I am currently doing a study on the Book of James for Ladies' Bible Class. Foree, our preacher, is also teaching a series on Sunday nights on James. I'm thinking there is something I'm supposed to learn right now from James. Yesterday, as part of the LBC study, I read through the entire book. Chapter 4 verse 17 jumped out at me.
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
Ouch. To know and not do is not to know - it also happens to be sinful. Eeeek. I am a sinner indeed. (or rather, in lack of deed I guess) I think this ties in some with a post from a few weeks back - to know you want more from "church" but do nothing about - sin. To know your body is a Temple of God and in need of serious repair and do nothing about it - sin. I've known for some time that my obesity (which I now beleive is only in the overweight category) was sinful, but I was thinking more long the lines of gluttony - I hadn't really thought about my lack of action to remedy that current state of affairs as being sinful in itself. To know you should give financially to your church and not do it - sin. To know the Spirit is prompting you to make a phone call, stop and visit someone, reach out to a visitor, or pray for a friend and not do it - sin. To know that your spouse is in need of some extra attention, or affirmation, or physical intimacy and not do it - sin. To know that God is calling you to a ministry you feel unequiped for, scared of, skeptical about and therefore not follow His lead - SIN.
This speaks strongly to those who walk around feeling like they are doing "pretty good." You know the mantra - I don't drink, I don't smoke, I take care of my family, I tithe my earnings, I've got checkmarks in all the boxes on my list. Here's the trouble - God wants so much more from us than a checklist of chores. He wants our heart. He wants our life. He wants to call out to us and have us respond with excitement, "Yes Lord! Yes, yes, yes! Whatever it is you need me to do I will do it. Because I KNOW who you are and who I am in you I am willing to make any sacrifice and do all that you ask!" How often is that our response? Not often enough for me.
Scripture tells us over and over that God has work planned for us, that He will bless our efforts when in accordance with His will. So why do we so often hesitate? Because Satan busys us with life on this earth. We allow our focus to become work and soccer practice and PTO and housecleaning and we think we simply don't have time. Sometimes we get so busy with life on this earth that we don't make time to converse with God. If we aren't conversing with Him, how will we ever even hear what it is He has planned for us to do?
OK, my thoughts are starting to splinter so I better close this for now. As for this week - I encourage you all to listen closely to the whisper of the Spirit in your life. If you know He wants you do something, do it. And have peace and confidence that you just "passed" one of the many trials of your faith.