Forgetting what you look like

by The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis man-looking-in-the-mirror

Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind. (Psalms 26:2 NIV)

How would you like for God to bless everything you do? Silly question; who wouldn’t? But will God do that? Absolutely, but He expects something from us first.

In George Orwell’s classic novel, 1984, he describes a world not only bound in deception but also thriving on it. It’s a civilization not unlike our own. In it Orwell spoke of a language called “newspeak” where terms like “bad” were changed to something a bit more pleasant like “ungood.” Our society has adopted a similar language. Only we call it political correctness. For example, a person is no longer deaf he is called aurally challenged, and one who is blind is visually challenged. Recently I’m been hearing this one. Something is not wrong, or sinful, it’s just inappropriate. And in my case, I’m not getting bald I’m just follicly challenged. It all boils down to the same thing. It’s just said in a way that some think is less offensive.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law [God’s Word] that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:22-25 NIV)

We should be careful less we make the mistake of thinking that just because we call ourselves Christians we’re immune to deception. Sadly, true born-again Christians often fall under gross deceptions of all kinds. James tells us in this passage how to decrease the chances of being deceived. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.” he said. “Do what it says.”

Orwell used another term in his book 1984 called “Doublethink.” It’s the notion that one can equally embrace two separate belief systems, i.e. that one can believe one way, yet act another way. Does this sound familiar? A lot of us call ourselves “Christian” yet we live a life devoid of Christianity. Many of us so called “Christians” treat the Bible like it’s a spiritual smorgasbord. We pick and choose what we want to believe in the scriptures and do the same when it comes to obeying God’s Word. Then, we still expect God to bless us. The Bible calls “doublethink” “double-mindedness”. It also calls it being deceived. James spoke of the effects of such an attitude earlier in this chapter.

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:5-8 NIV)

To be double-minded is to vacillate between two opinions. 2 Chronicles 25 speaks of a double-minded man named Amaziah, who was king of Jerusalem. Verse 2 says, “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly.” (NIV) Amaziah had a divided heart and wasn’t totally committed to God.

God is searching for sold-out saints in the midst of a society of half-hearted church members. He’s looking for those who are willing to follow Him unconditionally, without question or reservations. God is looking for servants, who have no mixed loyalties; who will finish the course set out for them and do their best to obey Him in all things.

“I believe that if there is one thing which pierces the Master’s heart with unutterable grief it is not the world’s iniquity but the church’s indifference.” – F. B. Meyer

Again James said, “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” (James 1:25 NIV)

Is your heart divided when it comes to trusting and serving our LORD? Are you an “Amaziah Christian”? Are you double-minded? Do you sort of follow God by sort of obeying Him? In other words, do you do what is right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly? If so, don’t expect God to bless what you do. God never has, and never will, bless disobedience. It’s the one requirement that James said was essential in order for a believer to be blessed in what he does.

Let me make something clear before I give the wrong impression. Please understand that I’m not talking about gaining God’s favor for salvation through good works. No, I’m not talking about works; I’m talking about fruit. Jesus said, “…by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:20 NIV) Your level of commitment will be reflected in the integrity of the fruit that you bear. People will look at you and see the uncompromising relationship you have with our LORD and they will want what you have.

“Have you ever noticed the difference in the Christian life between work and fruit? A machine can do work; only life can bear fruit.” — Andrew Murray 2

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, (Colossians1:10 NIV)

Let’s all repent of our divided hearts. Let’s get serious about reaching this fallen world for Christ. Then and only then will God bless all that we do.

“What our Lord said about cross-bearing and obedience is not in fine type.
It is in bold print on the face of the contract.” — Vance Havner 3

 

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