Mark 4:21-25: Lamp on a Stand
It appears to me, Jesus is issuing a warning to His disciples and to us. The Good News is here and even though it is being revealed privately at first, it cannot be contained and it is going to be heard. We need to proactively hear the News and then apply and then … go back and get some more.
Back in 2007 when I started this blog, it was intended to be a training journal and now that I have revived it from near extinction, it still is journal of sorts. From January to April of 2008 I trained consistently to overcome years of neglect with the hope of improving my physical form. In actuality, I was trying to shake this mid-life cloud of discontent that had settled into my heart. My goal however was to run 26.2 miles. Training included short early morning runs and weekend long team runs. The blog allowed me to share my adventure and share the things that God was showing me through the process. On the surface, it seemed that I this was just the ticket to get me back on track. It did not take long after the marathon to find that I had missed something significant.
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—” (2 Cor 13:5)
My blog entries were filled with scripture and encouraging thoughts. I was actually picking up that bible more than I had in years so obviously I must have been growing stronger in my faith … right? In retrospect, I can see that it was all a bit of sham. I was pulling out scriptures I already knew and applying them as best I could to the situation at hand. After all, I had been a Christian for over 20 years. I had a wealth of knowledge to draw upon. The whole thing was an act of pride. I never examined myself and was not chasing after God. It acceptance from others that I was chasing. Once the race was over, I fell deeper into the abyss.
We are not camels. Most runners that fail to finish long races can trace the problem back to dehydration or some nutritional deficiency. Even if one is well hydrated before a race, the race itself depletes more than our bodies store. Over the years, my live has had periods of great spiritual growth; times when I could not get enough of the Lord. It is a great mistake to think that once we find salvation, put some Jesus into our lives, and take an occasional drink of Living Water that we can just coast to the finish line. If I am not continually, dropping my bucket deep into the well and drinking regularly of that Water, I cannot hope to finish the race strong.
Yes, I know Jesus … but not enough. What makes me think that I do not need to experience more of Him? The truth is, that I need more of Him and that if I do not seek him continually with all of my heart, I might find myself as the one who has not and ” even what he has will be taken away.”
“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.” (Rev 3:15-18)
“Don’t let your special character and values,
the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth
– don’t let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.”