“Warn those who are idle … (“Warn anyone who isn't living right” CEV) [1 Thessalonians 5:14] I have a saying when people ask me if I like my 2003 F-150 truck; I typically respond, “I love my truck, but the gas mileage is awful. I’ve figured out how to get it to coast downhill, now all I need to do is figure out how I can make it coast uphill!” Isn’t that true in our spiritual lives as well. We would have no problems if life was all downhill “i.e. gravity led!” But it isn’t …life has some pretty steep mountains to climb, and the spiritual transmission of our hearts must be engaged if we expect to make it up and over those mountains that stand between us and God’s promised land. Truth be told, no matter how hard you try, you can NEVER coast up a mountain (i.e. in neutral, “in idle mode”)! God’s Word in today’s text teaches us that we need to lovingly warn those who attempt to journey through life in neutral (“in idle”) …it will never work. You have to have your heart in gear to be able to climb the many mountains (trials, tests, challenges) which arise before us in the landscape of life. Yet so many today spend so much time trying to believe the enemy’s lie that you can get somewhere (‘journey by faith’) while your heart is “idle.” From Star Trek: The Next Generation series, Captain Jean Luke Picard famous command when it was time to warp from one place to another was “Engage!” And that is the same command God gives to every believer, “Engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth!” (John 4:23, The Message) Allow me the liberty to translate that – “Get your heart in gear (‘shift out of idle’) as you pursue after Jesus Christ (“Truth” John 14:6)!” That’s exactly what the Lord desires – that we pursue Him! 1 Peter 4:1 declares, “Pursue what God wants…” (TM) In Matthew 8:22, Jesus lovingly tells us, “Follow Me. Pursue Life! (John 14:6)” Deuteronomy 16:20 declares that we “pursue only what is right,” and 1 Timothy 6:11 explains in detail exactly what is ‘right’ - “Pursue a righteous (“godly” NLT) life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness (perseverance), courtesy." (TM) This righteous (godly) life cannot be pursued from hearts that are spiritually idle, for “idle” hearts are “idol” hearts that are in pursuit of anything other than Jesus Christ! Yep, you read that correctly – to pursue ANYTHING or ANYONE more than Christ is to be traveling the wrong way down life’s highway with idol hearts. In my “The One Year Worship the King” devotional this morning, Chris Tiegreen shared, “Be careful about what you (freely choose to) pursue … it will eventually define you!” Psalms 115:5 similarly tells us , “Those who make [idols] will be like them (i.e. will be defined by them), and so will all who trust in them.” So what are you pursuing today – if it is anything other than Jesus Christ, it is an idol … pure and simple! God tells us to pursue Him and Him alone! So shift your faith from “idle” to high gear in the spiritual quest toward becoming more like Christ every day … to do so promises to leave your “idols” sitting “idle” in the dust behind you! …Selah!
Today's Spirit-led video is by Worship & Praise artists Eden's Bridge (a Christian Celtic Worship & Praise Folk Band; spiritually 'ironic' this choice falls on St. Patrick's Day today!) and can be viewed by clicking on the on the song title, "Awesome God" (originally written by Rich Mullins) - G3 for God's beautiful and spirit-filled gift of ministry thru Christian music!