Saturday, June 14, 2014

Keep the Lord Always Before Me

Elisha left him and, taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh, and gave it to his people to eat.  Then he left and followed Elijah as his attendant.  1 Kings 19:21

“…[M]ake good to the Lord all that you vow.”  Matthew 5:33

If we pray to take refuge in God, we cannot pursue a bigger house, a faster car or fancier furniture.  Our piety helps keep the Lord always in our lives.  Keep these words of Psalm 16:8-9 on your mind today:  I keep the LORD always before me; with him at my right hand, I shall never be shaken.  Therefore my heart is glad, my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure.” 

The purpose of an oath was to guarantee truthfulness by one’s calling on God as witness.  Once Elisha decided to devote his life to the Lord, he obliterated all signs of his former life.  He slaughtered his oxen, burned his plow and left that life behind.  Just like Peter left his boats behind and Matthew turned away from his tax rolls and the poor widow gave her last nickel to the temple.  They unhinged their lives from   
Elisha set himself up for success. He figuratively burned the bridges back to his former life so there was no comfort zone to which he could retreat. 
On our journeys, we have certain big oaths and decisions.  Baptism is when we make (and later renew) our faith.  When we reach confirmation, we promise to remain faithful to the Lord and then vow to "renounce Satan and all his work and ways, and surrender myself to You, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in belief, obedience, and the earnest resolution to remain faithful to You until my end."  Many then take vows during marriage.  Some take vows in Holy Orders of poverty, chastity and stability. 

We may not need to burn all the symbols and possessions of our life to follow our faith journey but we have to make room in our days to pursue piety, study and action.  How will you make good on that promise to make good all that you vow to the Lord?  What obstacles can you remove (burn) in order to render unto the Lord all that are his due.

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