The Urgency of This Moment

 
“Johnny Quick”

 “We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.”

John 9:4, NLT

To be quick means that we move very fast; being slow often implies a reluctance or a mental delay.  To hesitate while doing God’s will for us suggests a degree of ignorance or stubbornness.  Our quickness is to be seen while doing “the tasks assigned to us.”

Urgency should be woven into our hearts.  We need to have wings on our feet, a fleetness and an alacrity.  A “double-eagerness” as we carry out His work.  It should be of no surprise that God sets before us an itinerary of work He wants us to do.

So many brothers and sisters sleepwalk through their salvation. They snooze when Jesus desires they “watch and pray” with Him.

Jesus was on a  timetable. He communicated a need of doing.  He is in tune with the work of God, and is involved in the urgency of his present moment.  Jesus knows this, and he clearly communicates the need to do.  We are not called to be manic for Jesus; we are expected to be alert and aware.

This is a cry for urgency to his disciples.

“The night is coming.”  It is getting late.  In response Jesus issues an order.  Work at what the Father has assigned you.  It is almost dark now.  There is a “principle of spiritual velocity” calling us to an alertness and an awareness of needful things to do before “the time is up.”

In Acts 9 the disciples show a holy zeal in their day’s work.  We can’t stop speaking what we have seen and heard.”  The Old Testament prophets carried this urgency–Jeremiah and Amos both declared to us this avidity placed on the believer.  Jesus desires that we factor in this concentrated awareness of the approaching night.

I recently read of an evangelist in the last century.  He had a watch made, and on the dial he had a picture of a setting sun.  And over it, the words, “the night comes.”  Everytime he would look at his watch he would be reminded of the shortness of life and the need of the performance of his duty.  That lesson should be transmitted to each zealous believer.

The key word I guess, in all of this, is zeal.  And often the older we get the more this word becomes diminished, and distant.  (I believe our Father understands this about us.) No matter what we do, He focuses His love on us.  There will never be a condemnation on us.  But we can still waste away our lives in a tragic way, which we will later regret. 

But we have to ask ourselves this, will I just be an admirer, or can I become a zealous disciple of Christ?

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Some Effort is Required

Effort is Needed

Search for the Lord and for his strength;
      continually seek him. 

1 Chronicles 16:11

 

Sometimes, I think a day off would be really nice.  Employers typically grant two weeks off every year.  That seems equitable and fair.  At one stint, I worked in the corporate world.  Days off are treated as if they were gold.

This verse is saturated with responsiblity–our responsibility.  To search implies definite effort.  I lose my keys, quite often.  I start a search– an investigation, to find them.  I inevitably turn the house upside-down.  They have to be somewhere! (Typically I find them in my pants in the hamper.)

But to be a searcher after God requires continual effort.  He reveals Himself to me, but I never truly apprehend Him.  He makes Himself known, but He is unknowable.  It’s not quite the treadmill, because we do encounter Him.  It’s just that we can’t pin Him down or put Him in a neat little box.

We are told that we need to hunt for His strength.  Receiving strength is never a passive thing.  This generation that I’m part of is inflicted with this contagion.  We are essentially a very  apathetic people.  It goes against our grain when we step toward the Lord.

This verse ends with “continually seek Him”.  We must put effort into this endeavour.  For many, Christianity is pretty much a release from this.  We come to Jesus, and we want to rest.  But we are confused, our discipleship is going to be an effort.  Does your walk make you work; does it make you sweat?