Friday, June 23, 2017
Most of us can own up to the fact that knowing what God wants us to do in most situations is not a difficult thing. The difficulty is not usually in the knowing, but in the doing. One of my favorite real life stories is told by a preacher friend who went through the racial struggles of this region back in another day and was told by a parishioner, "Preacher, I know what to do. I just ain't ready to do it yet." Who among us has not stood in the midst of some issue of our own life and knew those words to be words guiding us in the moment. Sometimes we simply do not pay attention to what we know.
In that book of sermons, "The Essential Works of Charles Spurgeon," I took my underlining pen to some Spurgeon words, "God has given us His commands...but we do not pay any attention to them...When we realize we have been disrespecting God all the time, we are covered with shame and humiliation because we have not heeded Him." His words take us into a different way of thinking about doing what we know is right to do. When we choose to do not what we know to do, it is not only disobedient, but it is also disrespectful. One thing taught by my elders was to be respectful of others.
To think that I would be disrespectful of Jesus is something which grieves the heart. It is one thing for someone to choose to disregard what we say, but to be ignored is an even worse thing. When we know the right thing to do and choose it not, we are living as if Jesus was not even in the room. While He stands present with us, we pay Him no attention at all. It is no wonder Spurgeon spoke of shame and humiliation for such is what we have felt in those moments of disobeying and disrespecting Jesus. "Lord, forgive me...and have mercy."