who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding. Listen,
for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My
mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.” (Proverb 8:5-8)
Over the years, we have drifted off course following our own inclinations and desires. Indeed, we have moved away from the Son – that is the Light and Who gives light. We have with glee basked in the dark nooks of disobedience only to end up losing our priorities. Today, God is calling us back to our senses, reminding us that He should be the centre of our attention and our attraction – for neither the world nor ourselves could fill this void.
By our actions, we had declared Him dead yet He is still seated upon His throne, ‘high and lifted up.’ He has not resigned His position so there is no vacancy. Everything on this earth, our every undertaking, has an expiry date. Nothing on this planet is meant to endure forever. However, we have succeeded in pushing Him out of our daily schedule of activities. We have come of age. But is that really the case?
The current state of affairs is intended to bring us back to the source. The further away we drift, the more likely we are to hit our heads against the wall. Whereas, the more we give our time, energy and resources to the Most High God, the more we will stay connected and nothing shall by any means harm us. We will be aware of who we are because we realise whose we are.
People around the globe have been arrested in their tracks to rethink the purpose for which God created the world. This was not the reason He sent His Son into the world. He came to destroy the works of the devil; we have chosen to cohabit and collaborate with him instead. When Jesus trod this earth, He gave us clear instructions of how to live. Humanity has devised other means more profitable for it and has set aside the ways of God.
The kind of person God delights in is the one who makes it a duty to worship him in spirit and in truth. Jesus made this clarification of who the true worshippers of His Father should be. “For a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23) Are we true worshippers? Do we worship with our hearts or with our lips? This lockdown is intended for us to re-examine our position with God. Are we genuine in our worship of Him? The Bible teaches that if we are lukewarm, He will spit us out. If there is one thing that we must not lose sight of, it is the fact that we must set our priorities right—particularly for those whose love for God has waxed cold. This is a window of opportunity to mend fences and put the kingdom of God first in all things – without any exception. We cannot afford to sideline God and still hope to triumph over adversity.
Asked which is the greatest commandment, Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37) Who can boast that she or he loves God this way? Some of us are a work in progress but most of us are lagging behind. Time is of the essence; we must put the kingdom of God first always. In comparison to the earthly things we desire, the Word of God admonishes: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things [earthly possessions] will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) Have we sought God and found Him? What did we do with Him afterwards? Too busy to spend time with His word? Isn’t that how we have behaved?
Have we loved our neighbours as ourselves? God wants us to love Him, yet He clearly stated that we cannot love Him if we have not learnt to love our fellowmen and women. “If anyone says I love God, yet hates his brother/sister he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother/sister, whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: whoever loves God must also love his brother/sister.” (1 John 4:20-21)
God declares unequivocally that He has plans for us; He spells it out: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Man has devised his own plans as if to say God ‘yours is too slow, I cannot wait.’ But who can better plan our lives than the One who created us? For this reason, humankind has fallen into the inextricable trap of greed, lust and materialism all combined. God says we must stop relying on the arm of flesh. “Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless.” (Psalm 60:11) “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:5)
We are reminded that “Unless the Lord builds the house the builders labour in vain.” (Psalm 127:1) Nothing that the Lord builds would crumble. Why wouldn’t we let Him build our lives up again? “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away, says the Lord.” (John 8:37b)
It is time that we fix our eyes on what is eternal rather than what is temporary. Banking on our material possessions will not save us nor would it assure us of eternal life. How we live this life will be a determining factor to where we will spend eternity. “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell.” (Mark 9:47)
The psalmist captures the picture very well when he wrote: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills; where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1)
It is time that we learn to set our priorities right on a daily basis, trust in God to see us through and not lean on our own understanding.
We cannot do anything right by our own strength and therefore must rely on the All-Powerful God. Our Lord Jesus warns that we must keep watch for we do not know when. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour” that the Son of Man (Jesus) will return to take us home. “For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) Watch therefore!