What are we not doing?
What you hear, will determine what you do – “faith comes by hearing” – the question is, what voice are you choosing to believe?
James 1:23-24 Anyone who listens to the word but 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. (this truth can be attached to every area of our lives in which we are required to believe God) – the application of the truth is what causes a spiritual perspective to become real or tangible.
The status of the Church today is this parable by James. We come into a worship setting, and catch a glimpse of who we are while in Fathers presence, but often walk away forgetting what we look like, or being defined by another identity (past, present, or future). Because faith is established by hearing, we must position ourselves daily to hear God speak to us. If God is the one who gives a measure of faith, then he is the only one who can build upon that measure. He does this through our surrendered obedience. Without obedience, the measure of faith cannot grow, and unless we hear his voice, we cannot obey.
But, the question remains, what are we NOT doing?
1). Not Spending time with Jesus.
2). (We are not) Trusting, believing – we are not Resting in him.
You see, if we are going to remember what we look like, and so change the way we live and respond to God in life, we must SPEND TIME with the very Jesus we love.
Quality over Quantity.
It’s not just time spent with Jesus that matters, but it’s the quality of time spent with him. For example, if I am sitting with my wife, who wants to be with me, but she can tell that I am not engaged in the what she is saying, or that I don’t want to be there, then she will just shut-down and go away. (tell story on balcony in TN) This is not quality time, as it doesn’t allow for real fellowship. This fellowship is needed, because we all have enough noise and chaos in our lives – which keeps us from hearing and believing God.
What does real fellowship with God look like?
It is often the case that even in prayer, we are restless and anxious. We are not resting, not being “still” on the inside, even when we pray. In times of turbulent water, rest is so valuable, and unless rest is practiced, we cannot pay attention to the whisper of God that Elijah experienced. Even prayer can be stressful, as it is often tied to what we worry about, what we are anxious about, fearful about etc. this continues perpetuate a lack of trust and belief. (tell story of woman (Theresa) in Guatemala – how I was in my right mind enough to save the creamer)
Spirit-led pray is restful prayer. Let Father set the agenda and talk to us about whatever he wants to talk about. This establishes the potential for faithful living, as it causes us to release the weight or concern of our circumstance, which is burdensome, and allows us to only take on Gods yoke. If we are faithful in this little, (Gods yoke), God will Make us ruler over much. God spoke to me recently when I read this passage and said, Lester, “What you do with the “much” will be determined by what you learned from the little.”
It is through spending quality time with God that we learn to hear and believe God. Unless we believe God and submit our lives to him and his defining, we will set ourselves up for continued deception.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie (to make the lie appear to be the truth), and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth (Jesus is truth) and so be saved (our salvation is the restoration of who we are as children and the living example of that restoration).