Saturday, September 22, 2012
JUST DO IT
Has anybody heard that phrase before? If you live in the Northwest (or almost anywhere else in the world) and you have not heard it you have had your ears pretty tightly closed. Nike Shoes ads used this as their “catch phrase” for many years. Basically, I guess, they were telling us to stop making excuses and just get out there and do what you have to do. As “catchy” as that was and still is, Nike is not the first and will not be the last to say that. The first to say that was God. And He said it dozens if not hundreds of times. “Just do it,” He told His people. “Just do it.” “Just turn from your wicked ways and follow me. Do what I tell you to do. Be who I want you to be.”
Now in this discussion of my rambling thoughts some may be offended with picture I will draw. Some may think it is irreverent. Some may think I have crossed a line somewhere. But I hope you will just see the picture of a love filled heart expressing the awesomeness of the God who loves me and you so much that we can not comprehend it.
In the beginning, God created…. “WHY?” is the question that people often ask. Why did He create us at all? Why are we here? What is our purpose? Wouldn’t we be better off not being here? Or, as the Israelites often queried, “Wouldn’t we be better off back in Egypt where at least we had 3 squares a day and clothing and shelter?” Foolish, foolish question, but asked frequently during the walk in the desert.
Frankly, we are here because God wanted us. We are created in His image so that He could walk and talk with us, commune with us. His idea of Paradise was having conversation with us in a quiet place of pure beauty, where He could provide for our every need and talk with us about Himself. He desires to be with us and for us to be with Him. Adam and Eve failed to be satisfied with that and spoiled the immediate closeness of their relationship with Him, but He already had the plan in mind to bring us back together one day. And He immediately announced the plan and put it into action. He desires for nothing to come between Him and us. He wants us. In fact, He wants us so much that He is willing to keep asking us to come to Him. “Just do it” is His plea.
But how much does He really want that? He wants it enough to throw Himself at us, face down, over and over again. How many times have we seen Moses and kings and prophets throw themselves face down on the ground before God pleading with Him to save His people from themselves. As I was studying the Kings and Chronicles, I kept seeing God, Himself, throwing himself at the people pleading with them to save themselves from themselves by simply turning back to Him in humble surrender and obedience. I am not trying to bring humiliation on God here, I am trying to get us to recognize just how much He desires us, and desires the very best for us. He repeatedly told them that none of the prophecies would have come true if they would just turn from their wicked ways and follow Him. This very constant pleading with us could be considered a humiliating thing to do. But, for God, this is a magnificent, awesome act of love and desire for our good outcome and pleasure. What a picture! What a deal!
In our current study of God’s desire to be with us, we are quickly finding him seeking to be with us. He desired to walk daily and often with Adam and Eve. They spoiled that. He desired to walk closely with the leaders whom He gave to His people. He spoke to them in dreams and through messengers and even coming Himself to walk with them for a few moments here and there. Yet strong trust was hard to come by for them. But He had promises to give and promises to fulfill and He kept on trying. He would not, did not and will not quit trying to get our attention. He wants to be among us. And now that Jesus died for our sins, He desires to be withIN us, always. That is His desire and that is what His plan is all about. He is no longer in a place among us that we must go to in order to be with Him. He is in us and with us to the end of the age. And then we will be with Him, forever and ever. He pleads with us to come, to listen, to trust, and to obey. He pleads with us to “just do it.” And He does that so that we may know our own little paradise right here on earth and that we might be with Him forever in Heaven.
May we all stop making excuses for not stepping up to the plate and accepting the promises of God and following Him moment by moment, and aging year by aging year. May we all “just do it” as He leads the way! May we all live life more abundantly in the Joy that He gives us so freely. May God bless you and me with overwhelming love for Him.