Focus Scripture: James. Like the entire book. However, let's start with James 1:23-24
Last week, in my Weekend Getaway blog, I talked about the importance of stillness. Of exercising patience and rest for an extended period of time in order to fully appreciate the presence of God.
This week, I want to encourage you to act on what you conclude. That stillness, without the benefit of action, can also leave you in a place you do not want to be. James 1:23-24 says:
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (NKJV)
Have you ever heard the story of the man waiting to be rescued from the flood? It goes something like this:
Flood waters washed through a town and one man was caught in his home. A neighbor offered to rescue him in his truck before the waters overtook his house, but the man replied that he was a faithful man and God would save him. As the flood waters rose, the man found shelter on the roof. A rescue boat offered help, but the man shook his head and said, “the Lord is my Shepherd and he will save me from this flood!” The boat motored away. Finally, a helicopter hovered and the rescue team shouted into their megaphone, “We’re lowering a ladder, take hold!” but the man waved them off and shouted back, “The power of the Holy Spirit through my Lord Jesus Christ will intercede for me and God will save me!” Alas, the waters rose and the man drowned. When he reached heaven, he asked God why he had not been saved and God replied, “I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter, what else could I have done?”
This fella did not lack faith, he lacked the wisdom to act on what he had learned. He believed in God’s promises, but lacked the wisdom to recognize them.
James helps us out again in his First chapter, fifth verse, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (NKJV) He starts out his book letting us know we will not get very far in our journey of faith without that wisdom to act.
And if you are still not sure about what the wisdom of God entails, James nails it very specifically:
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17 - NKJV
He is also very clear in the preceding verse about what the wisdom of Heaven is NOT. James 3:17 is my life verse. If there is a decision in my life that I struggle to make, this is my go-to verse.
Need more wisdom or direction, still? Check out Proverbs.
Be Still and Act are not mutually exclusive. they work in conjunction together. We aren’t called to be still OR act. James reminds us we are called to do both.
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:14-17.
James reminds us of these things so that we can work for the greater good of God. Yes, we can use these to help us in our daily and life decisions but remember, our faith in action is in loving others, in showing compassion and grace and tying it back to Jesus. Praying and praising and studying and even teaching are good, but we have to clothe and feed those we pray for also.
Remember, God parted the sea for Moses, but the Israelites still had to walk through it.
How can you be in action for God this week?
Kass Fogle is a Contemporary Christian Author, Speaker and Blogger who lives with her husband and two teenaged children in South-Central Illinois. She is working on her first novel, Ruth's Garden and when she is not working the day job you can find her at the local coffee house writing, at home baking, hanging out with family or causing trouble with her tight group of girlfriends. Kass is also a raging Football Mom.
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