Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you? –Luke 6:46 (AMP)
Ever have one of those days that you just know is going to be “one of those days”. You may even recognize this fact, start praying, binding and rebuking, only to have it just end up being “one of those days” anyway?
You know what I’m talking about. By the end, you’ll feel like you’ve vomited your anger all over everyone around you, you’ve possibly lost any chance of continuing to witness to that coworker; and your tail will be between your legs like a wounded dog. You’ll probably be wishing the day away until you can crawl into bed, and pull the covers over your head in utter defeat.
The kind of day, I am talking about, leaves you feeling like you can’t even talk to God. I mean, He probably won’t hear you anyway right? Your behavior was so rotten that you’re pretty sure that your name has really been erased this time and permanently! This is surely the day that is the straw that will break the proverbial camel’s back and leave you questioning whether you were ever truly saved.
Oh yes, I’ve been there, done that and as much as I want to say that I will never go back there, I am afraid to. Somehow, just as sure as you say “never”, it seems to arrive at your door with a Priority mail label stuck to it with your name plastered on it in bold faced letters.
As much as I pray that this statement does not offend, I really have no other way to describe it. Sometimes living life as a Christian is like having a split personality.
I can almost guarantee that as you phase through your meltdown, that one person is going to be there who is going to throw your “Christianity”, back into your face. I can hear the sarcasm oozing from their mouth as they spew their “I told you so” hatred from their forked tongue, “so you’re a Christian, huh?”
Do I still have these days? Sometimes, yes. Not as often as I used to, but not as few as I would prefer either. I tend to be somewhat of a perfectionist which makes this growing process a little more difficult for me.
The Word says it, and like Jesus says in today’s Scripture, to paraphrase slightly, why don’t we just do it? Simple enough, right? After all we are Christians, called after Jesus Christ. Christians are supposed to be “baby” Christ’s.
We are to be like Christ. I often tell David, (because I have had to tell myself so frequently), “If you were ever going to be perfect, God could have waited for you and not had to send Jesus”. I am not being sacrilegious in making that statement. It’s true. None of us are going to get it perfect, before He returns.
Let’s look at what today’s verse says: Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you?
What does practice mean? The Encarta Dictionary defines it as:
1. Repeat something to get better
(transitive and intransitive verb) to do something repeatedly in order to improve performance in a sport, art, or hobby
Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary also explains it as: Habit is the effect of practice.
Habit is formed out of practice. Jesus was not condemning them for not being exactly like He was; He was correcting them for not putting His instructions into practice!
There is a humble mindset that grasps this concept and embraces its reality.
Humility realizes that His grace is the only thing that is going to enable you to get up, brush yourself off, and clean the mud out of your teeth. It’s what opens your eyes to not only see your error, but to humbly ask forgiveness from Him and from those you’ve affected.
Humility is what leads you from the conviction of His Holy Spirit, to His Throne of Grace to receive encouragement and strength from Him. It puts you in a position of being face to face with your weakness, then face to face with the only One who can lift you up and set you back on the path to try again.
Pride and arrogance is what leaves people to blow off their actions, seemingly no true repentance revealed while categorically stating, “I’ll repent later, His grace is enough”. Need I remind you that the Pharisees were trained and educated in the Word of God, yet they did not KNOW Him?
Jesus came to accomplish what God understood we ourselves could never do: overcome the flesh. Paul reminds us that the Spirit and flesh are constantly at war with one another in Galatians 5:17.
Maybe the saying “Practice Makes Perfect” isn’t so far off. At the very least, according to Jesus, if we say we are His and are calling Him Lord, we should be practicing what He says.
It sure makes things a lot easier in accepting that sometimes it’s just going to be one of those days.