So, as I read James I find confirmation of the struggle I've been in. It talks a lot about not just listening to the Word, but doing it. Sure, we're all familiar with the whole "be do-ers of the Word" concept. But seriously. Do we ever actually think about that seriously? I have come to believe that the majority of Christians today (oh, I'm included, don't worry!) are used to, content with, and yes, even deceived by listening to the word and not taking it any further than that. Most of the time we don't even realize that's what's going on. We're used to it. It's how we were taught to do our faith. We hear a verse or sermon and think "Oh, that was GOOD! Awesome! Thanks God." And indeed it was. But what then?
I thought to myself the other day, "okay. James says if I just listen to the word and don't do what it commands, I'm deceived. But what does the Word command?" So, I tried to objectively look at the Bible in as simple a way as possible. If I were describing the commands that the Word contains in a nutshell version, how would that go? Well, off the top of my head, I think about loving my enemy. Obedience to God. Holy living. And more than anything, being Jesus to the world. Bringing healing, redemption, relationship, and the Good News to all people everywhere. Living in and with an amazing and mind-blowing authority that we Americans so very rarely tap into. Stomping all over the enemy and his army. (How often do we really do this rather than self medicate and ignore our issues with food, noise [tv, Internet, gaming], and lust?) Living in true community so that the outside world sees a difference when they see how our relationships are done. The more I think about it, the more I realize just how much this society is set up to live in a way that is absolutely opposite of these things in so many ways. Makes it hard to really follow and experience God. Too much pulling at us. Comfort. Coosh. Money. Looks. Sure, I'd rather go shopping for new make-up at Sephora or watch a season of GLEE or Bones than be listening to how the Spirit wants me to offer an ear and cousel to a messed-up, needy, depressed friend or co-worker who desperately needs to touch of Jesus. And don't get me started on other countries and the question of whether I truly have a right to live rich (I only make $800 a month but compare that to a dollar a day being a high average in the rest of the world) when I KNOW they need the healing touch from someone who has the authority of Jesus living within them. And even if I decide there's nothing wrong with living here and being proud of it. What then? Can we really ignore the command to take care of orphans and widows? Would it be right to do anything BUT adopt or foster? If not me, who? If not now, when?
The more I think about everything, the more I'm convicted. Lord, help me do all I can for you. And live with as much authority as I'm allowed! I don't want to waste any time here on Earth.