Apples of Gold

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Lip Service?

‘This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.’ Mark 7:6

This morning, rising early I called upon my God and placed my petitions before Him. Rising from my knees I was content with my devotions so far. I had asked Him to bless His Word to me and I also asked that I might have a word to speak upon today. I read the first six verses of Mark Chapter 7 and could read no further.

I had to return to me knees and seek forgiveness for my previous prayer. It had been centred on self, seeking great blessing for my soul today and asking basically for an easy day.

I was not prepared to take up my cross, neither was I prepared to set aside a proper amount of time to seek His face with all my heart. What I did do was to utter words that were pleasing to the ear. My ear! I enjoyed everything I had to say! 

I was instantly rebuked as I read this text and it immediately threw my plans into disarray. Was I truly expecting great things from God while vanity was rampant in my heart? Had I seen His face or had I simply spoken the words in the hope that things would be good today?

How often have I approached the Lord in this manner? Had I fallen into a spiritual rut?

I had asked for forgiveness for all my sins, but I always asked for that. Didn’t everyone? I had not taken my soul to Calvary this morning. I had not witnessed first hand, my Saviour Redeemer hanging on the cross for me. I had not seen the blood being shed for me.

Am I turning out like the Beefeaters in the Tower of London who take the beauty of  the Crown Jewels for granted, simply because they see them every day?

If that is the case, then I abhor myself. I do not want to live my Christian life like that. I want to walk with Jesus and not at a distance. Life for me is too short for silly games and false hopes. My life has got to be a real life, not one played for an audience, even if the only audience I have is myself! I am in the midst of an eternal love affair and yet today I have taken my Beloved once more, for granted.

My second time upon my knees this morning was a totally different matter. Was I wasting time? Time when I could easily be doing any one of a hundred things that needed to be done on a Monday morning? I think not! My soul delighted in its journey.

A welcome from a forgiving and merciful Father. His Word to me this morning had borne fruit. The intimate contact that had been absent in my previous devotions, was now a matter of joy. I should have remembered a lesson that I had learned many years ago.

‘Face God first thing in the morning, then you can face any man.’ My first petition seemed now as if I had been talking to God behind His back. (Please forgive my language.) Now I was speaking to Him as a Friend, face to face. Moses had done the same many years ago at the entrance to his tent.

My outlook today is now very different to what it had been a hour or so ago. My sins have truly be cleansed in the powerful blood of the Lamb. My ways have been swallowed up by His Way and Will.

Now there is joy and excitement in my soul, rather than a shaky and very unstable hopefulness. This is life more abundant and it cannot be obtained by taking short cuts.

I went to the Mount first thing this morning and left my heart behind. I was rebuked by His Word. I went once again to the Mount, I repented and He ravished my heart.