Have you ever had to make a snap decision? Have you ever had to know what to do when there was no time to think of what to do?
Until I got too decrepit to pass my medical, I used to fly - a plane. About 40 years ago a bunch of us guys were going into the States to - well - to do what stupid young men do. It involved copious amounts of mood altering chemicals to share with not a few mood altering women.
"American woman - Get away from meee hee"
I can’t remember the city, some dump in Montana or North Dakota - Minot I think. We’d been goofing around all the way down - smoking dope and listening to music. To say that we weren’t paying attention would be an understatement (Airline pilots are not the only intoxicated drivers out there). Anyhow, we were about two kilometres back on final approach and the engine cut out.
Have you ever had your armpits go all prickly?
In a millisecond my hand flipped the switch to change fuel tanks, while Rick who was second seat was adjusting the flaps so fast it felt like we were going straight up. The engine came back to life (apparently engines always need fuel) and we landed “safely.” Without training, without enough experience to override a drug induced haze, the result would have been grim.
It’s the same with living a Christian life.
It takes desire.
It takes practise.
It takes dedication.
It takes a heart transplant.
“I will take your heart of stone and give you a heart that is able to love.”
Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Who guides, counsels, comforts and corrects, Christians would simply be people who continue to live by their worldly instincts. I’m afraid that far too many people think that Christianity begins and ends with conversion.
Jesus brought the Kingdom of God to earth to redeem and transform men and women just like me - the worst that humanity has to offer.
There are people who think they don’t need God in order to be good people. They may be right. Too bad for them that “good” doesn’t count. Regardless, these people don’t even look for the Great Physician. The rest of us however, those of us who are by nature mean and self-centred and irresponsible and hard-hearted seem better able to hear Jesus when help is offered. The thing is, when Jesus gets your attention and says, “Follow Me,” He means the whole shebang. He doesn’t just mean obey the stuff that’s easy for you to obey. When Jesus takes you into His training camp He sets you upon a regime that is intense and lasts from now until eternity. We must choose to live “in” this coming Kingdom (“abide in Me”) and ignore advice from the world around us.
Without a total focus on Jesus, the results will be grim.
Without a total focus on Jesus, you’ll probably crash and burn.