How Long Has It Been Since You Talked with the Lord?
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (Daniel 6:10)
“THE BARRENNESS OF BUSYNESS! Nothing will make us as barren as busyness!” he declared to me as we passed in the hall of the Temple dormitory. I don’t remember his name, but I can see his face. He was not over nineteen, and the phrase: “the barrenness of busyness” had gotten hold of him. Did he think it was clever preaching or was he rebounding with a message from Heaven to his own heart? One thing was clear: he had found a diamond and he wanted everybody to look at it.
HE WAS ON THE SCHOOL WORK CREW, working his way through college. He was in the middle of a community of hundreds of people that were dedicated to walking with the Lord. But, looking back on it, I think his own soul was empty. In the middle of “God City,” he was barren!
HE HAD NO MESSAGE FOR A LOST MAN HE MIGHT ENCOUNTER on the sidewalk. He was busy and barren and bothered by it. He had found the cause. He had read something, or he had heard a sermon. He was telling everybody who would listen to his short sermon on “The Barrenness of Busyness.” Was it effective? Well, it’s been effective on me for over sixty years. I wish I could tell him how effective his little sermon has been.
HE MUST BE AN OLD MAN BY NOW. Many times, when I have been on empty, I have remembered what he said, and knew what to do. In that brief encounter of a few seconds, the Spirit of God used him to install a curtain rod and a curtain in my soul that would grace my window for years to come. His was one of the landmark statements I gleaned from students at Tennessee Temple. It would happen in seconds and last a lifetime. At the time, landmark statements don’t look special. It’s when they keep coming back for years; then you know it’s a landmark.
NOT FROM SOME OF THE MOST GIFTED BIBLE PREACHERS AND TEACHERS IN AMERICA who stood behind the chapel pulpit every day, but from other students who were there for the same reason I was there. They had gathered in from all over America and almost all of them were as poor as church mice but rich in zeal and energy. They were visionary! They wanted to serve God. It was also a place where we had to run in high gear all the time to keep up with work and study schedules. We ran low on sleep and sometimes low on time with the Lord. We were…busy.
“NOTHING WILL MAKE US AS BARREN AS BUSYNESS." If that’s too long, just say: “The Barrenness of Busyness!” What to do when our hearts have become cold? Simple: hold our hands out to the fire and get warm! A lot of Christians don’t know what to do when they have become empty, cold and grumpy inside. They are starving for the Word of God and fellowship with God. Jesus’ disciples had this problem when they were dismayed about Jesus being crucified and maybe they would be hunted down like wild dogs and killed. Two were walking along the road to Emmaus and Jesus came along but hid his identity from them.
●And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24:31-32) These downcast disciples were transformed in an instant of time from their contact with Jesus. Jesus needed to have communion with the Father and we need to have communion with God. We are not complete within ourselves.
THE PROPHET DANIEL HAD SOME SMARTS. He was a teen-ager of royal blood from Jerusalem, now a captive in Babylon, in King Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. It was big, and it was busy. It was the capital of the world at that time. He and his fellows had all been castrated so they could keep their minds and energies on the King’s business.
DANIEL'S HEART BELONGED TO THE LORD. He had that settled to the bone, back there somewhere. Most likely His convictions were formed layer by layer from his mother’s knee. Knowledge can be programmed and mass-produced. Knowledge is something in the head. Convictions are something of a mystery, something you will die for. It is the heart that God looks upon and not our diplomas or our gift of gab.
BUT THE LORD SAID UNTO SAMUEL, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (1Samuel 16:7)
DANIEL HAD PURPOSED IN HIS HEART that he would not defile himself with the king’s…anything. Somehow, he decided that he needed to meet with the Lord three times a day to keep himself in step with the Lord. Daniel’s resolve brings me to this question: How long has it been since you talked with the Lord? Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
AUGUST 27, 2018 – MONDAY
A.M. Psalms 132-135 P.M. 1Corinthians 8
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 24:31-32) (Write verse on scrap of paper and put in your pocket to memorize.)
Song for Today:
How Long Has It Been? (2:30) (Jim Reeves)
Give it a little time – You may need to adjust the sound.