Wednesday, March 30

Are We There Yet?

The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. --1st Peter 4:7

When I was in college, each quarter's end was marked by the same frenzy of activity. I found myself pushing my limits trying to find ways to give that last Herculean effort for all the assignments, papers, and projects that would soon be due. The last two weeks of the quarter were particularly tough on my level of motivation because the end was in sight, but much remained to be done in order to receive a passing grade in any given class. As my efforts to study redoubled, I found myself wondering why I failed to approach my walk with God with the same zeal at times.

Peter urges Christians everywhere to be ready for that day when all is complete and finished in God's plan for us here on earth. We are not to just sit around waiting and asking God "are we there yet?" Instead, we are to take action and put as much effort as possible into our daily tasks. In doing so we are to be clear minded and self-controlled.

To be clear minded means that we put aside any distractions and focus on the task at hand. To become clear minded we must ask God to renew our minds and open the eyes of our hearts so that we will be able to recognize his will in our lives. Once our minds are clear, we need to ask God to give us his strength to be self-controlled.

When we are self-controlled, we are better able to serve God because we have successfully (or at least temporarily) put aside our own selfish desires. This is especially important as we realize that "the end of all things is near." Instead of trying to do all the things we want to, we must obey the great commission and tell other people about God's love.

Because we aren't "there yet" one of the most important things we can do is spend time in meaningful prayer. Unless we have a clear mind and are self-controlled, this isn't likely to happen. We need to establish a distraction free environment whenever we spend time with God. This is so that we can recognize his voice, and respond appropriately.

The end of all things is near, but it is not here just yet. Just as I used to anticipate the fresh start and new beginning of each quarter at school, as a Christian I can look forward to a new life after the one here on earth is over. In the meantime, there is much to be done to further his kingdom here on earth. Now is not the time to slow down in my walk with God. Now is the time to be clear minded and self-controlled so that I can pray.

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