January 25, 2010

Be Prepared for a Good Life

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:15)

I'm pretty sure that "be prepared" is part of both the girl and boy scout's creed. It's kinda funny when you think about how we grow up and forget things like that. Isn't it always a good idea to be prepared? I'm a walking prepared person. I have an umbrella, concact solution, foundation, kleenex, and a roll of quarters in my purse right now.

But would I be able to answer someone who asked me about God? For that matter, would I even be presenting such a great image to the world that someone would even think to ask me about why I look so happy or have so much peace?

I looked up the word "prepare" in the Bible today, thinking that I would find something where God said that He is preparing us for great works. But you know what... I didn't find it. I did find a verse saying that God has prepared great works for us to do. But preparing us... Now, it could all be in there, just under a different word. I don't believe God really said "here, now you're on your own."

But I do believe that along with ouf Free Will, God gave us a responsibility to prepare ourselves for the life He would have us lead. We're not born with the Bible ingrained in our minds. And, because of our free will to sin, we often separate ourselves from all that He would give us anyway.

So, it's kinda on us, hey? It's like this: If I ask God to get me out of my financial problems, I shouldn't thank Him for His grace over my life and then buy lottery tickets expecting Him to give me the winning number. God doesn't work that way. (True, it could happen) Realistically, what will happen is God will prompt me to not buy things. That's how He will help with finances. There may be a gift of money here and there, of course, but seriously, why should God just give us what we want right away if we're just going to turn around and squander it again?

Which brings us right back to preparing ourselves. How do we prepare ourselves? And for what? Well, in this context I'm thinking about preparing ourselves to live a Godly life, one that is pleasing to Him, healthy for us, and will (hopefully) provide the basis for someone to ask us just what is making us so happy all the time.

We can prepare ourselves in a few ways: by reading and studying the Bible, by attending some sort of housegroup for both instruction and accountability, by attending church to receive instruction and worship God with other believers, and by learning from our mistakes. I think all of those steps are important to being prepared for a Good Life.

I actually really like that phrase. Be prepared for a Good Life. It's not just the moments, it's not just a season, it's a life. God did not ask us to enjoy a few minutes every day, or that month when everything seemed to go right, He asks us to enjoy all of it, even the struggle, because if we are living according to God's Will, then we can rest firm in the faith that all things are working out to His plan.

But if you don't know that, you're going to falter.

So this is why, two days after the end of our church fast, I got up an hour before I needed to, put on my worship music, and sat down again to write this. Because I'm realizing that I need to prepare myself. God has prepared a way for me, and I must be ready to take it. So while I am allowing myself flexibility with this time, I do plan to keep to it. Because I need to prepare myself for my day, and not only my day, but my life.

Because the idea of having a Good Life sounds... well it sounds pretty good right about now.

Thank you, God, for giving us a Good Life.

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