// Lynette Hagin
"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."
—Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
OCCASIONALLY someone asks me, "What has the Lord been talking to you about lately?" My first thought is, "I don't think you have time for me to relay the many conversations I've had with Him." Next I think, "Most of what God has been saying is only for me to hear." Each of us should be talking to God and listening for His answers every day. I could not navigate my life without communicating with the Father continually.
However, in recent months the Lord has been talking to me about some things that I feel will benefit the Body of Christ. I want to share them with you in this column and in ones to come. I am sure most of you recognize that we are living in the last days. Paul said in Second Timothy 3:1 (NLT), "In the last days there will be very difficult times." I believe those difficult times are upon us.
As a child I heard many ministers preach about Bible prophecy. Even when I was young, this did not interest me. Why? No one, regardless of his Bible knowledge, knows the exact interpretation of the scriptures concerning the end times. I've always thought, "Why concentrate on something we do not understand nor can do anything about?" I am more interested in the Word of God that concerns my life and things I can do something about.
The Lord directed me recently to scriptures concerning the last days. And suddenly I saw a part that we can do something about. Matthew 24:42–44 (NKJV) says, "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."
As I read this entire chapter (and I encourage you to do the same), my eyes focused on the most important words in it: "YOU ALSO BE READY." When I read that, I looked at the condition of the Church today and started weeping profusely. I realized how far the Body of Christ was from being ready for the Lord's return.
I began to scan the Scriptures for the expectations of the Church and found several that I feel are very important in preparing us for the Lord's second coming. Ephesians 5:27 (NKJV) says, "That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish."
Jesus is returning for a holy Church. Of course, not one of us is perfect. However, we should strive to live a holy life, always honoring the Lord and following the rules He has set down in His Word. Romans 12:1 (NLT) says, "Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him."
I also like Romans 12:2 in The Message Bible: "Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."
I grew up in an era when my entire life revolved around church. Not only did we go to three services a week (and more when we had special meetings), but our friends, social life, and everything else we did was connected to church. Times have changed, and it's sad to see that very few activities and relationships today revolve around church. God often gets placed on the back burner. We put Him last on our schedule and sometimes even delete Him from our schedule for weeks at a time.
So to be ready for the Lord's return, we need to concentrate first on presenting ourselves entirely to Him. We need to live a godly life and make Him the very center of it. We will continue on this subject in the next issue.