Ten Thirty-One

Sometimes I sit down to write these things and the words just flow out and I can’t wait to get to the end of the post so I can know how it ends up sounding, too.  Other days, I must spend some time thinking and praying about them.  Today was one of those ‘second’ days.

My husband and I have made a habit to ask God to make things clear to us.  Specifically, we ask God to be specific in His answers to us and we actually say, “God, please make it clear to us–and make it so clear we can’t even be stupid and miss it!”  Mainly, we pray that because we know that we have provided ample examples of being stupid in the past.

As I spent some time in the Word this morning I asked God what He wanted to say both TO me and THROUGH me here. Sometimes they are the same message…other times, they are not.   At first, nothing came.  I waited.  I read Proverbs 31 again.  I’m starting to read those daily again, so I thought the message might be in there.  It wasn’t.

I checked out my Facebook page and looked at all the cute photos and updates; saw the political ads and the many conversations regarding the celebration of today as both Halloween and Reformation Day.  Some people get very heated on this topic.  VERY heated.  All very interesting–and I do have a personal opinion on this topic, but still…nothing that made me want to write a whole blog post on it today.  I decided to keep looking.

I looked through my on-line devotionals–those that I have delivered every day–and the last one caught my eye.  It was one of the ones from www.heartlight.org (great site!–use them!–they’re fabulous!–and support them if you can!).  The one that caught my attention was a daily verse that said this:

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  1 Corinthians 10:31

I read it again.  Why was God bringing THIS to my attention?  I’ve probably read it at least 100 times or more and I’ve tried to live by it, as well.  So what now?  And then I saw it.  The “address” of this verse:  1 Corinthians 10:31.  TEN:  THIRTY-ONE…or as it seemed for me today…10/31…October 31st?   Now, that was cool!   I actually laughed out loud and clapped my hands!  That started my mind going and all of the sudden the words just started to pour out into my brain…just about the time I had to get ready and leave for an appointment in town.  How convenient…NOT.

I had just seen all of the differing opinions on a variety of topics all over my Facebook homepage.  People I KNEW were believers in Christ often held widely varied opinions about almost every thing.  “Vote this way–NO, THIS way!”  “Happy Halloween!”  “Happy Reformation Day!”  “Let the kids come to my house for candy tonight!”  “Don’t participate in this at ALL!”  To someone who hasn’t been around God’s people very much, we must look like a bunch of arguing yahoos.  Surely this verse must apply to all of that!

After my appointment, one thing led to another and I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in town so long!…or maybe it just seemed long because I wanted to be back here writing some of these things down.  I ended up inviting a friend for lunch and our conversation, as always, was such a blessing.  Several times our talk of loved ones and our activities just confirmed what God was telling me earlier this morning in this verse.  Here it is–this is what I shared with her about what I know today:

“We’re all at different stages of life and we’re all operating at differing levels of understanding of Scripture.  Now, if God has been plain about a specific thing, then I can’t help you out by encouraging a differing opinion.  BUT, on matters that are not addressed specifically in Scripture, if I sit in judgment of someone who knows less than I do–and acts accordingly–then I’m opening myself to the same treatment from those who know more than I do.  That’s part of the reason the church apears to have such confusion in our ranks.  IF, however, we could just agree to follow the instructions that are plain–like the one in 1 Corinthians 10:31!–I think we’d make a lot more headway in reaching the rest of the world for Christ.

If we could each make the decision to do “whatever” we do “for the glory of God” we’d make a bigger impact.  We’d argue less and agree more–or at least be more agreeable in the process! (smile)  I think we’d extend more grace and be more in line with the rest of what God has to say, as well.  After all, isn’t that our ultimate goal as Christians:  to do everything for the glory of God…just like Jesus did?  Could we have a better model?”  We both agreed that we could not.

Applying God’s word is not just a theorhetical exercise; it is a day-by-day practical application event.  As I was headed home…there was the brand new Krispy Kreme…and I pulled in.  As I sat in that line, it did not move at all–I mean, I couldn’t even get up to the order station!   I kept thinking about what I would write here when I finally made it home.  That verse just kept repeating itself over and over in my head.  I wondered what was holding those people up and that verse repeated itself.  I wrote a few lines in my head and that verse repeated itself.  And suddenly, it was clear as a bell to me and I laughed out loud again:  God’s message was extremely practical for me today.  I didn’t need to be in that line or make that order.  I pulled out of the line and headed home.

No matter how hard you look, you won’t find a verse in the Bible that tells you not to eat at Krispy Kreme, but for today, I did.  God knew I couldn’t do that for His glory today.  We’ve been trying to make better food choices and that wasn’t going to be one of them.  He didn’t beat me up with it and I’m fully aware that He would still love me if I’d stayed in that line, but obedience just tastes better.  I had asked and my God had been specific.  I had to listen…because he’d even put a date on it just so I couldn’t be stupid and miss it.