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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Quiet Time: What Is Required

What Is Required

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? 
– Micah 6:8

To be skilled as a musician requires consistent dedication.  No matter how skilled he becomes on an instrument, he can never stop practicing the basics. 

I remember waiting in an underground offstage wing at Disney World. Our band was scheduled to perform at the Tomorrow Land Theater. We were required to be in place 45 minutes prior to the show. As I waited, I listened to a highly trained (and paid) Disney cast member practice scales on his clarinet. Over and over he moved tediously through the basic routine that I know most musicians learn in the first few months of study.

As I took my place on the rising underground platform I marveled at the clarinetist's dedication as he continued to practice. 

After an hour, our show completed and the stage dropped itself back to its original position below ground. You can imagine my surprise when the first thing I heard after the platform came to rest was the sound of a clarinet smoothly gliding up and down the chromatic scale.  Two hours of practicing nothing but arpeggios! Now that’s going beyond what is required!

If we’re not careful, we can find ourselves in the company of complacent Babylon; demanding God’s discipline and intervention (Isaiah 47:10). Oh, we may still attend church, give our money and talk as if we’re doing just fine, but in our hearts we’ve become rebellious and out-right sinful (Micah 6:7).  

Look, God doesn’t want our half-hearted attendance or our attempts to buy Him off with sacrificial gifts. In fact, He doesn’t ask for any sacrifice at all, but the sacrifice of all. Everything that keeps us from acting right, loving right, and walking right in humility with our God must go (Proverbs 21:3).

Suggested Prayer: Father, I acted judgmentally toward _______ today, please forgive me and help me to make it right with him. Lord Jesus, I don’t want to be unmerciful or unkind to others, please change me. I lay my heart in your hands; mold me into who You want me to be. 

 Men will part with any thing rather than their sins; but they part with nothing so as to be accepted of God, unless they do part with their sins. – Matthew Henry

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