, as I lay down in my bed, a fear came over me about going to sleep. I have a pretty big knot on my head from where it slammed into the concrete, and pretty sure I had a mild concussion as a result.  I have heard so many stories about people hitting their head and am okay a few hours later, but in the morning they were gone, they had passed in their sleep. All these thoughts were racing through my mind as I tried to drift off to sleep. As I was fretting over whether or not to close my eyes I heard, “Are you afraid to die?”
                These words came over me in a rush. I had to stop and really think for a moment about that statement. I knew that the Lord has asked me this question, and He was waiting for an answer. I didn’t know what to say at first, was I afraid to die? I thought about my husband, my children, my family and all the things I want to still do, and knew that deep down; I was not ready to leave this earth. But, there was also this desire knowing that if and when I leave this earth I will be with Him forever. The question was not so much was I afraid to die; the question was more am I ready to be with Jesus forever.

                Most of us as Christians will say that we are waiting for the Lord to come back. Death means nothing to us, because  when we leave this earth we will be in heaven forever and before His throne singing and praising Him. But, what does our heart say? Our lips say it, but do our hearts follow? Are you ready to leave this earth? Are you ready to be with Jesus forever? Are you afraid to die?
                We live in a world that we can see, that we can taste, touch, smell and hear. But the place that Jesus is preparing for us we cannot see. Paul writes that we “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, and the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) Is our focus on the earthly, the temporary things of this world or are we truly focused on the eternal. Are we living for the eternal glory that is to come, or are we living in the moment, living in the things of this earth?
                I have been doing a study in the book of John and one of the things that the Lord has impressed upon me is that I need to be ready. I need to be ready for His return for me. It could be today, it could be tomorrow, it could be fifty years from now, but whatever the time, I need to be ready. Am I afraid to die because I am not ready to meet Him face to face? Are we ready to let go of the things of earth to embrace the glory of heaven which is to come?

                Psalm 90:12 asks the Lord to “teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” No man knows the hour in which the Lord will come to take him home. None of us know what the day will bring, but if our faith is in Jesus Christ, then no matter what happens we will be ready.  We need to make each moment, each day count for the Lord. We need to be ready to leave this earth at a moment’s notice, not leaving with regrets of “should have done this” or “wished I would never have done that”. But in all sincerity of heart making each day full of one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to live each day pleasing the Lord. Can we say with Paul, that “we are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and present with the Lord”? (2 Corinthians 5:8)
                Paul also tells us that it is his aim “whether absent or present, to be well pleasing to Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:9) We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and give an account of our lives to Him. Have we lived each day before the Lord with the desire to please Him or to please ourselves? If the Lord Jesus called you home today, would you be ready to face Him? Would you be ready to say that you have “fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith”? (2 Timothy 4:7) Maybe you are, maybe you are not. We need to search our hearts and seek the Lord for His wisdom, not only to teach us to number our days and be thankful for what we have been given, but also for His wisdom to please Him in all that we do, every moment of every day that we may have left.

                Are you ready to leave this earth? If not, then perhaps we should search our hearts and find out the reason why. Maybe you have some unfinished business, some relationships that need restoration and forgiveness; perhaps you are not living the life you know God desires you to live. Saying we are ready to go home to heaven, and meaning it with all our hearts are two very different things. We must say it and we must mean it. We must say it and we must act it out. For we do live not for ourselves but for Jesus Christ, who gave Himself so that when the day comes we will be ready to be with Him in heaven forever and ever. Are you ready?