Thursday, July 14, 2011

Scary Words

The theme and content of this post came to me this morning as I was driving to work listening to my favorite radio station.  The song, I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin, was playing and i felt chill bumps up and down my arms as he led me into the presence of G-d.  As I was enjoying being in G-d's presence, my heart was trying to sing the words of this song in confidence but there was that niggling little fear that has driven me in my quest for G-d since I was 6 years old.  The fear that I will be found to lack the necessary credentials for heaven and eternity with the L-rd.  Here are the lyrics that I was struggling with:

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagle's wings
Before my G-d fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise

Will He call my name?  Will I rise with Him?

Have you ever read Matthew 7:21-23?  Do those words Yeshua spoke chill you?  Do you ever wonder who they apply to?  He says in verse 22 and 23:  Many will say to Me on that day, 'L-rd, L-rd, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'  And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

We can be deceived into believing we are on the road leading to life everlasting only to hear those words when we get to the pearly gates.  I don't want to hear those words.  Those are scary words to me.  Instead, I want to hear Yeshua say, "Well done thy good and faithful servant.  Enter into thy rest."

So how can we be sure we won't hear those words?  First of all, I don't think we can.  Hebrews 4:1 says "even though the promise of the rest remains, any one of us may be found to have fallen short of it."  But also remember Hebrews 11:1, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen."  My conclusion is the same as the author of Ecclesiastes where in vs 12:13 he says, "...when all has been heard ... fear G-d and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person."  What I am saying is that it is good to always be worried or concerned about staying and not straying from the path leading to life everlasting.  Serving G-d, walking with G-d, following G-d, is a daily struggle not a place to get to and relax.  We need to seek, seek, and seek with faith. 

G-d's feast days which are nestled in amongst His commandments as perpetual feasts are "speed bumps" on the path of life that force us to take stock of where we are at in our life and in our quest for G-d.  Even if we don't think about it on our own, if we keep His commandments and ultimately His feasts, we will be forced to think about the things He thinks are important.  Passover - remembering our deliverance.  First Fruits - His provision, His guarding, watching, keeping over us to take the first fruits of the harvest to heaven with Him.  Yom Kippur - atonement, repentance, confession, restoration.  Rosh Hashanah - a new beginning, an abundant harvest, a chance for another year complete with rain for our seeds in hopes for another abundant harvest.  I could go on and on. 

And remember the first commandment was actually a statement:  Exodus 20:2 "I am the L-rd your G-d, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery."  Do you think G-d brought you out of sin to let you die in the wilderness?  He brought you out to follow Him, obey Him, and love Him.  And Yeshua said if we keep the most important commandment we will be all right - love the L-rd your G-d, AND love your neighbor as yourself. 

Scary words are good words to hear.  If we heed them we use wisdom and can save our very life.  Quoting my favorite verse in scripture:  Deuteronomy 30:19 - This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now CHOOSE LIFE, so that you and your children may live.

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