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Noteworthy stuff

I can recall watching some of those silly sitcoms of the 50's and 60's, one of which was a 'regular' for me - Beverly Hillbillies. The characters ranged from an overgrown boy child who just had the hardest time with girls, a daughter that had no idea of her beauty, a granny who called the shots, a 'Paw' who worked to keep the family in line, a money-hungry banker, and his dutiful secretary, Ms. Hathaway. I was always caught by how 'put together' Ms. Hathaway always appeared and how she came at every call of her boss, Mr. Drysdale. Back in the day, a high-powered executive like Mr. Drysdale would speak authoritatively into the office intercom sitting on his desk, summoning an ever-waiting, always on the alert secretary to the office. Within seconds, the secretary would be "front and center", ready to do the bidding of the executive. It was not an uncommon thing to hear the words, "Take a note", implying that the secretary was to listen carefully, capturing the thoughts of the executive, then preparing a finished document with the dictated words. The attentiveness of the secretary was one thing - the ability to 'take note' quickly and accurately was another!

Take note of how I love what you tell me; out of your life of love, prolong my life. Your words all add up to the sum total: Truth. Your righteous decisions are eternal. (Psalm 119:159-160)

To "take note" is really saying "observe with care" or "pay special attention to" what I am about to say or do. In other words, when summoned, the secretary had to put out of her mind all other thought in order to focus on the current needs of the executive she served. Are you ever guilty of asking God to "take note"? We were likely asking God to "pay special attention to" our newly determined efforts to live in obedience to the revelation God gives because we don't want him to miss our efforts! As we have studied the various portions of this lengthy psalm, one theme consistently comes through. I wonder if you have been "taking note" of this theme as you have studied along with me? Have you seen it? The theme? Here it is: The Word of God is true! Since it is true, we can rely upon it! Totally! 
Since it is true, a reliable source for our every need, we cannot only "hang our hat" on the truth revealed within the Word, but we can allow it to deeply affect our lives. Did you catch that? We can ALLOW it to affect our lives! Changed life is a matter of giving access to the Word! Here's the sad truth - we often take the Word "IN" without allowing it to affect what is "IN" us!

There are both active and passive definitions of this word "allow". In an active sense, it means we actually "give permission" or "grant access to" the Word. This implies an active participation in not only taking it in, but in applying it to the various areas of our life until our emotional well-being, our spiritual health, and our physical strength is deeply impacted. In a passive sense, it means we "concede" to the action of the Word. Now, in a sense, this is not always bad, but when we concede, we are giving up a fight! This means we were resisting to begin with because there is no reason to give up a fight if we were never fighting! There is often freedom in surrender - but it can take us a long time to get to the place we finally surrender! I wonder how long a secretary would have kept her job back in the day if her response to the executive was, "I am pretty busy right now" or "The task you require of me is just not in keeping with what I want to do at the moment"? I'm thinking not too long! Yet, God is faced with these types of answers from us each and every day. We give one excuse after another, all the while avoiding the action(s) he requests of us. In turn, we wonder why we live weak, impotent Christian lives.

There is a direct "connection" between what is taken IN and how it is allowed to affect what is on the "inside"! We might resist change, but even resistance training brings great benefit to the muscles of our physical body! We might embrace change with open arms, but it is likely we might not fully appreciate the "cost" of change until we are deeply entrenched in the "process" of change! I cannot report that I have consistently embraced the Word without any lack of resistance. My own final attitude of "conceding" to the effect of the Word in my life is probably more evident to those looking upon my life as observers of the change more than it is to me! The important thing is the moment of "concession" - the turning of our heart from resistance toward obedience. The hope we have when this occurs: God takes note! He is paying close attention to the very moment of our shift in mindset - our heart response!

Today may be your day - the moment you "shift" from resistance toward obedience. It may be the day the Word you have taken IN begins to affect what is on the INSIDE. If so, know this: God is taking accurate and efficient note! It blesses him greatly when one of his kids takes even the smallest step toward obedience! He stands right there beside you today. Know what he is saying? I do! His response to our obedience always a resounding, "Yippee!" Just sayin!

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