from Lynda Lindsey
Reading: Luke 21:34; Psalm 17; Job 1:1-22
Lent: A Journey to the Cross
The King Is Coming; Prepare Ye the Way
Stay Physically, Spiritually Fit on the Journey
Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap… Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man. Luke 21:34-36.
I have resolved that my mouth will not sin. As for the deeds of men—-by the word of our lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent. My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped. Psalm 17:3b-5 Job, cries out to God in worship after profound, overwhelming losses: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21).
It is well known that physical fitness trainers and coaches are hired to help Olympic contestants prepare for competition. However it would be rare to win, or even do well, with a negative, defeatist mindset. Thus athletes may choose to hire life coaches who help the athlete work through his fears, mind-blocks, and negative self talk. Essentially life coaches train the athlete’s mind and emotions for success. Olympic contenders know in advance the dates for the games and train accordingly. Christ followers have the unique challenge of preparing for Christ’s return without that advance knowledge! How much more important then to live carefully and diligently, being on guard so the day won’t catch us by surprise. David made a resolve to stay pure. A resolve is to determine in advance what one’s behavior will be before calamity or temptation or hard times come. It is wise to resolve, and rehearse in advance, a predetermined course of action. Waiting until the crisis is upon us is foolish.
Job, a blameless and upright man, feared God and shunned evil. Job even made sacrifices for his children in case they sinned unknowingly. Job’s resolve to bring God glory regardless of the circumstances, is revealed when an onslaught of tragedies causes Job to lose everything he held dear. Job cries out in worship to God, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Responses of that kind come only as one leans into, and appropriates God’s character, before the tsunami wave forms!
Stay physically and spiritually fit on the journey. Train well: Know and love God. Know his Word. Stay in community. Pray. Watch. Live carefully. Guard your heart. Resolve to stay pure. Don’t swerve off God’s path. Be diligent. The King is coming…be prepared!