“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 NIV
Minister: I can’t believe I am here! I must be passing through on my way to heaven, just as Jesus did, because I did everything right. I know I am HEAVEN BOUND!!! (Rocking my Jesus Freak t-shirt!!) I had a check off list each day; I fed the hungry, found the homeless a place to stay and rebuked people into repentance, so I’m sure I’m just visiting.
Satan: Well, well, well I am so glad to see you!
Minister: Do you happen to know when I’m leaving?
Satan: (laughing) Leaving? You are in eternity! This is your final stop. You were so easy to convince to get here. I didn’t even have to try hard with “blatant” sins like killing, adultery, homosexuality, or drunkenness; you know the ones you used to condemn people about? Your heart is what got you here.
Minister: But what do you mean? I am a minister! I preach and share God’s Word! I put up with those homely kids, go to those nasty soup kitchens, and send in my money every month to the church.
Satan: Oh yes! You are right! We were such a team weren’t we? You played it well but you didn’t care about those people, and you forgot to share that “L” word.
Minister: What was that?
Satan: (laughing harder) Love! You belittled people in your heart and lied about who you were in your testimonies. You forgot that you were living a self-righteous sexually immoral life too. I loved it!!
Minister: But wait, I mean, I thought that I didn’t have to give my heart to Jesus, but that my title and deeds were enough. I mean, I knew who He was, but let’s be honest. Who really loves someone that you can’t really see?
Satan: Yeah, that’s the thing with ol’ dude. He isn’t really into deeds unless your heart is sound, but don’t worry, you are in the right place!
Minister: But wait, you don’t get it. I can’t stay here; I am too good for this. I did everything right!
Satan: Tisk, tisk, tisk! Now did you forgive your mother for abandoning you? Did you forgive your husband for cheating on you? Did you forgive your cousin that stole from you? Or did you just cut them off and allow the hate to rest in your heart?
Minister: So what you are saying is my heart was corrupt and I was really living a lie. I must admit, you are right. I became a minister for prestige and fame. My house and car were not to glorify God, but to glorify me. God blessed me with clothes, but I didn’t clothe the naked. He blessed me with a car, but I didn’t help those in need. I thought I was all that because I had it all, but I didn’t forgive my enemies and I lied to my friends. So I guess it’s not deeds alone, but my soul’s motive to be after God.
Satan: Ha ha, I think that is the funniest thing. Once you all get here, you finally get it, but it’s too late. Oh well, maybe next….welp, there won’t be a next time. Let’s go, it’s too cool in here.
This EmpowerMoment caused me to re-evaluate my motives for things. Why am I working on a Doctorate? Is it to have Dr. in front of my name, or am I committed to making a difference within my profession to EMPOWER and educate those I come into contact with? Why do I like fine things? Is it to share and EMPOWER others to follow their dreams, or is it to have my friends oooh and aahhh over them? Why do I put scriptures on my Facebook status? Is this all there is to my walk with God, or is this the remnant of what I’ve walked all day?
Lord, please forgive me of my sins. Especially those masked by my own self righteousness. Lord, I thank You for having mercy on me to expose this to me prior to my ending. As I learn to repent and bless Your name truthfully, please teach me how be blind to judgment, but wise when holding my friends accountable, quick to love and slow to criticize in my heart. Please help me to be cheerful in my giving and remove my grudging heart. Lord, I ask for Your forgiveness, continued mercy, and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to get right. Reassess your motive. If I can be transparent for a moment; it’s not fun always taking the high road. People will think you are a prune, lame, boring, and will ruin the funniest joke. But I desire for God to use me as an extension of Him, and to EMPOWER people through my words that come from my heart. If He can transform my heart, He can surely transform yours.
What heart issues are you going to commit to the Lord today?
As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a university administrator. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. She resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They are actively connected to St. Luke Christian Church of Huntsville, AL and Vaughn Forest Church of Montgomery, AL. Currently they are moving to Orange Beach, AL and are excited about the Lord leading them to a new church home.