Clear Channel To God

May 11, 2000
by Jim Wagner

Matthew 5:48 – Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (NIV)

Why did Jesus command us to be perfect if we cannot be perfect?

In Sunday School a few weeks ago as we discussed the meaning of Lent, I silently reflected on how difficult it is to strive for Christian perfection and how short I fall in attempting to obtain that perfection.

Several months ago, I purchased one of those direct-to-home television satellite systems. In order to set it up, I read the installation manual from cover to cover several times to ensure I did it right (perfect) the first time. (How long has it been since I read God's manual cover to cover? Never, sad to say.) I followed the step-by-step instructions on how to select a site for best reception. I used a magnetic compass to direct the antenna in the proper direction, adjusted the azimuth to correspond to the degrees of latitude for my location. (How exacting am I in following God's direction?) I purchased cables with the proper specifications, and installed them so as to be pleasing and unobtrusive. I further fine-tuned the antenna to pull in the strongest signal. (Do my prayers fall short because I am not set to the proper channel or pointed in the right direction?) My objective was to achieve 100{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} signal strength (perfection) but the best I could achieve was about 85-94 percent.

I ran into barriers to that 100{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} goal. I selected screw-on cable connectors and initially could not get a strong signal. I tried and tried unsuccessfully. I finally realized I needed help and hired a local television repairman to look over my system. (When was the last time I asked for God's help?) The television fellow discovered my problem was with the cable screw-on connectors and replaced them with clamp-on connectors. (Am I clamped on to God?) He also gave me hints on how I could improve the 85-94{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} reception. He charged me $75.00 US. (Am I willing to pay the price to be a Christian?)

That was not the only barrier. After getting the system up and running, I discovered I could not get local television stations through direct-to-home television. (There is some law about that.) I remembered something in the manual that stated the receiver would accept local television if one installed an outside antenna. (Will this process of seeking perfection never end? Have I taken the time to reread God's manual?) Well, after several trips to the store, some bunny-ear antennae and another few hours of installation, I finally got to where everything is working. Perfect yet? No! The television repairman told me there were times when rain and other atmospheric conditions might interfere with my signal. (Do I let outside influences affect my relationship with God?)

Prayer: Lord, show me Your way. Make me obedient to Your desires for me. Give me a clear channel to Your communications with me. Point me. Direct me. Help me. Amen.

About the author:

Jim Wagner
Beaumont, Texas, USA

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