Sunday, January 30, 2011

Have you ever formed the intention...

Last week's sermon, "You're not the Boss of Me," talks a lot about freedom, but what I've been thinking about is something our pastor asks about 05:30 into the message. At this point, he's recounted the part in Exodus 19 where Moses meets the Lord on the mountain, and God tells Moses he wants to establish a covenant with the people of Israel.
You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
Exodus 19:4-6
The Israelites replied, "We will do everything the Lord has said" (Exodus 19:8) -- they formed an intention to obey God. They didn't do very well at it, but they did form the intention. Now the rubber meets the road at this point, where the pastor asks all of us, seriously,
Have you ever said, "I will form the intention of doing whatever God tells me to do"?
He goes on to ask if not, why not, and so on, but I wanted to hit the pause button right there.

My problem was that, rather than just continuing to listen and take notes, I actually thought about the question. Have I ever formed the intention? Well, of course I have. But how's it going? What do I think about in the morning when I first wake up? When I'm waiting for the train?

Well, honestly I'm often thinking about me -- my problems, my desires, etc. But this past week, because of that sermon, I've been thinking about what it means to do whatever God tells me to do. "Lord, what does it mean for me to walk with you today?" has been on my mind as I walked from the train to the office. I had a dream this past week, where Galatians 6:10 came up: "Let us do good to all men..."

That's besides all the stuff about being patient and kind, treating others the way I want to be treated, telling the truth and so on.

But really, when I first wake up in the morning, that's not what I usually think about. Often there's an urgent matter that needs my immediate attention, but when there isn't I'm often thinking about how pleasant it is to have my arms around Carol and to have her head resting on my chest. Or situations at work or church and how do deal with them.

So what's my plan? Well, I mentioned Galatians 6:10 earlier? That's a verse I memorized some 30 years ago but haven't reviewed lately. So one part of that is to step up the verse review. At least it'll get me thinking consciously about God, and bring his word closer to my consciousness. Besides that, I'll keep on with my strategies to overcome envy as well as resentment, anxiety and so on. You can ask the lovely Carol how it's working.

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