"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift."
I spent the past two evenings watching a lot of high school basketball at the annual Vandalia Holiday Tournament. The South Central Cougars won the tourney, and in a most dramatic fashion, I might add. Monday night, one of the Cougars hit a 3-pointer just shy of half court with no time left, banking it in to help his team beat the hosting Vandals by one point. The very next night, the Cougars played in the championship against the No. 1 seed — the defending champions from Pana High School. The game went into overtime. The score was tied with 1.3 seconds left when, for the second night in a row, that same Cougar drained a baseline jumper. They won by two.
All the fans in the Vandalia High gymnasium could feel the great, raw sense of urgency at the end of both games. When the game is on the line, most other worries take a back seat to what's happening at the time. Everyone was zoned in on the playing floor, awaiting the outcome.
The players have an even greater sense of urgency. Time is ticking and WILL run out. They MUST score, or they lose.
In Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus calls us to a similar intensity and urgency in our relationships. Quite simply, when the Holy Spirit reveals something to us, we should drop all we're doing and go do it. We shouldn't wait. Time is ticking. We need to get the shot off before the buzzer sounds.
It's the beginning of 2004. Many will be evaluating the past year and setting new goals for the new one. I encourage you to take time to reflect on where you've been this past year, as well as where you want to go. Ask God to guide you, and He will. Write these things down, and go after them with tenacity and a sense of urgency. You'll be glad you did.
1. How long do you wait before acting when the Holy Spirit guides you to do something?
2. Why do you think God wants you to act when He first asks you?
3. How can you be more obedient to His prompting in the new year?