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Posts Tagged ‘Book of James’

…and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph 6:17, New Living Bible)

 God’s Word is an indispensable weapon (The Message)

Last week I took the opportunity to be mad at someone.  I mean really mad.  He was a business partner;  my husband had been working on a deal for several months, and was in the last throes of completing it.  Then this guy changed his mind.  In my eyes, he did a one-eighty from what he promised us he would do.  I felt the anger rise in my heart and in my mind, consuming me.  In the heat of my moment, I became an idiot, and I called the business partner and left a message saying some terrible things in a quite angry tone and hung up still mad.

The thing of it was, I knew I should not have made that call before I picked up the phone.  Nonetheless, I picked up the phone.

Then something worse happened.  As I sat at my desk thinking how terrible and Un-Christian-like I was, he called back.  Did I calm down and listen to his side of the story?  Of course not. Continuing on as an idiot,  I raged and rambled some more, and I hung up on him.

Here’s the crazy thing:  two Bible verses came to me.  The first one convicted me: “Your anger can never make anything right in God’s sight” (James 2: 20).   The second one (in my mind) convicted him: “…for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  They can’t make up their minds.  They waver back and forth in everything they do” (James 1: 6-8).  I understand I cannot change anything about the business partner’s decision, but that one sure made me feel good.

Astoundingly, I was able to link the Word with my life.  These particular verses came to mind because I have been memorizing the Book of James.  I took a Beth Moore course about James in which she challenged us to memorize the whole book (it’s five chapters).  It has amazed me how often those verses will pop into my head at the appropriate time.

This was a living example of spiritual warfare.  The Message says that God’s Word is an indispensable weapon (Eph 6: 13-18).

Anger is one of the Devil’s tools, and I forged a wall with it.  I had a friend who told me one of his mother’s sayings was: “Those who the gods wish to destroy, they first make angry.”  Oh dear.  The next day,  I applied what I memorized, and I called and e-mailed the business partner and apologized.

We are a work in progress with our sinful nature. If we commit to fighting spiritual warfare, one of the best uses of our time  is memorization of the Word.

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FOCUSING ON JAMES TODAY, I LOOKED AT MY BIBLE COVER DIFFERENTLY THAN EVER BEFORE.

Azaleas red lavender pink and white line the rail fence beside the path leading to the red roofed cottage.  Blue door stands out in intricate detail of tiny stitches.  Lighthouse stands tall beside the cottage with matching red roof. Crevassed cliff at foot of lighthouse imagines rocky sea below, dangerous waters.

People get to safety of fire-warmed kitchen cottage, mug of hot in their hand, by one of two paths.

The beautiful gently sloped path or the ridged stone cliff.

We find Jesus much the same way.  The easy way or the hard way.

How easy it would be to walk the path to comfort safety and security from the time we are children.  Church, Jesus stories, belief, conformance, faith, wrapped into one neat ball.  Doubts, yes.  Slipping on clutch of path rocks occasionally.

Some do.  Most don’t.  Satan’s lies get in the way.

How many of us choose lies over truth?  Starting at the bottom of the cliff, having been tossed by the waves of sea, driven and tossed by the wind? Beginning of our journey.

Then comes the hard part.  Climb.  Hand over hand, toehold over toehold. Bloody scrapes over skin knuckles knees.  Shedding lies as we climb higher. Reach the lighthouse after battles, war.  The journey so ingrained in our souls as to be the main part of us.  The pain driving us toward Jesus.  Funny, the stubbornness that put us on the cliff in the first place is the stubbornness that helps us reach the top.

Lies.  Truth.  Stubbornness.  Choices.  My mother set my feet on the easy path. Then I became stubborn.

Brothers and sisters, when trouble comes among you, let it be an opportunity for joy.  For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.   Let it grow, for when it is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.  James 1:2 -4

What is your path?

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Linking with Ann Voskamp @ http://www.aholyexperience.com/category/1000gifts/

She is the author of  One Thousand Gifts, and the blog A Holy Experience.  She promotes gratitude journals, and has challenged her readership to count 1000 gifts in 2012 with THE JOY DARE.

13.  A prodigal son coming to church.

14.  My car seat warmer on a cold day.

15.  Having the physical ability to provide horse room service.

16.  Snowdrops in February.

16.  A high school fashion show including my beautiful daughter.

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