Thursday, April 2, 2009

Are You Ready?

I like to think that I stay in a perpetual state of preparedness, but I am not always as prepared as I would like to be. My son in law, who is a US Marine, is trained to be prepared.  I love that about him. He is trained to be prepared for the unexpected as well as the expected.  The thing about being prepared is that it takes training. j He will fly his cross country flight this weekend and he would not be going unless he was fully prepared for the basic flight to Tuscaloosa.  
There was a friend in Colorado who was the epitome of preparedness.  If you invited Bill Perrault on a trip you could rest assure that if you forgot something he had it, in different sizes, colors and enough to outfit an entire group of 12.  We love that about him.  It may not be your size, but when you are standing on the side of a 14,000 foot mountain and a sudden blizzard blew through, you are not looking for fashion statements.  I would want him to be my partner on the Amazing Race.  
God prepares the way for us.  He is so wonderful to show us the way, to go before us and make a way where there seems to be no way.  This week I posted a vlog on YouTube call Isaiah Sanchez.  It is all about how God makes a way, prepares the way and guides the way so that His glory can shine in us.  
While I was in Houston this past week I was given an opportunity to pray for someone but not in the usual way.  My sister and I were having dinner at Carrabas with a friend of hers we both have known for years.  We were discussing the Lord, her lecture she was preparing to give the next day to her bible study and what God was doing in all our lives.  I went to the restroom during the course of dinner and something that doesn't usually take place in a restroom happened to me.  As I came out to wash my hands, a woman was standing there digging in her purse and greeted me not with hello, not with how are you doing, not with any kind of greeting, but with a question.  She asked, " Will you please pray for me"? As I began to wash my hands I said "of course I would be happy to, what do you need me to pray for"?  She said, "please pray that I would not choke on my food".  She repeated it over and over and over.  I said ok as I took her hand in mine and asked her her name.  I said, "Let's pray right now, right here".  She pulled her hand a little as if to pull it back, and I wasn't letting go, so she retreated back into my hand and said, "ok".  So I prayed for her.  Then when we were done she asked if I would ask my family to pray for her not to choke on her food.  I said I would.  Considering I think of you all as family I ask that whenever you think of her, Mary B, that you would lift her up.  I left with an excitement that God would use me to help her in some way.
Are we ready?  Are we ready to "give an answer in season and out of season" as God asks us to be?  2 Timothy 4:1-5 says," In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.  But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry".  How are we living up to this charge? How do we prepare ourselves daily to meet, greet and receive the gifts He has placed in each one of us to preach, to minister, to rebuke, and to encourage?  We get prepared when we fall on our knees everyday, claiming His glory, His righteousness and His mercy to shine in us.  I won't deny this is a daily, sometimes minute by minute thing I ask the Lord to work on in me.  Christ in me, Christ for me, Christ through me every step of the way.  I must prepare myself the way of the Lord and the way for the Lord to use me in manners that are not my own.  Eph. 4:12  "to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ".  Do we notice that verse is telling us we are a work in progress?  As we progress and press on toward the fullness of God in the knowledge of Christ as He prepares us in season and out of season to give an answer to a fallen world.  Get ready, fall on your knees and receive His love as He prepares our heart.

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