I am writing to you from the path, and checking in to see how you are doing. I hope this letter finds you well. I hope you have continued on the journey we began in May. I have been camped out since the last time we touched base in the Book of James, and I have to tell you it is a great place for we who believe to camp. I have been journaling and praying my way through the five power packed chapters and I believe you might benefit by doing the same. Oh, and if you need an energy bar to get you going along the path with a bit more zip, check out this audio version of James via Bible Gateway as read by Max Mclean. So many options and ways to study, reflect and dig deeper into Scripture these days. Of course, I always prefer to have my hard copy of the Bible (or twenty!) but, I often will use the online options for quick searches for parallel verses, and references, mostly when I write but occasionally when I am reading.
Which brings me to my next point. The other morning as I sat on the patio enjoying “quiet time”, I realized how that description is so vague. It’s a bit impersonal in my assessment as I further have pondered. And I do recognize that no one, especially the God of the Universe desires to be a check mark on someone’s To Do list. This seems so obvious, but something has been stirring in me to be careful, and so I will share the same warning with you. In case you need it, too. Sometimes, I need to remind myself, I am meeting with the One True Living God in “my quiet time”. I notice this when I sit and start planning my day instead of seeking His face. Don’t get me wrong, I am aware they both need to happen, but when I get the focus right all else falls into place. When I don’t, well it just makes for a day I missed out.
I don’t know about you, but I believe God is willing and able to pencil me into His busy schedule. That is the heart of Jesus’ work on this earth.
The God of the Universe penned humanity into His plan in Jesus Christ.
I dare say this high priority He gave to you and me deserves serious consideration. After all when the CEO of a corporation calls a morning meeting with all of those who are under his instruction, they show up and listen attentively to the communication. Without hesitation. Without excuse. Without question. It’s logical, good and right that they do so. The head of the company holds the vision; is the one who has the plan, and knows the key players and roles he desires for them to play.
That this God longs to fellowship, instruct, guide, and advise us in the details of our little lives is miraculous and beautiful. Scoff at this if you will. But, in Christ, God takes pleasure in each one of us who belong to Him. And you may be unbelieving to what I am sharing, but I have experienced His joy and pleasure in me. His love is contagious and powerful. I think I feel a sneeze coming on …ah-ah-ah …
Ah, well. all this to say is, I am praying you make time to hear Him. It takes practice, discipline and availability. I recently read a blogger’s comments about quiet time. She stated she did not believe she needed to sit with the Bible and have a “quiet time”. Maybe so, there are many ways to hear and worship God, but I know for me, when I take time to be still, read His Word and pray He is faithful to make himself known to me in personal ways. It takes availability and discipline, in my experience. But, there is no formula, for surely this would offend Him.
In my early days as a Christian, my will prevailed. I conformed God to wrap around my dictates and expectations. This makes sense, right? God should do what I think is good and right, and mostly let me have my way. Isn’t that Christianity?
Um. No. AND no thank you. Although this philosophy was my own in spiritual childhood, it is a load of Malarky with a capital M. It is another gospel. ANd don’t be deceived, it is a prevalent one in these days.
It was only after years of submitting my will to His through practice that I began to realize this God, who I was getting to know, could not be conformed to an image of my own making. He is Spirit and Truth (John 4:23-24) and He is a consuming fire (Hebrews 10:29). OH, and for the record practice included a number of humbling experiences where I fell flat on my face trying to figure out what “walking with Jesus” even meant.
Friend, all this to say…God’s word is NOT void, impractical, irrelevant or useless. It is exactly opposite.
Read the Book of James. Journal it out, pray it back to God. Ask Him to tell you what it means. For you. Make it personal. Because we have a personal God. He wants to be in your business, yes He does. Your life is His business. All of it.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13
Well, I think I have said enough. I will continue for another day or two praying and journaling my way through this amazing, applicable book of the Bible. I pray you would read it as well, and see what the Spirit of the Lord has to say to you. Personally.
Until next time,
Much Love and with all Enthusiasm,
PS. Let me know how you are doing in the comments! Or share your thoughts, insights, rants and raves.
Linking with Marissa and friends @ Cozy Reading Spot