Tuesday, January 3, 2012

LEAVING AND FORGETTING

The Holy Spirit's message to the bride of Christ in Psalm 45 was: "Forget your own people also, and your father's house" (v. 10). The still, small voice was whispering, “It's not enough just to leave your past behind. You must also forget it all—put it out of your mind—all past loves and distractions!"

The messenger here is saying to the bride, "Are you counting the cost as you prepare to be united to Him? Or are you going to give Him mere lip service after the wedding? Have you started a commitment you're willing to finish or does your mind wander back to things of your past—old friends, old habits, old loves? If you commit to this marriage, you must not only leave your past behind, you must forget it completely!"

When Jesus speaks of some who "do not forsake all" (Luke 14:33), He is speaking of those who turn from Him and cling to idols. An idol is anything that becomes the sole focus of our devotion—anything that possesses our time, attention, money, love, interest.

Many husbands can rightly say they are good providers. They work long and hard, don't waste their money, and spend quality time with their family. But how much time do they devote to Jesus? Do they have what I call a "leaving-and-forgetting time"—a time when they mentally leave everything, setting aside quality time for Jesus alone? It's a time to set aside all thoughts of work, family, children and say, "This is Your time, Jesus. I'm Yours alone right now!"

The problem isn't business or family or career. Rather, it is "loitering"—aimlessly lounging around and wasting time. Multitudes of God's people spend their time endlessly loitering—idly spending time with friends or lolling in front of a TV. We waste so many precious hours and neglect our Lord and Savior!

Now I want to speak to wives: You have given your husband and children the best years of your life. You are hardworking and faithful and you take good care of your family. Yet, how much "leaving-and-forgetting time" do you give to Jesus? How many hours a week do you shut the world out and draw close to Him?

How jealous the Lord must be over all our other loves, all the things that eat up our time and attention. The old adage is true: It's not the "bad" that is the enemy of the Christian, but the "good." It's family, career, job, children. Yet these things in themselves do not stand between us and the Lord. No—it's our loitering!

Now the Lord stands before us, asking: "Do you love Me more than these?" (John 21:15).