Do you have convictions?
We all have convictions, but how strong and what do we ignore or listen to?
Recently I had a chance to drive with someone in their new BMW. It was amazing. It had a heads up display in the window that only the driver could see, a camera angle from above so you could see the lines you were parking in and a complete safety package that seem to handle a failure if you were launching to the moon. I wondered how much this car cost…. around 65 thousand dollars.
First, this is not a judgment. I have very nice cars as well, but it took a car like this to convict me. What is the conviction? Well, I currently know 3 families that are in need of a car. I thought of this car, and even my cars, and realized I could literally buy 3 or 4 cars for the price of this BMW I drove in. I asked myself if I could afford a BMW and the answer is that it would be tight but I could. Are you seeing the conviction?
No matter who is reading this I know you can feel the way I do. If it is a candy bar or a Lamborghini, you will find yourself wondering what you should do or how to justify the reasoning? Things like ‘I deserve it’ or ‘I want to protect my family so I will purchase this kind of car’ and so on. Even in the paragraph above I see that I wrote it would be “tight”, which is a way to help me swallow the reason why I keep “my stuff”.
So God, what do I do?
A young man recently was talking to me about this passage and I was rereading it and thought about the context of these convictions. The passage below is from the Old Testament in the Bible.It is talking about Israel the nation and how they were busy studying God’s word, worshiping, law-abiding and God-honoring, but they complained. (Isaiah 58:1-3 (MSG)). The following is the response to this kind of living:
“Well, here’s why: “The bottom line on your ‘fast days’ is profit. You drive your employees much too hard. You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight. You fast, but you swing a mean fist. The kind of fasting you do won’t get your prayers off the ground. Do you think this is the kind of fast day I’m after: a day to show off humility? To put on a pious long face and parade around solemnly in black? Do you call that fasting, a fast day that I, God, would like?
“This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.
What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’ Isaiah 58:4-12 (MSG)
In general a “Fast” is where you take something from yourself, such as food, for a period of time, and focus on God. This passage talks about making a fast not of food but rather of your life with actions.
Do you show off how humble you are? Are you so into God that you forget what you are into God for? Are you convicted and ignore it? Do you ignore things hoping they will go away? Do you do things for God just for the attention? Are you sharing, inviting, clothing, and being available?
Please pray for the families in need and how you can help!
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