Line it Up
So, we have been in a huge renovation this year. Throughout the summer, my wardrobe looked like a dirty construction worker (I don’t know how painters and construction workers look so neat and clean compared to me!). One of my most recent projects was laying wood floor in my dining room and study. The dining room was fairly easy. Laying those wood planks and installing them with the power tools was pretty cool. (I’d really rather get my nails done in a spa.) The study was a different story. As the planks from the entry came into it, they were not square to the wall. I measured and re-measured. I had to draw a hard line on the floor and keep it in view so that everything lined up rightly. James and I had to do some careful, major adjustments so it wouldn’t be jacked up compared to the wall.
It was such a sobering reminder of the importance of keeping our lives in line with God’s Word. Too often for many, there is church attendance and even service in some area but a vast disconnect in what the Bible says and what our lives look like. Before you know it, our lives are far from truth, and we are jacked! Partly, I believe this is to blame on pastors who don’t clearly step through the Scripture and teach the things that are hard to hear. Mostly, the responsibility falls on us.
In Matthew 28:19, there’s a part of the great commission that is grossly overlooked. Jesus tells us also to be “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” To observe means to “keep in view” and the sense of it here means to “conform.”
My wood floor planks are beautiful. Looking at them as they are is really a great moment for wood lovers. However, if they are not square to the wall or the cabinetry, it is all of a sudden just wrong.
Our lives are so much the same. If I were to ask you, “What are the teachings of Jesus, would you know?” You and I should want to keep our lives as not only hearers of the Word but doers (Ja. 1:22). We should want to sit under preaching that points out our sin. We should want preaching that reminds us of God’s standard and truth so that we can keep His commands in view and conform our lives to His Word. We must be in God’s Word every day and lining our actions, attitudes, and purposes with it. At times, we should make careful and major adjustments to keep in line with and conformed to God’s Word.
Are you in God’s Word every day or just seeking fluffy “spiritual” experiences not anchored in truth? When God calls you to be holy, have you stopped watching those homosexual honoring TV shows? Have you cut out the explicitly sexual music or just the music that draws your heart to white-collar, worldliness? Have you asked the Lord to set a guard over your mouth so you don’t cuss or gossip or dishonor your husband? Does your work ethic exalt Christ? Do you rely on relaxing by using substances? Are you manipulative with people to get what you want? Is your truth what you want or what Christ says in His Word?
Meeting with the Lord and being in His Word each day is my most favorite and sweetest time. Keeping myself open to hear a rebuke and where I need to clean up my ways is honestly a pretty raw experience. I didn’t want to go through the extra work to line up my floor. It made me mad. It took so much extra effort. However, now, it’s right and beautiful!
Let’s go through the extra effort to keep in line with God’s Word. Let’s keep His Word so fresh to our eyes and ears that we can see if we are not lined up to Him. Our lives and other peoples’ lives and philosophies can seem so beautiful, so right, until we compare them to Christ and His commands. When it’s not square to Jesus’ Truth, then like my floor, it’s just wrong. His rebuke or the rebuke of a friend with God’s truth may make you mad. Get over yourself and receive it. Go through the extra work to conform to His Word. Then, when lined up with Christ, you will truly be beautiful.