Once, on the TV show Seinfeld, Elaine accompanied Jerry to pick up a rental car. When they got to the counter the agent told Jerry that his car was not available.
Jerry: I don't understand. I made a reservation. Do you have my reservation? Agent: Yes, we do … unfortunately we ran out of cars. Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car HERE. That's why you have the reservation. Agent: I know why we have reservations. Jerry: I don't think you do. If you did, I'd have a car. See … you know how to TAKE the reservation, you just don't know how to HOLD the reservation …. and that's really the most important part of the reservation … the HOLDING. Anybody can just TAKE reservations (as he grabs at the air)
Having and voicing good intentions makes us feel good – even if those intentions are only half-hearted. But wanting to do something, promising to do something, and doing that something are different things entirely. We feel good when we want to do something or promise to do something, but the doing may not actually give us good feelings. Wanting and promising are easy but doing is often difficult. For example, wanting to lose weight and saying you are going to lose weight doesn’t require much effort, but actually losing the weight does. Saying you will lose weight makes you feel good, but losing the weight usually involves some un-pleasantries.
Saying something is so does not make it so. If it did, my Oklahoma Sooners would have beaten the dreaded Longhorns this year because I was doing some mighty good talking before the game! The same is true in the spiritual realm. Jesus once warned, Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. He also said, These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me. Talk is cheap.
The Lord isn’t fooled by words. He looks straight into our hearts. When we say we trust Him, He knows if we really do. When we say we love Him, He knows how much. When we say we are serving Him, He knows if it’s true. When we say we are sorry for a sin, He knows if we will do it again. The Lord once said to Samuel, the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
Whether it is salvation, or living the Spirit-filled life, follow-through is vital. If you are like me, this can shake your faith … but don’t let it. It’s not all up to you. The Bible says it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Lift your eyes off yourself and place them on the One who is Faithful and True. His saving power is greater than our inconsistencies, weaknesses, and half-heartedness. The apostle Paul, who confessed in Romans 7 that he often failed to do what he wanted to do and often did what he didn’t want to do, wrote this to Timothy - I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. Thank God He holds us in His hands, we don’t hold Him in ours.
Jesus holds our reservation,