“I’m not sure I ever mentioned this to you before,” Stan said, “but I want to thank you for being ready to focus on what we have to talk about each time we get together.”
“You’re certainly welcome, Stan,” I replied, “but I’m not sure why you say that?”
“The fact you leave your cell phone turned off during our time together,” he responded.
Continuing, he added, “This came vividly to mind the other day when I was meeting with someone else who had said he wanted to get together to talk about his faith walk, but he was constantly looking at his phone. He said he was waiting for an urgent email, text message, or something like that.”
“That certainly can be distracting,” I commented.
‘You got that right,” Stan said. “Distracting and downright annoying! After the fellow did that several times, I told him to either look at the phone or talk with me, but he couldn’t do both.”
“How’d he take that?” I asked.
“He objected,” Stan replied, “but I was firm and told him I considered our time together to be important, but that if he thought that what he called an urgent email, text, or whatever should take priority, then that was his choice and that he could go do that somewhere else.”
“That was kind of tough wasn’t it?” I replied.
“Maybe,” Stan said, “but it’s in essence the same thing the Holy Spirit says to me all of the time.”
“When I’m confronted with the choice between what I think is urgent and what God thinks is important, I have to make a choice.”
“And,” he continued, “the Holy Spirit often shows me that what I call urgent is just another way of avoiding the first step of discipleship.”
“The first step of discipleship?” I asked. “You mean denying self?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “It’s like I exalt rather than deny self when I don’t consider what the Holy Spirit has for me to be always more important than something apart from Him that I call urgent. What I want apart from God, regardless of how urgent I call it, is to never outweigh what God has and wants for me.”
Bible verses to consider:
If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. Matthew 16:24-25.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when my time here is completed. Thank you, too, for all you have for me while you keep me on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I consider what I want to do apart from you to be more important than what you have for me to be and to do for you and your kingdom. Please forgive that foolishness. And please, Father, help me to follow every step of your lead so I always consider what you have for me to be of more importantance than anything I want to do apart from you. Lead me and help me to follow. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you made the decision to spend eternity in God’s presence when your time here is completed? If no, why? Do you not see it as urgent? Do not be deceived; it is urgent because you never know when your time here will be completed and it’s time to step into eternity. If you are a Christian, do you agree that there is nothing more important than being who and doing what God intends for you? Why or why not? If you sense the need for change in what you consider important or urgent apart from God, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?