How many of us, when the alarm clock goes off in the morning, either hit snooze or dismiss? If we’re honest, almost each and every one of us hears the alarm go off and hits whatever button will make it stop going off, but continue to lay in bed. Rarely allow it to do it’s job, to wake us up from our slumber. Then there’s the ever persistent biological clock. You know the one. When you wake up two to three hours before you want to and insist on laying in bed until the last possible minute despite whether you are sleeping or not. We lay there cursing our mind or body for being too active to be able to go back to sleep, when honestly, it’s just our body’s way of saying we’ve had enough rest and sleep.
Now, lets apply this to our spiritual walk. How many times do we sit in church, listen to the message, agree with what is being said, and just leave without letting it effect us? Worse still, how often do we have an encounter with God and His Spirit and we treat it like we do our alarm clock? We are extremely revved up after the encounter, but when we get back to real life it only changes our actions momentarily. If we’re honest with ourselves, this happens more than we would like. Rather than going back and mediating on the “life-changing” event, we allow ourselves to slip right back into our day to day routine. Sure sometimes the effects lasts longer than others. From time to time we’ll remember it for a day, or two, occasionally up to a week or two, but then, slowly but surely, we let life invade again.
What would our world look like if we let the encounters with our Creator effect us for the rest of our lives? How much more would we be able to witness to those around us if we would let the Holy Spirit over take our day to day life instead of letting the brief life circumstances overtake us? Maybe the real question is not how it would effect others, but how would it effect us to allow the God of the universe have complete reign in our lives. This means, letting God rule in every situation, every mind set, every bad day, the good ones too.
I’m not saying this is easy, in fact, it’s hard. I’m not saying I have this mastered yet, believe me, I’d be a liar if I said I did. This is, however, something I believe that we need to stop doing. We, as Christ-followers, need to quit using church as an alarm clock. We need to stop using it as something to get us “refilled” at the start of the week, rather it should be about us going to meet with the Almighty to thank Him for getting us safely through another week.
To transform means to change in condition, nature, or character. Or said in another way to convert. This literally means to change something from one form or state into another. When it comes to people, we cannot transform anything within ourselves or anyone else, there’s only One being that can do that. If we were able to change anything or anyone into exactly what we wanted it to be, where would the need for faith be? Nonexistent.
When we pray, do we pray for our wills and wants for someone else? Or do we pray for God’s will to happen? Sure, we say “whatever Your will is, let it be done,” but do we honestly believe it? Do we trust God enough to give Him the freedom to actually work His will in our life? Many times, the honest answer is no. At least, I know for me it is. In my limited human understanding, I still hesitate believe that God is big enough to change any situation into good. No matter how many times He’s shown me over and over again that His ways are always better than my own, I have a hard time remembering that next time a trial comes my way.
When we worship, whether at home or in a church setting, what is our main focus? Are we really focused on our Creator and praising Him for allowing us to make it through another day, week, month, or year, depending on who you are and how often you meet with Him in worship. Or do we see worship as a way to make ourselves look more spiritual to those around us? The truth is that our experience in His sanctuary shouldn’t be about anything or anyone other than allowing God to meet with us and allowing Him to transform our lives.
So here’s my question. Are you willing to allow God to transform you or will you continue to use church functions as a place to get revved up for the next week only to let life get you down by the middle of the week? Please be honest with yourself and with God on this question.
So as I leave you today I want to challenge us all to allow the messages, passages of the bible, and lessons we learn to be more than just an alarm clock. May they do what we expect them to do and may God use them to transform our lives into the beautiful masterpiece that only He can see. Then when the masterpiece is done, we will be able to go up into Heaven and enjoy the tapestry with our Father.