“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”- 1 Peter 1:13 (ESV)
Anyone else ready for tax season? A few days ago I took to the arduous task of collecting documents and itemizing financial categories, to get ready for my upcoming tax appointment. Each year requires setting aside an allotment of time to prepare what is needed to file my taxes correctly. It is not fun when something has been missed or miscalculated, leading to a notice and/or audit by the good ol’ folks at the IRS.
We need to do a better job of PREPARING for God. Far too often we are sidetracked by stuff, rushed by our daily realities, and motivated by small matters in the “God Scheme” of life. In the Old Testament, when God’s people neglected Him and followed after other things, He called them to an accounting of their actions and a returning to His ways. Joel 2:13 is one of the many Almighty audits, as God declares, “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.”
Time after time in the Bible we find amazing accounts of God wanting to MEET with us. God told Pharaoh to free Israel from slavery so they could meet to worship Him (Exodus 3:18) He told Moses to prepare the people to meet at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:1-13); After rising from the grave, Jesus told the women to tell His friends to meet up in Galilee (Matthew 28:10). James 4:8 is a call for all to prepare their hearts to commune with God, “Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
Our annual taxes, the recent heavy rains, and last month’s earthquake are all measures of how prepared we are for what life brings and humbling reminders that there is more work to be ready for it next time. The Lord wants time with us, wants us to draw near to Him, and wants us to have great expectation as we embrace His fullness of love and strength.
- May we prepare for each day by spending time with Jesus when we first wake up.
- May we prepare for each Saturday Church service by believing for God to speak and move.
- May we prepare for a big decision by taking it to the Lord in prayer.
- May we prepare for times of prayer by confessing Jesus as our Lord and the One who has every answer.
May Jeremiah 29:13 be how we reconcile every account in our lives, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”