Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Who's On First?

I love how Meres hauls around her Wishbone. Sharing a snack.=)
Principle: a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning. a fundamental source or basis of something.

Wikipedia puts it this way...
"A principle is a law or rule that has to be, or usually is to be followed, or can be desirably followed, or is an inevitable consequence of something, such as the laws observed in nature or the way that a system is constructed. The principles of such a system are understood by its users as the essential characteristics of the system, or reflecting system's designed purpose, and the effective operation or use of which would be impossible if any one of the principles was to be ignored."

The Bible is full of principles-things that are inevitable consequences of something. One particular Biblical principal that I am remembering today is found in 1 Samuel 2:30...

"for those that honor Me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained."(NIV)

The back ground of this somewhat famous principle is that Eli the priest had not been honoring God. His sons' behavior was despicable, and he hadn't reined it in at all. He kind of gave his sons a pat on the wrist and let their behavior fly.

This did not please God. God had a scary conversation with Eli, telling him that he and his descendants were going to be kicked out of the priesthood. This hereditary position would be lost to them. And they would all die in the prime of their lives. 

God uses the words scorn and despise to describe Eli's actions. Because he honored his sons more than he honored God.


Well, I can't say that I am currently guilty of honoring my kids before God. Sigh of relief, pat my self on the back.

But, here is how my life has looked lately.

It has looked dry.

I have felt famished.

I am pouring out, and not taking time to be filled with God.

I am honoring a whole lot of things before God.

But especially online things. Like twitter and fb and my blog. All good things.

I jump out of bed at 5:48, or get home from the pool about 6:00, and the first thing I do is check my email. Then I jump on to my blog to check page views (gulp-yes, I just admitted that), and share my post on fb, twitter and google+. I also link up my blog to whatever the 4 or 5 or 10 link-ups of the day are. Then I pin my post to the top of my fb page. And then I read other blogs. And tweet someone. And  comment and...

And I find that an hour has past. Just an hour-if I'm lucky. And the kids are stirring. And I have to shower. And I haven't even spent time reading the Bible yet. I haven't spent time hearing my Lord's voice. I haven't spent time talking to Him. And the day is moving full speed ahead.

So, I pick up my devotions while the kids are eating. Or reading. Or doing school. And I plug my ears, and try to concentrate. And I get fed up with Meres because she wants to sit on my lap and fool with my pages. And I feel like I am just not getting it. Like I am missing something.

Things were so bad this past week, that I actually missed my devotions completely at least one day. I didn't miss blogging or tweeting or face-booking though. 

I bombed last Wednesday at BC. I didn't tell the story. I had written down a bunch of facts, but I didn't take time to flesh it out. I went on my own juice, and it totally showed. I was so ashamed of myself. Because I do profess to take the teaching of kids and the teaching of the Bible very seriously. And I broke all my rules. I broke all of my soap boxes.

But, I wasn't broken. The message hadn't quite sunk in. Until I got to yesterday. Realizing that someone has to teach SS, and it probably has to be me. And I hadn't prepared. Again.

Furthermore, I had gotten to Sunday with only 2 days of my 6 day Bible study lesson done. I put it off, over and over. For stupid things. I had time to be surfing for hours. But not time to feed my soul.

And I reach Sunday and I am feeling starved. There I am at church, and Meres was being herself, and I am trying to participate. And its just not happening. It was the first Sunday in a month that I actually was sitting in a preaching service listening to the Word being taught.

No wonder I felt starved and drained.

I'm not getting corporate teaching. I'm not getting fed at church. But, why should I? I am not even making feeding myself a priority. The thing that I can do-I'm not doing.

And in the midst of the quietness of yesterday afternoon, God graciously spoke to me just like He spoke to Eli...

"he who honors me I will honor, but he who despises me will be disdained."

And I knew that this pattern has to change. Today. Right now. 

You know, I get worried. What if I don't link up right away? What if I don't get a good spot in the lineup? People don't read link number 200. People aren't going to click over to my blog. They aren't going to read what I am writing.

Well, obviously, it isn't going to be worth reading if I am not getting it from the feet of God.

But, even more so, God made a promise. If I honor Him, He will honor me. If I put Him first, He will honor that. This is a principle. God hasn't changed and neither have His truths.

By spending those moments of quiet FIRST everyday, hearing from Him, things will be put into their proper place. And, I have to believe that God will then do what He wants with my blog. Maybe it won't be bigger numbers. Maybe it will. 

So, where am I going from here? What is the game plan? 

No computer-NONE-in a day-AT ALL- until I have spent time with my Lord and Savior. No quick link ups. No quick scans. Nothing. The lure of the "quick" is a slippery down hill slope that I am avoiding at all costs. It will survive without me.

I am so glad God isn't done shaping me yet. 

What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? I don't want to find that out experientially. 

(oh and so if I normally tweet you first thing in the morning, it is going to now be a bit later, but I am pretty sure you understand right where I am coming from.) 

The masseuse for the British Olympic team in 1924 gave Eric Liddell a slip of paper with this very verse written on it. Eric went on to clean up in the 400 meter race. God honored him for putting God first. Even in the face of opposition.

My main opposition is my own weak flesh. But, I am praying for the strength to just say no to myself and to the internet and to say yes to God-first every day.

"I will honor God with all my heart. I will honor God with all my soul. I will honor God, for He is Worthy. I will honor God." (old campfire song)

How have you found this principle to be true in your own life? Tell me in the comments.