I was in the second-to-front pew at church the other week, and I was feeling the morning blues.
Do you know what I mean? That sandy-eyed, groggy-voiced, brain-not-quite-awake feeling of sluggishness that isn’t really ready for 120 decibels of worship music being emanated directly in front of oneself.
Don’t get me wrong, the band was great. I liked them, really. I’m usually the type to get into the celebration spirit right away…. but that day, I just…. wasn’t.
I tried desperately to focus on the positive side of life, like the two adorable little girls dancing in front of me, carefree as could be. It helped a little.
Then the pastor took the stage, and he told a story.
“Imagine going home from church today,” he said, “And finding a bum fast asleep on your couch. He is stoned, snoring, and you have no idea who he is. What would you do?
Hmm. Let me guess. You’d try to make him leave. Maybe pat him on the shoulder, say “Excuse me, sir. You’re in the wrong house.” But what if that didn’t work?
You’d get a little more violent, maybe go so far as to poke him, maybe even raise your voice. “HEY, SIR. THIS IS NOT YOUR HOME! YOU NEED TO LEAVE!”
But what if he just went right on snoring? What if he rolled over, looked you in the eyes, said, “Excuse YOU, but this IS my house!” and went back to sleep?
Would you shrug, assume he was right, and just live your life around him? What if he invited his friends over, and they all claimed that this house belonged to them as well? Would you accept that?
You see, friends… your level of persistence shows what you truly believe.
If you truly believe the bum does not belong in your house, you will fight back harder, call your buddies to help you drag him out of your house, maybe get the police involved. You would take as much time as necessary to evict him.
What about your spiritual life?
When temptation, fear, sickness, depression, shame, and the 1,000 other tools of the enemy sneak their way into your ‘house’…. do you accept them?
Do you politely try to evict them, and if they do not obey the first time… or the 12th time…. just assume they are meant to stay? Or do you hold FAST to your knowledge of what is yours, and fight for it until everything is set right?
Do you BELIEVE that God can if He wants to?
Do you believe that He might not be able?
Your level of persistence shows what you truly believe in. “
And that is what I learned on a half-awake Sunday morning, from the second-to-front pew.