Monday, August 30, 2010
Taking things for granted!
I always find the holiday season something of a difficult time. Don't get me wrong, it's lovely to go away and relax and as the Bible reminds us rest is a commandment! However, it's very easy with a break in routine to forget to do those things which are essential and consequently to take the things that matter for granted. In addition, in many Salvation Army Corps August signals the postponement of all weekly activities which obviously leads to less fellowship with other believers. Together these two ingredients, a disjointed and a irregular quiet time and a lack of accountability, can become a dangerous mix.
I remember reading somewhere (I think it might have been in "mere Christianity" by CS Lewis-although I'm not sure) that one of the devil's greatest and most potent weapons is "normal life". In other words, watching the television, interacting with friends, lying on the beach, going out for meals, playing with the kids, going to the cinema etc can (although all these activities are innocent in themselves) distract us from that essential dependence on Christ which is critical to all effective Christians.
This dangerous complacency can (and will if left unchecked) distance us from Christ and his will for our lives and endanger our effectiveness and even ultimately threaten our personal salvation. Not only do we stop praying and spending time with the word of God we also begin to take for granted the blessings which he has given us - blessings which should be treasured.
Job was a God-fearing and conscientious believer who, when he found himself bereft of family, friends, wealth, status and health, was able to say with absolute confidence "even if he kills me yet will I trust in him." This irrepressible faith does not come to us by chance but is the result of a determined, passionate and disciplined effort to maintain "contact with the life giver."
God has given me so much; a beautiful wife, sensible children, a fulfilling vocation, a nice home, money in the bank, good health... to be honest my blessings are too many to number. Yet I have been guilty over the last few weeks of taking them all for granted and also of neglecting God's Word. Today is the last day of our holiday and I thank God for bringing this dangerous slip into complacency to my attention.
Thank you Father for your grace and patience, for your constant and undeserved love and for the power which is able to keep me free from sin, forgive me for taking these and so many other blessings for granted and for neglecting to spend time in your presence. Amen.