Friday, September 02, 2005

A God of Refills

A distraught patient called her physician.
"Tell me, Doctor, do I have to take the medication you prescribed for the rest of my life?"
"Yes, that's right," the doctor replied.
"Then how serious is my condition?" the woman wanted to know.
"Why do you ask?"
"Because," the patient cried, "I just picked up my prescription and it's marked 'No Refills!'"

Some people believe life is a "no refill" proposition. You only live once, they say. "So eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die." Many people buy into this bit of cultural wisdom. And many people in the church do so as well. We believers place a lot of stock in what we can see, smell, taste, hear and feel. By focusing on the world around us we often forget about the view from heaven.

This is especially true in decision making. We research, we estimate, we cost-factor, we analyze. We take a look at the bottom line and then we decide. Necessary, but worldly by itself. While we shouldn't ignore our 5 senses, I believe Jesus would have us add another set of indicators - spiritual indicators - to our decision-making dashboard. These super-natural "senses" give us a heavenly perspective that our natural eyes will miss.

The three senses I'm referring to are faith, hope and love. In discerning God's will, our plans, projects and programs need to be examined in the light of these spiritual realities. Sure, review the facts, use the natural resources God has made available to us. We should analyze all the available data. But realize that supernatural resources are also available.

Think of faith, hope, and love as three divine guideposts, pointing us in the right direction. These virtues are powerful resources. Faith is based on God's faithfulness to us in the past. Hope is based on God's commitment to us for the future. And love is based on God's present ministry of grace and mercy in our lives.

A bit too abstract? Think of a decision you are facing right now. You know the details, what your 5 senses tell you about the situation. Now check your spiritual indicators. Ask yourself if you're viewing this decision from heaven's perspective. Are you trusting God, that he is willing and able to help? That's faith. Are you confident that the Holy Spirit is good and that He is working for your best interests? That's hope. Are you seeking to live a servant life like Jesus Christ? That's love.

Is this easy? No. But it leads to an abundant life, a life beyond "eating and drinking." When we add faith, hope, and love to the mix, great things will happen. And don't worry about mistakes. God is a God of "refills" and second chances. He simply asks that we keep trusting, obeying and responding to his Word and Spirit. He's given us both natural and supernatural resources. Let's utilize them all. Now that's a life-changing prescription.

© 2005 Lyndon Perry
Permission granted to reprint this article.

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