It continually blows my mind how He speaks to me. I’m cruising along doing something and BAM! Sometimes, it’s like a smack upside my head. Other times, it’s a soft, small voice in my heart. Either way, I am learning to recognize His voice. This is really cool for me because I haven’t always been able to recognize His voice. I haven’t always been able to hear Him and I have often not done what He says to do. The other day, I was sitting in my office at home, reading the Bible, praying…just spending some time with Him. I was reading in Luke chapter 6. Then, it hit me. The words jumped off the page at me. I could hear His voice in my heart speaking.
Luke 6:46, “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?”
I visibly flinched. It stopped me in my proverbial tracks. I just sat back in my chair and started shaking my head, mostly to try to shake away the tears that had just started and were now flowing down my cheeks. I could hear the love in His voice, the disappointment in His question. “Why do you call me Lord and don’t do what I say, Scott?” I remember just putting my head in my hands and crying, saying “I’m sorry, Jesus. I’m sorry I’ve failed you. I’m sorry that I’m a hypocrite. I’m so sorry.”
Then, He began to love on me. He began to dry my tears. “Stop condemning yourself! That is not your place anymore. I don’t condemn you and I’m not angry at you. I know you can’t do this alone, I’m not asking you to. Let me help you. Stop trying to do this on your own. All I want you to do is love me, follow me. I will show you the rest when you’re ready. For now, just follow.”
I could hear the fire of His passion for me in the sound of His voice, His presence pushing into my heart, His embrace that would not let go of me. Then, He began to speak to me of His word. “This is how you will know. This is how you live. This is how you do what I say. You must know Me to follow Me. You cannot know My heart for you without this book. All the answers to all your questions are found here. You already know that. Now you have to follow. You have to choose holiness. You have to choose submission. Choose Me.”
And I was again overwhelmed by His love for me, His holiness, His perfection. I realized that I’m not taking this idea of following Him seriously enough. Jesus wasn’t kidding around when He came here to save us. He wasn’t kidding around when He said ‘Be perfect’. He wasn’t joking when He said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your strength.’ He wasn’t kidding.
I am deeply convicted of my lack of effort in this area of my life. Holiness is not an option. If we claim the name of Christ, holiness is not an option. See, it’s my responsibility to seek, ask and knock. He’s not going to break my door down. I must pursue Him, His heart, His holiness as much as He pursues me. I have failed Him miserably and I know that there will continue to be times that I will fail.
But, I also know that He will pick me up when I fall, dust me off and get me back in the fight. There is effort, discipline required on my part. He’s not going to do it for me but He will be there to help me, show me, walk with me!
One of the reasons I think that the lost of the world doesn’t want anything to do with our faith, with Jesus is because we have trivialized holiness. We have reduced Jesus to a slogan, a t-shirt, a ‘be good’ mantra. The message of Jesus is so much more and goes so much deeper. The message of Jesus goes after the heart and how we live our lives.
Again, He asks me and He asks you, “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?”