“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart and fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. – Joel 2:12,13
Lisa pushed open the hotel door. “I need a non-smoking room, double-bed.” The clerk smiled and obliged her, slipping her a keycard and mumbling the room number. She walked to elevator and pushed two. I hope this room is at least clean. The elevator doors slid open and Lisa glanced at the number signs on the wall. 203 to the left. She pulled her luggage over the metal plate on the elevator and headed down the hall.
203 – hello bed. She unlocked the door, propping it open with her hip until she managed her bags inside. Her hand rubbed the side of the wall searching for the light switch and flipped it on. Looks clean. She pulled the extra lock over the door then headed for the bed. It would only be hours before she was back in the car and traveling again. Then, it would be another hotel and another check-in.
So often, we have the best of intentions when we enter into a relationship with Christ. Our thoughts are centered on getting to know Him better –making him an active part of our lives. Somewhere along the line, we lose our incentive to buff and polish our relationship. Like Lisa, we travel awhile, find a hotel and check-in, then check-out.
Managing a serious spiritual relationship is more than developing a check-in time. There has to be a desire to know the Father, to learn to trust Him, and to be accountable to Him. Simply checking in from time to time won’t cut it.
When we accept the gifts that God offers us, we accept the responsibility that comes along with Him. Those things of the old life that tempt and try us have to be pushed to the side – not for a time, but forever. God is readily available for us at anytime, but He requires more than an occasional “hello.” He wants us to know Him, seek Him, and live for Him.
Life is full of trials and frustrations. That is because Satan roams the earth making life rough for the believer. He encourages us to open the door to God temporarily, then shut it again, telling us our lives are safe, we’ve checked in. A relationship with God offers us the freedom to walk away at anytime and it holds the peace of knowing we have forgiveness and we can return. However this is not the relationship Christ encourages for us. He wants a meaningful and lasting relationship. He wants us to sincerely stay with Him, not check in for a few hours and leave. There are commitments to be made and temptations to over come because Satan will try his best to devalue our relationship.
Once we’ve accepted the keycard to a relationship with Christ, we have to grasp it tightly. Open the door and stay. Don’t walk away. Don’t check in and check out. Make it a comfortable and long stay. Eternal perhaps.
Prayer: Lord, we lean toward the convenience of doing things the easy way. Yours is a relationship that requires work. Hold us close while we check in.