Standing on the Promises of Sitting on the Premises? by Mark Yeakley

When I was five, my dad preached for a small mission congregation in Louisiana. For some reason I got the idea that it would make me look like a big boy to sit on the front pew, so I pestered Mom until she finally gave in. The first time I sat down front I felt really important.

I was usually a little sleepy when we went to church, so when Dad started preaching, I figured it was a good time to take a nap. I didn’t want anyone to know what I was doing, though, so to pull off the deception I would lean over so slowly that no one behind me could see me moving. In my little five-year-old mind I reasoned that if no one could see movement, no one would realize what I was doing. Can you imagine how absolutely ridiculous I must have looked when I was 45 degrees into my slow-motion lean?

Despite the bizarre nature of my actions, I pretty much had this church thing figured out. I learned very early that it was a good place to go and get some rest. The pew was comfortable and the preacher’s voice was soothing to me. I was so good at it that even in my sleep I could sense when Dad was getting close to the end of his sermon and I would wake up just in time to sit back up and be ready to stand for the invitation song. (I think I must have been some kind of sermon savant!)

Are we like that today? Do we come together on Sundays just to have a good rest and then go home and forget about God for the remainder of the week? As a body, are we asleep?

What about you? When Toby asks you to close your eyes during a particular part of his sermon, are you one of the ones who are already a step ahead of him?

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

Are you “standing on the promises” or just sitting on the premises? Remember, you “are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10). Let’s get busy!