Power of Preparation

Luke 19:5-6And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy houseAnd he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.”

So many of us have been trained by our entertainment and amusements, we do not realize what we are truly missing. Think of this…

You sit down and turn on your television to be entertained. Your expectation is that the system will do all the work. You flip through channel after channel or go to your favorite movie site and view whatever it is you fancy at the time.

Then, you just sit back and enjoy.

If it is interesting, you are engaged. If not, you begin to play on your phone or turn it off all together.

I see it happen over and over in our churches today. Many make the effort to attend the services; but when the music, or the lack thereof; the preaching, the subject matter, or the child misbehaving in front of them either distracts them or doesn’t pique their interest, they shut their mind off.

So many churches have taken the route of being more of an entertainment show than the spiritual hospital, evangelism center and discipleship and growth resource God had intended; that most walk away empty, unfed and searching.

It is easy to put on a show once a week and not get engaged in the lives of others. But that is not what Jesus showed us we must do.

Here, a man who was reviled in the community, was searching. Zaccheus, a tax collector, was desiring to see this man, Jesus. He had heard of the miracles He performed. He knew that he, himself was not the man he should be. His conviction led to searching and he search led him to find Jesus.

Of course when you and I desire to do anything for God or seek to get anything from God, we encounter obstacles. I heard it said of Dr. Bob Jones Sr.:

The test of your character is what it takes to stop you.”

If you and I are not prepared to meet the challenges of what we will face when seeking God; our search will end quickly, the desire will fade and it will be replaced with a numbing apathy that will cloud our minds, impair good judgment, and keep us from doing what God saved us to do.

Zaccheus was ‘vertically challenged’. Most around him blocked his view of what was going on. His desire to see Jesus overcame the difficulty and he climbed the nearest tree to get a better view.

I love how God knows the hearts and meets the needs of those seeking Him.

God met the need of a man, despised by his community who so wanted to change – so much so that Zaccheus didn’t care what others thought or said about him.

But it was Zaccheus who had prepared his heart to seek God. When his desire was met, God not only saved his soul, the transformation began immediately.

Luke 19:8-10And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

I have found that when I prepare my heart before I go to church, God meets that need in a marvelous and sometimes miraculous way. Sometimes He will use the preaching of His Word. The preacher doesn’t know my specific needs and when the sermon comes right where I live, I know God is speaking to me. Other times the sermon has nothing to do with what I need but something is said that makes it clear that God meant it for me.

There have been times when the music will touch me. It touches me when I hear a special; sing with the congregational hymns or am singing a special for the service. The combination of the music and the message of the song suddenly open my heart to hear God speaking.

At times, my heart has become so overwhelmed, that tears came. Other times, joy burst forth and came out in praise with an “Amen!” to witness His moving in my heart.

Zaccheus’ salvation and the evidence of it, showed a critical crowd that something truly happened to the little tax collector who was willing to seek Jesus no matter what anyone thought or said.

Every morning, I come expecting God to speak through His Word to me. Before I ever think of Daily Manna and what I might write about, I first need to be fed. I need to meet with my Heavenly Father to get from Him what I need for today. Truly, Daily Manna has been an overflow of what God is doing in and through me on a daily basis.

This week; before you ever get in you car to travel to your church, take some time alone with God to seek Him. Seek His presence. Seek His cleansing, His forgiveness and His love for you. Seek to grow. Seek to be for others what they might need. Seek to be led to someone whose life can be changed by meeting Jesus through you. Jesus said:

Luke 19:10For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

We are His hands and His feet here on this earth – as we seek Him, He will use us to reach a world!

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