I sat in the church pew and watched people file sporadically into the church for a free Thanksgiving dinner. Some were homeless, others just needed a free holiday meal. The old, the young, and a few families with small children filled the tables to eat turkey, mashed potatoes, veggies and pie. I saw guys with beards bushy enough to make Santa Clause jealous.
I could see the homeless bodies, but I had no idea how many homeless hearts beat at the church that Thanksgiving day. Homeless bodies are present among the poor, the destitute, among the people we like to think we have nothing in common with. But, homeless hearts live everywhere. No social or financial boundaries exist for hearts without a home.
Jesus doesn’t look on the outside like we do to see who is wearing something from Goodwill or Gucci, or whether they sleep on a Sleep Number bed or on the street. Jesus just wants your heart to be at home with our Father in heaven. As humans we worry about keeping up appearances on the outside with the right group of friends who reflect our social status or we work hard to move up the social and economic ladder. When Jesus came to this earth, He didn’t worry about climbing the social and economic ladder. He was already the Son of God, richer and more powerful than anyone He came into contact with here on earth. Not everyone could see that though, the religious leaders refused to accept Him because He didn’t fit their ideal of a King, they looked on the outside and failed to recognize who He really was on the inside. His heart was home with His Father, He knew who He was therefore He didn’t need to work to impress others. He came to this earth to bring homeless hearts back to His Father regardless of what they wore or where they slept.
It’s time to take a look at the bigger picture. God is our Father. Jesus is our brother. Our fellow church members and those who don’t believe as we do are not our enemies. Satan is God’s enemy therefore as children of God, Satan is our enemy. We are in a fight against Satan not our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We are not to get up every morning in a tizzy over someones actions or the church boards latest vote we don’t agree with. Every morning when we get up we are to meet before the throne of God with our Christian brothers and sisters and accept the will of God for our lives that day. That means we give up our list of things to do and accept His. We give up seeking our own power and accept the power of God to be humble. We give up believing we know the will of God for others and start concentrating on the will of God in our own life.
God is our true Father. Most of our hearts are like the Prodigal Son wandering far from home and a Father who loves us, to hang out with the enemy of our Dad. The enemy who wants to take all our Father freely gives us and leave us with nothing. God gives us freedom, the devil enslaves us with addictions. God gives us the fruits of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. But when we hang out with the enemy love becomes conditional. Joy and peace become only the temporary emotions of participating in our addiction, and self-control is nearly non-existent when operated under our own power.
God gives us His armor to protect us. God’s enemy can’t wait to strip it from us when we allow our wandering heart into his presence. God gives us a belt of truth, a breastplate of righteousness and shoes of peace for our feet. He equips us with a shield of faith, helmet of salvation and sword of Spirit, which is the word of God. But the devil tempts us with lies just like he first tempted Eve. Once we accept the enemies lies our belt of truth is gone and our breastplate of righteousness and our peace disappears along with the truth. Our faith wavers and salvation seems a long way off, too difficult to obtain and we are too busy living the enemies lies to spend any time with the sword of the Spirit (the word of God).
It’s time to give up the lies the enemy tells us. It’s time to accept the home for our heart that God has waiting for us. God is waiting to give back everything the enemy has stolen from us. He is waiting to give us back our joy and peace. He is waiting to cover us with His breastplate of righteousness. He is waiting to increase our faith and give us salvation. It is time to permanently move into the family of God. Time to spend every second with Him, not just a few moments here and there when it’s convenient. God is waiting, why are you?