Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Thought

“Walk prudently when you go to the house of The Lord, and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know they do evil.  Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before The Lord.  For The Lord is in heaven, and you on earth.  Therefore let your words be few; for a dream comes through much activity, and a fool’s voice is known by his many words.”  Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 NKJV

One of the many things said to be destroying the Church from within is the consumerist mentality.  That is, we do not often attend worship for The Lord Himself.  Rather, we go – and have probably been so conditioned for a very long time – to get something from The Lord.  And if a particular church does not give us what we demand for ourselves, we slander the preacher and brand him/her a fool, and simply move to the next one … and the next one … and so on until we get what we demand.  Many leave churches claiming not to have been “fed”; but it must be observed that the “food” is being offered in abundance, but these consumers only want dessert.  So they refused to even sit at the table as the meal was offered.   

But what does the Teacher/Preacher (depending on the preferred translation) mean by walking “prudently” when entering the house of The Lord?  To be “prudent” is to be, among other things, “advisable”.  That is, we are encouraged to enter into the house of The Lord with a willingness to “be advised”.  What we get may not be at the top of our list of demands; but coming from The Lord through His Word, we can be sure it is what we need most desperately.  Faith, then, is a level of trust that what we need most is what we will get.  It may not fit our personally construed narrative, but we can be sure it is His narrative because this is exactly what we are being invited into: the New Covenant.

This is why “prudence” is of the utmost importance.  It is not unlike being hired for a job with a company.  That company has its policies, its requirements, and its expectations.  When we are hired, we are invited into an already-established narrative.  We should not expect that the company will suddenly change its long-standing practices to accommodate us only because we find ourselves unable to embrace the narrative as it stands.  Like the Covenant narrative, we are also free to walk away if we cannot – or will not – live into its terms.

Yet unlike the job which was very likely not so easy to get, the Covenant is an open invitation with no prerequisites!  There are indeed terms we must be willing to embrace and live into, but we need not worry about “impressing the Boss” because that Invitation was issued long ago with no requirements except an open willingness to be loved!  Yet if we already have our own terms set, our own demands listed, we cannot hear the invitation because we are too busy laying out our own desires.  We are not “advisable”.

To be perfectly honest, this is a very difficult kind of love to conceive of because we do not see much of it in our world, in our culture’s narrative – especially during election season!  Since we cannot see it and rarely experience it, it is hard to believe such a depth of love exists because we try to compare Divine Perfection with human imperfection.  Yet if we are willing to be “advisable” and fully open to such a possibility, The Lord assures us He will go to great lengths to make us aware and help us to experience this new life!  There is no action, there are no words on our part necessary to attain this Love because it is already given, and very freely so; but if we are too full of ourselves and our own demands, we cannot be “advised”.

“Be still and know I am The Lord”.  He beckons us in our humility and in our silence.  Do you get this??  “Be still” in the Scripture not only speaks of physical movement but also of speech.  “Be still”, our Lord says, “and just let Me love you”. 

The Lord is great, is He not?


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