I hadn't that is, until day 2 of week 3.
How many times have I asked myself "Why?" Why can't I control my ________? Why can't I resist ______? Why do I seem to forget what God has shown me in His Word? Why do I continue to fail in the same areas? Why isn't this working for me?
(that's so many 'whys' now, that it doesn't even look like a real word when I type it....)
Day 2 of week 3 answered my question, and asked me to draw a picture.
James 1:23-24 -
"Anyone who listens to the word and does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror, and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."
Is this really true of me?
Beth somehow - by God's grace - spoke just to me when she wrote:
"We can underline our Bibles till our pens run dry without a drop of ink splattering our lives. The self-deception slithers in when we mistake appreciation for application or being touched with being changed." (p78)
My Bible is full of underlining - particularly for my areas of struggle. Anything related to these things is underlined, highlighted, and sometimes starred! Any yet, I'm not experiencing the victory I thought I would, or could.
How am I lying to myself? And how is that keeping me from the life I desire, the life God desires?
I have told myself that knowing and reading the Word will change me. I nod knowingly when I hear a scripture through which the Lord has spoken to me. Oh, I know that one, I think to myself, that one says it so well. And then I walk away and forget.
"The Word of God, however, is meant to do more than penetrate. It's meant to activate." (p 78)
I have a very poor memory - people close to me can attest to that. I have said that maybe that was the problem. I do forget - because I'm just a forgetful person, is what I'd tell you!
And yet, through this study the Lord spoke to my heart saying that was a lie. It's not that I'm forgetful, or that I choose not to remember. It's that I've allowed myself to be deceived into thinking that if the Lord really wanted me to change, He wouldn't let me rest until I gave into Him. That He would do whatever it took until I experienced victory.
Leaving me, of course, as the passer-by in a sense. The one who passively accepts the Lord's movement in my life. It seems almost extra-righteous to think that I'm just waiting on the Lord to change my mind and my heart so much that my actions will (magically) follow. I've been inspired by the Word, I'm just waiting for the Lord to do the rest....
"Simply put, the Word was meant to work. And, through it, we were meant to bear fruit." (pp 78-79)
I am to bear fruit - that's my part. Not as a way of earning God's love or salvation, but as a response to the truth He brings into my life!
It reminds me of a time that I devoted myself to getting up early every, every day. For the first two weeks, every morning when the alarm went off and my bed felt too warm to leave, I would repeat to myself:
"this is what discipline looks like, this is what discipline looks like..."
I can hear the prompting of the Lord to change an attitude or behaviour, but if I don't exercise the discipline to follow through, I am that person looking in the mirror. I walk away and forget what I look like. I walk away and forget that I'm a bearer of the very image of God, created for a life of victory in and through Jesus. Not just once, at salvation, but every day - by His grace.
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.
"It's not until the hearing turns into DOING that believing leads to BLESSING." (p 79)
How does this rock your world today?