Tonight my Pastor, Kevin Green, gave a great message on Isaiah chapters 38 and 39, and one of the focal points of the message was what each one of us would do if we knew that today was our last day on earth. God gives that exact information to King Hezekiah in Ch. 38 of Isaiah. Hezekiah cries out to the Lord for more time, and God hears his cry, and grants his request. Along with seeing that God hears our cries, that God sees our affliction, and God answers our prayers, the first verse really got me thinking… Here is the verse:
In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’”
As my Pastor asked us if we would change our behavior if we knew that we were going to die tomorrow, I started to think what I would do differently. (I loved how he also addressed the truth of the matter in that most people won’t truly address this question in our hearts, and answer ourselves honestly.)
My first line of thought immediately went to the extreme. I would, to my shame, start to do things differently. I thought I would boldly proclaim the gospel to my co-workers and bosses because it wouldn’t matter if I got fired, and I thought I would call old friends, and pour out the love of Christ with reckless abandon. Then, as I continued to think about these things I came to the obvious question, why don’t I do that now?
So, as the Bible study continued on I continued down my rabbit trail of thought, and as I began to wonder why I don’t do these things now. I came up with a few reasons:
First, I wasn’t sure if God wanted to me to be taking the loud-speaker approach to sharing the Gospel with the people He has put in my life. In other words, I was uncertain of exactly how to put the Lord’s call to be His witness into practical action. I was uncertain of the will of God in my life, and therefore not sure of what I should do if today was my last day on earth. This is a very unsettling conclusion, and caused me to push forward in my train of thought.
The next reason I came upon was why I don’t do some of the things I want to do. The answer was plain fear. Fear of people, fear of rejection, and fear of failure. Fear can also be tied to the uncertainty aspect above.
This all made me realize that I was seriously lacking in one very important area of my life. I needed more of the Holy Spirit in my life, so that I could be empowered to be Jesus’ witness and disciple. As we see in Acts 1:8, the apostles were to wait to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, so they could be empowered bt The Spirit to be His witnesses. The out powering of the Spirit turned a rather rag-tag group of fisherman, tax collectors, and the like into the foundation of Jesus’ church today. I realized I need this baptizing desperately.
So, back to the original question, what would I do if I knew I was going to die to tomorrow? After I ran all the previous things in my mind, I shifted from the radical to the real. I knew the answer for what I would do if I only had one day to live. I would spend my time with Jesus, and I would pray for a outpowering of His Spirit. I would pray more, and desire to be so intimate with my Lord that I would know exactly what I was to do. I would just be with Jesus, and abide in Him , so that I wouldn’t even have to ask what He wanted me to do, but I would just be led and guided my the Holy Spirit of God.
As I came to this conclusion, I knew I could do these things today, and I didn’t want to wait any longer. I can and want to pray more. I can and want to be more intimate in my relationship with Jesus Christ, and I can and want to be more in tune with the Holy Spirit. I want to live like each day like it is my last, and be far closer to the Lord than I am today. And the most wonderful thing is I know Jesus wants these things for me, and for each one of you as well. By his grace, His faithfulness, and His strength we can live closer to the Lord, and I will be praying that for myself and for all who read this.
With the love of Christ, God bless you and grow you. -Cory