This summer - maybe this whole year - has been one of wavering; this back and forth between abundant faith, and insidious doubt. One minute, I’m at the height of faith, ready to take on the world in Jesus’ name and do anything He asks, and the next minute, I’m overwhelmed by the task he gives me, and begin to doubt if I even heard right, if I’m sane… if he’s able…
Today (thanks to the prompting in Alisa’s post), I gave up my personal ‘hiding’ time, and decided to seek the treasure of God’s presence. I found it. I was led to the words of James 1:5-7:
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do”
The words slice. ...Have I made myself an enemy of the cross? One with divided loyalties? According to scripture, it sure looks like it...
-I have wavered, unsettled in everything I do. According to James, this is the result of divided loyalties. One day, I’m super mom, motivated to do my day well for the glory of God, and the next day I want to hide all day from everyone (including God), and become resentful or angry when I don’t get to. Yes, this back and forth is normal. But the goal is not to be normal, but to be Holy as He is Holy. Enter next point.
-I have wavered even in the belief that this is possible – can I be holy and righteous? (Lev 20:7, Eph 4:24) I have been given everything I need to live a godly life? (2 Peter 1:3) Really? … then what’s my problem? Shouldn’t I be singing and dancing on a hill then?
-I’ve allowed fear and insecurity to prevent me from forging ahead with putting together some events I felt God leading me to do. I’ve wavered between bravery and cowardice. That fear is further evidence of something wrong – perfect love drives out fear. One who is fearful has not fully experienced the perfect love of God. (1 John 4:18) Of course, my cowardice could also simply be fear of what others would think… but I’ll get back to that in a minute.
-I have wanted ‘friendship with the world’: popularity, appreciation, recognition, respect. Receiving it isn't the sin, it's the wanting. According to James 4:4, this makes me an adulterer – a spiritual harlot. An enemy of Christ.
-I have doubted. So what, right? Everyone does that. … but Jesus says that anyone who doesn’t ‘receive the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it” How do they receive it? They just do. They don’t question, analyze and measure, demanding to know all the answers, they trust it to be true. They do not doubt. There’s something terribly wrong with doubt. It may be normal, but it’s not okay!
-While making plans, I’ve often said, “I don’t care what other people are doing – what are WE doing?” But those words are sure hard to live out – impossible actually, when I’m afraid of what others think. Proverbs is right (duh) that “fear of men is a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe” There it is again – the decision to pledge allegiance to this world – people, authorities, fears, wealth, whatever – or to Jesus Christ, name above all names.
I don't mean to say that I have lost Salvation by the way... I trust that I belong to God. But, I don't think I could be confident of that if I would choose to continue on this way, knowing what Jesus' position is. "If you love me, you will obey my commandments" (John 14:15)
Lord, my heart breaks to see how distant and divided and despicable I’ve been. It’s almost too much to see. I want to hide from you. Please, do not look at my sin! Lift me out of this mess – rescue me from my harlot heart, my lying, selfish, profane heart. Oh, Lord – I don’t want to doubt you. Help me trust you. Give faith to your faithless one. Thank you that you do love me even now. I believe that your correction is an act of love, to purify my heart and life for your glory. Please make me holy as you are holy. Show me step by step how to set aside my life, time, possessions, thoughts – my whole life as a holy sacrifice for you. My life is yours. I surrender again. And, I pray for your grace as I continue to mess up – let me live in your mercy as I crawl, run, even stumble toward you. It is only in your hands that I am safe. I believe you are good and can be trusted. Thank you Jesus for your forgiveness; there is no condemnation for those who belong to you. Fill me with your love – undivided, loyal to death, immense, crazy love – for you, and others. Thank you Jesus.