Tuesday, January 15, 2008

One step away from something.

This Saturday, we’re having a few dozen people over for a night of worship at my house. I’ve invited folks that read the blogs, friends from church and some random people. As the day gets closer, I find myself really tempted to perform for God this week.

Now I’m not saying that there’s not ample opportunity to really drink some poison. By this I mean I could give into some temptation. Put some junk into my head that makes me feel like a hypocrite up there on Saturday night and just throw some trash on the whole situation. But beyond believing I need to be cautious, I really want to do “extra good” for God this week so he blesses me.

That’s a weird thing when you think about it. I mean I didn’t do a whole lot for grace. I gave my heart to God and confessed my need for him, but I didn’t go to the cross. I didn’t sweat blood. I wasn’t whipped or beaten. I prayed a prayer.

So for me to think that I can earn a blessing goes against the whole system God has set up. It’s like if someone gave you a million free milkshakes and then you asked them, in all seriousness, how much they were going to charge you for the next one. It doesn’t make sense.

One of my favorite examples of how difficult life can be even when you’re in the path of God is David. When he was on the run from King Saul who wanted him dead, there is little doubt he was in God’s hand. He was doing God’s will. He was living for the Lord. And here is how he summarized his life in 1 Samuel 20:3:

“Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.”

David was close to God. He wasn’t living in sin. It wasn’t failure that got him in that position. He was in that position because God loved him. God was with him, and he was a razor thin moment away from death. One step is all he had. But as far as God was concerned, that was all he needed.

I hopefully won’t be one step away from death when I read one of the pieces I’m writing for Saturday night, but maybe it won’t feel like being amazingly blessed. Maybe it will feel like throwing up, maybe I’ll say to my friend Jeff, “Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and puke.”

But regardless of what happens, I won’t judge God’s love for me based on the outcome of the night. Near death, far away from death, he is love.


Abby said...

I know what you mean about performing for God--thinking you have to earn grace. When I got baptized two years ago, I wanted my testimony to be perfect for God;I wanted him to feel blessed. As the Sunday drew nearer, I felt like puking because I had written nada. One night, sitting at my computer, I just told God I didn't know what to write. I wouldn't be able to thank him in front of all those people. God came through and it's like the testimony wrote itself. I didn't need notes that Sunday and I spoke for almost 7 minutes. I still have people who come up to me and tell me how my testimony blessed them. It was all the Holy Spirit. And it will be the Holy Spirit for you on Saturday. Just hand over that loving, willing heart of yours. Like David.

robyn collins said...

wish i could be there to see you not puke. or puke... whatever gives God the most glory - i call it praying with the asterisk, you know, you pray for what you want, but you always have to have the *... this is

Dear God, what i want to happen is this*:

this*= i want this, but whatever you think is best is what i really really want...

praying for God's will on that night, knowing that you're already bringing Him so much glory every day - I'm just grateful to be in the crossfire....