“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.” –James 1:22-24 NLT
Confession: I have been on a “mission” to get something from the next room only to arrive and think, “What did I come in here for?” It usually happens when my mind is busy with many things and not focused on the “mission.”
Confession: I have been guilty of driving while trying to do many other tasks like responding to emails, texts, drinking coffee, eating a sandwich, all hands-free of course, only to drive past my destination.
Confession: Yesterday, I was tempted to act on something in the name of God in a way that doesn’t reflect the word or heart of God.
The dilemma I face is how easily I can be distracted and lose focus on mission and purpose, from simple to the most sacred things in life.
This is what the Apostle James is getting at in relationship to God and His word. It takes focused action on our part to listen to God, reflect on what He says, remember what is said, and put it into action in everyday life.
Focused action with God includes showing up in the relationship consistently, being in conversation and prayer, reading and reflecting on scripture, asking for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, submitting my will to God’s will, and acting upon God’s direction.
Consider a simple confession to God that recognizes our tendency to forget God’s presence and instruction in our lives quickly. Ask the Holy Spirit to prompt and remind us of God’s word. Check our actions to see how they align with what God is teaching us.
I am the person James is referring to. The one who comes to You for guidance, and in the course of a short-time, can be acting in a way that has no resemblance to Your truth. I don’t like this. I am sorry. Please help me. Holy Spirit, thank You for prompting me to show-up with God to listen, pray, and consider the truth of scripture. Thank You for helping me grow with focused action that reflects greater alignment with God. I am hopeful because You are faithful in my life.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
-Ed McDowell, CEO of Warm Beach Camp Ministries