Mark 13:32, 33 NIV – “No one knows about the day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be on alert! You do not know when that time will come.”
Louis Pasteur said “Chance favors only the prepared mind” He meant that sudden, accidental insights don’t just happen they are prepared for. If you or I stumbled across the pasteurization process we never would have recognized it, but because Louis’ mind was prepared he, fortunately for us, was able to recognize its importance. Being prepared enables us to interpret these sudden flashes of insight. I find it funny that we often choose to leave out the word “only” when we use this quote; it is as though we are hoping that our minds are prepared enough. This quote holds true for the Christian as well. Jesus’ return is not going to be accidental, it has been well thought out and planned since before time began, but it is going to be sudden. It is going to favor “only” the prepared mind and the prepared heart. It is only the prepared mind and heart that realizes these words that Jesus spoke and lives as if it could happen this very second.
Though we should be preparing ourselves for this event we admit that we often fall short throughout the year. Did your mother ever use this line on you, “If Jesus came back right now do you think He would like what He saw?” It was meant to make us think about our actions, but what happened the very next minute? The chances are good that we fell right back into sketchy actions. Why is that? I believe it is the lack of preparation; I like to call it Discipline. Jesus said that we should “Be on guard! Be on alert! You do not know when the time will come.” We are to live our lives as if He is returning right now; living for His return should be second nature to us. The prepared practice and practice at whatever it is they are preparing for until it becomes second nature. Hyperspirituality (my ministry) is about this preparation so that we might become mature Christians and live as if the Rapture were coming in the next second.
This passage was my daily memory verse this morning and I thought it was appropriate for our Lenten devotionals. Lent has always been about preparation. The practice started as a representation of Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness; which was His preparation for His ministry. The new converts of the early church practiced fasting, prayer, and penitence for the 40 days of Lent in preparation for their ministries (their Christian walks) as well; sort of a basic training. Today we practice Lent in preparation to receive the new life, the new hopes, and the new direction that comes as we celebrate the resurrection on Easter morning. Lent then is a focused and intentional time of preparation. Prayers throughout the Lenten season should be focused on building that relationship with God; praising Him, relying on Him for strength, wisdom, faith, and all of our daily needs. Fasting should be intentional in that whatever it is we are fasting should hurt and should turn us towards God when the craving becomes too great. Penitence is heightened as well during the Lenten season; search deep within your heart for those overlooked sins and allow God to reveal them to you. Repent of and confess your sins with the purpose of freeing yourself from their bondage. We are an odd bunch we Christians; standing in long lines before the alter to be crossed with the ashes that kick off what is intended to be an intensely spiritual season that is filled with the painful cutting away of the remnants of our flesh. Praise the Lord our God for such a joyous season.