Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Little Brown Church In The Vale"1 (Lyrics)
Hebrews 3:7-8 – So, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert." (NIV)
As winter approaches each year, many residents of Atlin enjoy playing the waiting game: putting off as many chores to prepare for winter as possible, in exchange for taking advantage of every good weather day that we still have left, so that we can be out and about enjoying ourselves. Thus, when the snow does fly, there are a lot of groans and smacking of foreheads by those who have been caught short and who now have to endure the miserable weather as they slog about in wet snow cutting and stacking wood and getting their houses in order for the next five to six months of the deep freeze.
However, putting off winter chores in order to enjoy the last nice days of fall is not the only thing that people often postpone. Many put off giving their lives to Christ or living their lives for Christ. One man told me that he had made up his mind to serve Christ, but not until he had done all the things that he wanted to do and made all the money that he wanted to make. Then and only then would he decide to allow God into his life. Others, though they have accepted Christ into their lives as Saviour, have put off allowing Him to be Lord of their lives, because they are afraid of what God might ask them to do.
Both types of people have chosen to play the waiting game: waiting to know or to serve God until they are ready to, until it is convenient and will not interfere with their plans or security. Yet, the waiting game is never wise, for we never know when the snow may fly, so to speak. Life changes on a dime. The plans that we make today can go up in smoke or in a heartbeat tomorrow. Death waits for no man. We may think that we have plenty of time to make a decision to know and serve God. But in reality, none of us does, for as the apostle James has written, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." (James 4:14 NIV)
When the mist of life vanishes, there is no time to make a decision to know or serve Christ. It is too late, and our waiting game decision has become an irreversible one, with eternal consequences.
So today, if you hear God's voice calling to you, do not harden your heart, for God is offering you a life of untold peace, joy, and eternal fulfillment; a life that far outweighs anything, even the best of things that you think this world has to offer; a life that is not filled by fear of what God may ask of you, but a life that is filled with the perfect love of God Whose plans for us are always to prosper us and not to harm us.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your patience and goodness towards us, even if we are playing the waiting game. Help us, Lord, to want to hear and respond to the voice of Your Spirit as He calls to us to turn from self to You. Open our eyes to Your great love through Your Son Jesus Christ, so that Your love may come to reside eternally within our hearts. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.