Sunday, April 24, 2011

Serving Leftovers To a Holy God: My Time

First things first: there will be little-to-no spiritual growth in one's life without reading The Bible on a regular basis. Books by christian authors are great and have their place, but nothing will replace The Bible. Yes, these books enlighten and inspire; The Word of God brings life. When Jesus said He was sending The Holy Spirit after His ascension He said it was to our advantage that He go away and The Holy Spirit come. Think about that for a moment: to our advantage that Jesus go away! How is that possible?! Jesus, as both fully God and fully man, could only be in one place at one time. The Holy Spirit, fully God and not constrained by human boundaries, can be in all places at once. Jesus called Him the Comforter, the Helper, the Counselor. While I'm reading my Bible in England and the Holy Spirit is shining the light of Truth into my heart on a particular passage, He's doing the same thing for Heather in Oregon on a different passage. What a miraculous and beautiful grace our God has for us! He truly has provided all we need for life and godliness!
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1:3 NLT)
That said, Crazy Love by Francis Chan is a must-read for any christian feeling the tug of the Holy Spirit towards a Christ-centered life rather than a self-centered life. There's a reason it's been on best sellers lists for so long! I believe that this book accurately represents the Movement of Discomfort among God's people.

Chapter 5 is titled "Serving Leftovers To a Holy God" and is worth a read, even now. Click HERE for a link to the chapter, reprinted with permission.

For years I gave God leftovers and felt no shame. I simply took my eyes off Scripture and instead compared myself to others. The bones I threw at God had more meat on them than the bones others threw, so I figured I was doing fine. ~Francis Chan, Crazy Love

Hm. Yep. That's me in most areas of my life. Maybe all areas. The one I am thinking about today is my time.

When I was a kid there was a song by Larnelle Harris that always ran through my head, the lyrics being a message from God and went something like:

I miss my time with you, those moments together. I long to be with you each day and it hurts me when you say you're too busy. Too busy trying to serve Me. But how can you serve Me when your spirit's empty? There's a longing in My heart, a longing for more than just a part of you. It's true, I miss My time with you.

Even now, more than 20 years later, that song runs through my head sometimes and continues to convict me. It was the background music in my head as yesterday my pastor (the amazing Pastor Ken!) referenced Malachi 1:8 and asked bluntly "What sacrifices are you bringing to The Lord?"

Instantly I thought of my time. The Holy Spirit has been calling me to early morning prayer and Bible study for literally years. This is almost laughable when you know me-- I'm usually very sleepy as it is! The very thought of leaving my bed early is actually quite absurd-- but so was the thought of the King and Creator of the universe dying as a human on a splintered cross. Is heeding the call of my 5 am alarm really, truly that absurd?!

But my humanity cries out "No!" I have at least 5 reasons on any given day not to roll out of bed; or worse, not to even set my alarm before bed. It's not essential to my salvation. Plenty of very godly people have devotions at more convenient times. Why would God want me to be tired all day? I'm already getting by spiritually on a fairly healthy level.

It's called sacrifice for a reason. God asks for a "tithe" and the "first fruits" for a reason. The Holy Spirit is calling me for a reason. It's time I find out how my life looks when I obey. And so I post it here: as both a confession and a challenge. Now that it's out there and out of my head, I can deal with it. And you can hold me accountable.

My challenge for you today: in what areas are you serving our Holy God leftovers?

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4 comments:

  1. I love your post, Reese! So glad you're back~for now:)
    What you say here and in the previous post is so true. I am often convicted of exactly what you're talking about.
    I haven't read Francis Chan's book, although Vince has and we own it. I keep wanting to though and hopefully will soon.

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  2. Robert enjoyed this Chan book and has also read the other one. I still need to read them. He has another one he wants me to read first (actually two!).

    What an awesome post!

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  3. Francis does a wonderful job of motivating and inspiring the reader to really look at their life and focus on the important issues of being a Christian. We can be so weighed down by the world that we don't even know that our daily attitude and outlook is tainted. Francis reminds us of God's Word and commandments to us to follow Christ with our whole heart. A challenging, truthful, and thought out book that can change your life if you're honest with yourself.

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