Friday, August 12, 2011

26 Hours to Live

On November 17, 2000 as I awoke that morning, I knew the Lord desired to speak to my heart that day—I felt that it would be quite significant. I was a first year student at Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas. As I ventured through the day I came to a class taught by my favorite instructor—Dr. Larry Hill. I don’t remember now the entirety of the teaching that morning, but I do remember one poignant statement that he made that reverberated in my spirit. As he was passionately teaching (with his arms flailing while his facial expression revealed the intensity of a man consumed) about how we are going to live our lives in the light of our destiny in Christ, he asked the following question, “What if you have…[a short pause]…26 hours to live?

The force of those words seized my attention. I leaned in as to say, “Lord I’m listening to your voice with every fiber of my being.” As I sat on the edge of my seat, I knew the Lord was clearly speaking to me through this message.

Let me explain.

On that day as I listened to Dr. Hill preach, I was celebrating my 26th birthday. I rose early that morning to seek the Lord’s face in the GLT prayer room. I knew in my spirit that He was going to speak prophetically into my heart. Therefore when my teacher used the same number as my age to describe how many hours left one would live, I was riveted.

Immediately I wondered, “Who in the world uses the number 26 to describe how many hours one has remaining to live?” Normally in such a scenario a person would propose a more standard usage of time such as 24 (is there not a reason that a popular show was called 24 and not 26?). Due to the unusualness of the number selected to describe this scenario, I knew this was the Lord speaking to my own heart. Each year since then I have reflected on this as a reminder of the urgency of setting my heart apart unto the Lord so that I may live my life for His glory.

Life is short. Let us heed the wisdom penned by the Psalmist (Psalm 90:12)—Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Take time today to meditate on that verse. What can you do today to consecrate your heart afresh to Him in this hour? Don't be the couple that John Piper writes about in his book, Don't Waste Your Life. Their sole objective was simply to retire early, move to Florida to live a life of comfort and ease—traveling, playing softball and collecting shells. Don’t waste your life seeking the comforts of life. My heart aches simply writing about this tragic pursuit of the American dream. Heed the words of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:15-16—Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

So, if you have 26 hours to live from this moment, what would you do in order not to waste your life?