Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

There’s a passage in the bible that tells us to be careful how we entertain strangers because they might be angels in disguise. You may not believe in angels but let’s kick it up a notch and entertain the notion that God is in play. What would you do if God was coming over for dinner? What if you knew God was responding to an invitation, your invitation, to come and visit? I’ve thought about this often as it relates to prayer. After all, prayer is the official invitation for God to enter our lives and become a permanent part of our living breathing eternal existence. The question is, what would you do if His answer was yes? Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Serious consideration of that convinces me that I am not ready but, I will forever be extending the invitation. As with Enoch, the very thought of being able to walk with God is mind boggling to me. The very thought of knowing that the invitation to be led by the Holy Spirit has been accepted would humble any man, or at least it should. As I pray and beseech the Lord to let me empty myself of those things that would stand in the way of the Holy Spirit taking a hold of my life, I know if it actually happened I would be changed forever. Just try to imagine a life and a lifestyle predicated upon living for Christ. Certainly, you can understand the angst one might feel when the dots connect the words of faith with the actions of life.

Our actions are a direct link to whether or not we understand and accept what we are praying for. Believe me, I am no expert but each day I ask the Lord to allow me to do one thing that will be solely based on someone else’s ability to view me as a man of God. That may sound ridiculous to some of you, even shallow. But I believe during the course of a day that someone I come in contact with should respond to that contact with absolute knowledge that I am a practicing believer. Please see Jesus in me today. Someone! Anyone! Stranger or Angel!

Many an evening, prayer has me searching for that kind of thought, that selfless gesture, that one thing I did that I could point to with absolute certainty that was done out of love for, if not God then my fellow man. Many an evening after morning conviction, I come up wanting. It just didn’t happen on that day; not one thing did I do, could I point to, that wasn’t for me but was totally for the benefit of someone else. It happened. I said it. I did it, achieved it because it was God’s will, not mine. There have been other days, of course, when there is tangible evidence of at least trying to be a blessing to someone else in either thought or deed. From witnessing to giving testimony, from giving a helping hand to offering a listening ear, from taking time to giving time that I just didn’t have, God was there in thought, word and deed. Then that becomes an awesome day.

It appears that the key to this is simply wanting to; that desire to freely give, rather than the belief that one has to out of obligation. If you believe you have to do something, that becomes some whacked out way to keep score. That’s the spiritual definition of a loser. You can never do enough to earn God’s love, get His attention or somehow get brownie points in the respect column. Folks, Jesus already took care of that for us. But I believe we live in God’s favor and like Enoch, how we live our lives is an open invitation to get God’s attention and maybe even a walk is in His eternal presence in the here and now. The reward after all is His to give and not ours to expect.

The next time you pray, stop and think about what you’re praying for or why you’re praying at all. Then consider your actions in that prayerfilled moment, realizing that God just might take you up on your invitation. I can’t imagine the resulting conversation between you and God but I wish it for you each and every day as I do for myself.

May God bless and keep you always.

James, jaws@dallasweekly.com