Almost (ôlˌmōst) adverb Dfn.: not quite, very nearly. OE – ‘for the most part’. Source: New Oxford American Dictionary
Almost. Almost home. Almost finished. Almost made it. Almost Heaven. The word almost may be the one word of all words to avoid in life. It doesn’t mean we didn’t try or failed to start. It just means we didn’t quite ‘for the most part’ finish the job. Almost.
The word is not a part of Heaven’s vocabulary. There are no ‘almost’s’ in Heaven. But, there very well may be a lot of ‘almost’s’ in Hell. Yes, Hell. Jesus talked more about it than we’d like to admit.
God’s people (as recorded in the Old Testament) understood the word quite well. In fact, they patterned their ‘religious’ life around ‘almost’. They built worship centers around Israel in homage to its false promises:
Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. I Kings 12:28-30
No need to travel all the way to Jerusalem, waste time, endure discomfort, exhaust funds and resources. Just reaching the city named ‘Almost’ is just as good as making it to Jerusalem.
Almost will be just fine. God “knows our heart”. Just going through the ritual is enough. Check the box, stamp the paper, punch the ticket or scan the barcode and we are good. Almost. No need to attend church, pray, make financial commitments, sacrifice needlessly, deal with unrepented sins, selflessly serve others, stand for sound doctrine or be embarrassed and stigmatized as being called one of those ‘Jesus’ people.
Almost speaks of compromise, lack of zeal, lukewarmness, dispassion and indifference. When total commitment is not our first choice, almost is an acceptable option.
Oh, Jesus, help us to not settle for anything less than your very best:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2
There are many notable ‘almost’s’ in this life. Here are a few:
Two brothers sold their business for $2.7M in the 1950’s. Today the business generates over $5.9B in sales annually. Who were they? Richard & Maurice McDonald the original owners of the first McDonalds fast food restaurant.
Today he would be worth $95B. Instead he sold 10% of his share of the company for $800.00 after just 12 days as the number three man. What was the company? Apple
In 2010 Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga had pitched a perfect game with one final batter to face with two outs in the 9th inning. The last batter was called safe at first on a clearly misjudged ground ball call by the first base umpire. It has been named the ‘Almost Perfect’ baseball game.
Professional golfer Scott Hoch in the 1989 Masters Tournament was 2 putts away from wining the championship. His first putt brought him closer to the prize. How far away was the ball from the cup? Two feet. He missed his on second putt attempt.
Just One More Step
She was seriously ill and had been for over twelve years. Neither the doctors or the money spent on medicinal herbal remedies could solve her dilemma, a non-curable blood disease. But, then she heard about a peculiar man named Jesus who was reported to be healing people like her of even worst ailments, even raising the dead!
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, Mark 5:25-26
If he could do that surely he could handle her problem. She heard he was nearby. She had nothing to loose and determined not to live any longer in an almost situation. All she needed was to take one more step closer to her needed miracle:
When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. Mark 5:27-28
And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. Mark 5:34
There was an Internet video posted today about a woman on the state of Alabama’s Ten-Most wanted list. She was a drug addict and chained to a lifestyle of criminal activity to support her habit. After being incarcerated many, many times she hit rock-bottom and prayed to God that He would deliver her from the drugs. That simple prayer of repentance forever changed her life. God answered her in that prison cell and took the desire away. She lost the desire from that moment on and never looked back.
If that is not amazing, this is not the end of the story. Many years later she recognized someone on Facebook who was in need of a kidney transplant. The man was a now retired former police officer who arrested her many times during her life of crime and drugs. The Lord spoke to her and said she had the kidney he needed. After contacting the man and having compatibility tests run, her kidney was a perfect match and became his organ donor source.
Just One Prayer Away
You could be one prayer away from your needed miracle. One prayer away from receiving Heaven’s long awaited answer. One small step of faith short of seeing God walk through the door and forever change everything.
You are one prayer away of turning an ‘almost’ situation into an ‘absolute’ situation.
By God’s grace I will keep praying that prayer. Will you?