Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"I Prefer You"

     What we do with our time when we can choose what we do with it tells us much about our walk with God.
     "Wherefore He saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:14-16).
     The Apostle Paul's admonition does not mean that every moment of our free time must involve Bible reading, prayer, and other pursuits that bear obvious spiritual significance.  Our Heavenly Father leads us into many interests, pastimes, hobbies and doings wherein He is present and active no less than we are on our knees.  All good things are sacred for the believer, and all can serve as opportunities for worship, ministry and living communion with our Lord.  "Whatsoever ye do... do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31).
     It nevertheless remains true that the believer who walks in the spirit and truth of the Lord Jesus will devote significant portions of available time to the devotional walk involving prayer, Scriptural consideration, fellowship with believers, and active ministry to others.  As Paul counsels, we will "redeem the time."  
     A scene from the movie "Harvey," in which James Stewart portrayed Elwood P. Dowd, a fellow befriended by an invisible six foot tall rabbit, winsomely illustrates the point.  Near the end of the story, the rabbit Harvey reveals himself to another gentleman, with the apparent intention to become his companion rather than Elwood's.  As Elwood and Harvey are parting company, however, Harvey returns to Elwood and informs him that he desires to remain with him.  I've always loved Elwood's response, because it so directly applies to the truth we presently consider.  "I prefer you too, Harvey" says Elwood.
    Many times throughout our lives, we will have opportunity to freely act on our preferences.  As mentioned, the Holy Spirit will often lead us toward pursuits that bear great spiritual significance, while perhaps seeming very common.  We may freely enjoy and apply ourselves to these interests in expectation of God's approval and involvement.  However, there will also be many times when we will freely have the opportunity to echo Elwood's response to his friend...  "I prefer You, Lord."  As we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, these choices to pointedly devote ourselves to time with and for God will be more frequent.  The Psalmist closes our consideration with the sublime declaration of this, our heart's truest joy, fulfillment and contentment...
"In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore."
(Psalm 16:11)

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