Wednesday, October 5, 2016
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In my early days of trying to figure out the world of computers, my friends would shake their heads. Sometimes they still do today, because I guess I could be a special challenge in the techy stuff. I mean, in the early days, someone saw me turning off my computer without going through all the steps you're supposed to. I didn't know until they told me that day. Probably my friend was shaking their head as they watched me. He showed me how to bring up on my screen an option called "shutdown". When you activate the shutdown mode, the computer displays a special shutdown screen that stays on while the internal shutdown work is going on. Then, suddenly, your computer is off. Well, when I asked my technically normal friend what shutdown mode was, he gave me a simple answer, knowing my techno-dork limitations. He said, "Your computer is cleaning out a lot of junk that's accumulated in there; any unfinished business from whatever commands it's been given since the last shutdown." Oh, that sounds good to me. Now I never end what I'm doing without going through shutdown mode. Neither should you.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Before You Turn Off Your Day."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Psalm 4. It's God's description of how you and I are supposed to shut down before we turn off for the day. Beginning with verse 4, it says, "When you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent." That reminds me of David's prayer, "Search me, O God, and know my heart." Before you go to sleep, search through your heart for any garbage that has accumulated during the day: that anger, that unforgiveness, that resentment, that lust, the coveting, the comparing you did, the gossip you got sucked into, the negative attitudes, maybe someone you've treated sinfully. Don't shut down until you've cleaned out the junk of the day by bringing it to Jesus in repentance right there on your bed.
But there's more in God's shutdown sequence. It says, "Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord." At the end of every day, there will always be bases you didn't get covered. I have plenty of them. And our minds are cluttered with the tyranny of the undone. No matter how much you do, no matter how good your heart and your intentions are, your efforts will always leave something unfinished, maybe even a mess.
"Offer right sacrifices" means you do all you can; you offer God your best efforts. Then where your best leaves off, you "trust in the Lord' to cover the rest. God's night-night mode for us is to clean out the failures of the day, the wounds of the day, the discouragements of the day, the worries, the hard feelings, the things we're dreading about tomorrow, and to one-by-one leave those totally in His very capable hands. He'll even be working on them while you're sleeping if you really make it His business and you get it out of your hands and clearly in His.
As the Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:12, "I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced He is able to guard what I've committed to Him until that day." And when you've done that, you can go to sleep saying, "Lord, I've done all I can today. The rest is up to You. I'm glad You'll be working while I'm sleeping. "
And here's the blessed result. "I will lie down and sleep in peace; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Isn't that great?
So clean out the junk before you shut down. And go to sleep with one thing and only one on your mind – your Jesus.