You are about to be let in on what I think about as I go to work each day. You didn’t know you wanted to know this, but, I promise, it will be eye-opening (I know my eyes are usually open by the time I get to work… usually, but not always).
As a local truck driver one of the first things I need to know is: what will I be driving? When I drove for a smaller company this was a non-issue, I had a rig that I used everyday. It was up to me to keep it clean and well maintained. Any straps or other items I needed were also my responsibility. But, now that I drive for a large company, I’m frequently in a different unit everyday. Sometimes I drive up to three different tractors pulling a total of up to eight different trailers on the same day. That leads me to have to rely on the previous driver to have done their part to make sure that piece of equipment is safe enough to drive. Burnt-out lights and flat tires are the most common problems I ‘ve encountered. Occasionally I take it straight to the shop and look for something else to drive.
The question I’m basically asking at that time is: ‘Do I have what it takes to get the job done?’ I need to have confidence that I can make my deliveries and get back in a safe and effective manner. I’ll occasionally overlook a minor irregularity if I feel that it won’t get any worse throughout the day.
Fluid levels are also important to check. If the oil level in the engine stays too low for too long the engine will stop working; coolant levels need to be an amount sufficient enough to keep the engine from overheating; and, of course, there needs to be enough fuel in the tanks to get me through the day. Overlooking any of these important things will be detrimental. I have had unforeseen incidences come up during the day that required being towed back in, but those were few.
So, why is this important information to you? These are similar questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to serving your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Do you have what it takes to get the job done that He asks you to do? Are you prepared to make it through your assignment today? Have you spent adequate quality quiet time with Him?
I remember being asked to read a certain amount of pages for an assignment in school. I would usually take that book, open it up to those pages and ‘read’ the required section. My eyes would scan the words while a small part of my brain picked up the words, but, a larger part of my brain would be focusing on other things: like how well our team was preparing for this week’s game; or one, or more, girls in school; or something other than what I was supposed to be focusing on. God deserves, and desires, much more than that. He seeks our total devotion and attention.
One year Bible reading plans have their place; I used that to get into the habit of daily Bible reading. I would prop open the Bible in front of me while I ate my breakfast; that way I fed my body and spirit at the same time. But, it’s like eating a steady diet of fast food; it’s nutritious fast food, but it doesn’t quench a thirsting soul. I completed the course between January 1 to December 31 once, just to say I did it. After that I would keep a bookmark at the place I read so I could read the next day’s section, paying no attention to the date printed at the top of the page.
That evolved (remember, I went to public school, so I can use that term) into reading the Bible from front to back with no set portion I ‘had’ to read for that day. Then, if a particular section is really speaking to me I can camp on that section and let God talk to me. If that means I only cover a couple of verses that’s fine; the quality time in the Word is much more important than the quantity of words read. That’s an important means God has used to prepare my heart for the writing ‘job’ He has assigned for me at this time in my life.
You see, the ‘equipment’ God has developed for us to use to reach a dying world is His Word, the Bible. The more effective I can be at using that equipment the better I can do my job. I shouldn’t rely on someone else’s knowledge of the Bible to prepare me for the assignment I’ve been given.
A sermon per week won’t cut it in the hand-to-hand combat situations that the Apostle Paul insinuates we’ll face in Ephesians 6:10-20 when he writes about the full armour of God that we must wear. The only offensive weapon he mentions that is available to us is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. I heard David Jeremiah explain that the original term for the ‘Word’ used here isn’t the entire Bible, but the part of the Bible we have hidden in our heart. That makes sense since that is the only useful part of the Bible we’ll be able to retrieve quickly.
The fact that Paul closes that section by mentioning prayer five times in the last three verses shows us the importance of that as well. Dialogue requires two-way communication: prayer is our way of talking to God; Bible reading is God’s primary way of communicating to us. Please develop both disciplines in your life, today. Then God will be able to give you His assignment to you in His time.
I’ll see you later. Wade