Take the Time

For God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification. Therefore he who rejects this doesn’t reject man, but God, who has also given his Holy Spirit to you.

But concerning brotherly love, you have no need that one write to you. For you yourselves are taught by God to love one another, for indeed you do it toward all the brothers who are in all Macedonia. But we exhort you, brothers, that you abound more and more; and that you make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, even as we instructed you; hat you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and may have need of nothing.        1 Thessalonians 4:7-12 (WEB)

Sanctification is one of those church words that means ‘to be made holy’. It is not about being religious but to be Godly. It is taking on the very nature of God. It is more than believing in God. It is choosing to be holy – because He is holy. I become less so God becomes more in my life. (John 3:30)

It is in this passage that Paul exhorts me to mind my life. I hear the echo of Jesus’ words to take care of the plank in my eye and quit fussing with the speck of dust in everyone around me. (Luke 6:41) It is daily time with God. There are no short cuts. I know that God has told me this over and over. I keep looking for a loophole! (Just keeping it real here!)

Each day, it is taking the time to be quiet in the morning and just listen. It is so easy to talk and talk to God about what is on my mind. It is easy to turn on praise music and sing and sing about God. It is much harder for me to be quiet and wait for God to speak. It is a discipline to pull in my wandering mind and choose to focus – to be still and know. (Psalm 46:10)

And then again at the end of the day, taking time again to be quiet and just listen. This is the time to hear God’s correction. It is not condemnation. If I fall asleep feeling depressed and guilty, then I have not allowed God to finish what He had to say. Jesus wants to make me better not beat me up. Jesus wants me to become more holy so that we can be closer. He does not want me to move away and carry my sins in a tote bag that gets heavier and heavier. If I am feeling weighed down, then I am holding on with my own strength to ‘stuff’ that is not mine to carry. If my sleep is not characterized with peace, then my time with Jesus is not on His schedule. Jesus wants to leave me with His peace no matter what is going on in my life. (John 14:27)

The days come and go. Weeks turn into months. Years fly by. And yet no matter the season of my life, Jesus is still there; has always been there. His comfort, His strength, His peace, His unconditional and never-ending love is still there. Whatever this day brings, I can count on God. Before I turn my mind to Him and call out to Him, He is already there. (Isaiah 65:24)

Take the time.

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