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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 08/25/16

Ready for Action!

ready-for-action-meme-2

STORY: Ready for Action!

A rumble of voices vaguely fill the background, while the director yells, “Ready, set, action!” I somehow stumble out on stage. The spotlight blinds me. Music plays from the orchestra, in that dark pit below. I’m aware they’re playing, but all I can see is this blinding light. It’s my time. After the next bar, my first word needs to be ready. Sing, Kathy, sing! But I can’t recall the words to the song. I had rehearsed it over and over until I could remember it forwards and backwards.

But tonight, the night of the performance, my mind goes as blank as the looks on the audience’s faces. Only I can’t really see their faces—just that bright light. I’ve heard that’s the last thing people see before Jesus escorts them into heaven. Maybe I’m dying. Or maybe I just wish I was.

Why can’t I remember the song? My lines? I look down. What happened to my beautiful wardrobe? That amazing taupe lace gown with satin ribbon at the waist? Where did my clothes disappear to? I’m on stage—naked? I run off the stage in a fit of tears, confused, disappointed in myself, feeling like a failure, ashamed.

And then...I wake up. It was a nightmare. Again! I’m fifty-three years old and I still have that dream from time to time. Back flashes of what didn’t happen when I was the high school musical female lead. Marion the Librarian. Only I got everything right during the real performances. So why do I have these nightmares every few years?

There’s a fear inside all of us that when it’s time for us to be ready that we won’t be able to act on all our hard work and preparation. Can you relate? Are you ready for that next call to action from God?

STUDY: Act Like You Mean It

All of us say we want to serve God with our good works, but all of us also get tempted to miss out on the blessing of service because we allow our humanness to trip us up. Look and see what happened in Bible times when good people wanted to do good deeds.

Be Ready

So Joshua and all the fighting men set out to attack Ai. Joshua chose 30,000 of his best warriors and sent them out at night with these orders: “Hide in ambush close behind the town and be ready for action. (Joshua 8:3-4 NLT)

  • Notice he doesn’t say “get ready” he says “be ready.” I wonder if preparedness is more a state of mind than a state of doing? Or at least—the first step. What happens in this verse after “be ready”?
  • Get the mind ready first, and then the actions can follow. What might that apply to right now in your life?

Ready for Use

We have also recovered all the items discarded by King Ahaz when he was unfaithful and closed the Temple. They are now in front of the altar of the Lord, purified and ready for use.” (2 Chronicles 29:19 NLT)

  • Just like the temple items were ready for use, what two steps can be extrapolated from this verse to apply to your life?
  • When was the last time you placed yourself figuratively at the altar of the Lord?
  • What needs to be changed in your actions and attitudes to be purified so you can be ready for use?

Ready for Duty

A copy of this decree was to be issued as law in every province and proclaimed to all peoples, so that they would be ready to do their duty on the appointed day. (Esther 3:14 NLT)

  • We can be as prepared as the people in Bible times who were instructed to be ready to do their duty. What duty is God leading you to be ready for?
  • The people in the book of Esther waited for the appointed day. What do you think they did while they waited? What do you do while you wait for God to tell you it’s time to act?

Ready for Solid Food

I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready. (1 Corinthians 3:2 NLT)

  • Paul talks about spiritual milk and spiritual solid food (meat). What do you think is the difference between these two nourishments?
  • Are you ready for something stronger than milk? How do you get ready?

Ready to Send an Offering

For I know how eager you are to help, and I have been boasting to the churches in Macedonia that you in Greece were ready to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that stirred up many of the Macedonian believers to begin giving. So I thought I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready. But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given grudgingly. (2 Corinthians 9:2, 5 NLT)

  • Oftentimes when we hear the word “offering” we groan and think someone’s going to try to talk us out of some of our money again. But these giving churches were actually enthusiastic to give of their resources. What can you learn about giving from this passage?
  • Twice he uses the word “ready.” What do you think it takes to get ready to give?

STEPS: All Three Parts, Ready to Go!

  1. Be ready in your spirit. What does the God-part of you tell you to do as you prepare to act according to His instructions?
  2. Be ready in your soul. How can you prepare the invisible part of you to be ready to act? This includes your will, your attitudes, your emotions.
  3. Be ready in your body. What are you prepared to do, when called upon?

Copyright 2016 Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission.

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