Ashes to Fire: Burning Away the Blind Spots!
As we begin our series “Ashes to Fire: Burning Away the Blind Spots” I would like to share a story found in the “Ashes to Fire” devotional for today, the first Sunday of Lent.
A workman went to his big boss one day and said. “I’m tired. I think I’ll take my retirement benefits and hang it up. It’s been great working for you.”
The big boss looked disappointed and said, “I really hate to see you go. I was hoping you could do at least one more big job for me. Will you, just one more?” Reluctantly the builder agreed to build a house for some important client of the big boss.
It was a big house, a big job, a lot of work. It was on a golf course, with a lot of detail. But the man’s heart wasn’t in it. He threw the house together in record time and cut corners on material and labor wherever he could. He saved the boss a lot of money, but it wasn’t really his best work and he knew it.
Imagine how he felt when he turned the keys over to the big boss and the boss gave them right back and fished around in his briefcase and gave him the title and deed to the property on the golf course.
This is my gift for you! he said. “Thanks for all your good work over the years!”
Then the builder wished he hadn’t been in such a hurry. He wished he hadn’t cut corners and taken shortcuts just to get the job done. ~Ashes to Fire Year A, Page 24.
From our perspective it is not hard to observe that the builder was shortsighted. Isn’t that always the way it is with temptation? Temptation seeks to blind us to the ugly consequences of taking shortcuts. When Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness the first temptation he faced was to take the short cut of self-gratification. When hungry and famished He was tempted to self-satisfy instead of waiting in dependence upon His heavenly Father. How often are we tempted to satisfy legitimate desires in illegitimate ways instead of waiting on our heavenly Father’s provision? When tempted Jesus quoted a well-known text from the book of Deuteronomy: “Man does live on bread alone, but every word that comes out of the mouth of the Lord.” When we seek to fulfill our needs by taking shortcuts instead of following the leading of God it builds a shoddy house. However, when we are willing to follow the Lord’s leading and wait upon Him a beautiful house is built that attracts and makes room for others to see the grace, truth, and love of Jesus!
As you enter into this season of Lent we encourage you to start a new discipline of scripture reading through utilizing the “Ashes to Fire” devotional. The devotional provides readings for morning and evening along with simple prayers. Also, read Matthew 4:1-11, and consider fasting in some way. Make your fast about coming to a greater awareness of your need to wait upon God to fulfill your deepest hungers. Fast in order to develop a greater dependence upon God so that he can build a beautiful house out of your life where there is plenty of room for others to experience Jesus
∼ Pastor Ron