Thursday, November 12, 2015
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Alcoholics really need to stay away from places that are all about alcohol. Bookaholics need to stay away from bookstores. Like it's dangerous for me to spend time in a bookstore, especially a Christian bookstore.
When my son was home from college we would often enjoy going together to a bookstore. I usually headed for the books; he would head for the music. But this one time when I asked him, it suddenly dawned on me this wasn't a good time to go. This was the time that they traditionally conducted their inventory. Yeah, lousy time to go to a store you really want to be in, because they were shut down to take stock.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Closing for Inventory."
There was one man in history who was called the man after God's own heart by God. His name was David. It's this man whose personal spiritual diary is in your possession. It's called the book of Psalms. One of those is in Psalm 42; it's a real look inside David's heart. Then his question that I hope will become your question.
Our word for today from the Word of God in Psalm 42 beginning at verse 1, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." Here's the question, "When can I go and meet with God?" Now what's David's frame of mind in this Psalm? Well he says in verse 3, "My tears have been my food day and night."
He later describes himself as being downcast, disturbed. In a word David is struggling. He says something's not right, but instead of sinking he knows where to turn. He says this in the Psalm, "My soul is downcast within me: therefore I will remember you." He says it's time to close the store and meet with God. Maybe it's that time for you too. It's time to close for inventory. We can only go so long without a time away from all the other voices. Life just starts spinning out of control without a periodic time of uninterrupted inventory with God.
Stores know you can't really take stock of what you got while you're still selling and servicing customers. They have to lock the doors. They have to hang out a closed sign to do it. It's the same spiritually and emotionally. It's hard to really see where you are and where God wants you to be while you're still meeting all the demands of your daily responsibilities and servicing all the customers in your life.
There must be those times when you hang out the closed sign and just say, "I'm all yours, God." Spend some extended time with your Lord. "When can I go and meet with God?" It might be a day; it might be a couple of days or once in awhile a longer period of time. You just take you, your bible and a big notepad to write down what comes to you while you're listening to the Lord and you can expect Him to fill that pad. He loves when we come to Him with an empty piece of paper.
This is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your spouse; taking over their responsibilities so they can close for inventory. It's a gift to you too. You get a better husband or wife out of the deal. A son or daughter can offer extra help so their mom or dad could spend this time. A church or a ministry is wise to allow, even to encourage their leaders to stop all the business and running the church machine, and take time out for inventory.
When you do go meet with God, open up every corner of you to His search light. Deal with wrong actions, wrong attitudes that have developed. Stand back with Him and get the big picture again. Then ask Him to help you see each of the key people in your life as He sees them - through His eyes.
So how long has it been since you closed for inventory? God has so much He wants to show you and you need to hear His voice so much. You'll come out of that seeking time really ready for business again. But first you have to be still and know that He is God.