“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. 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..” – James 1:23-25.
In the message this week one of the steps I suggested as a means of finding your way out is to have a plan and to implement that plan today. I would like to expand on that point in this devotional.
When we become followers of Jesus, we quickly learn that our God is a very big God, and has all things under His control. That includes both the big things we need to find a way out of, as well as the little things. You have probably heard the phrase “let go and let God.” Some people think that this is the way we as Christians ought to understand the Christian life – we give up ourselves and let God control it all. While this makes sense on many levels it can be a bit simplistic.
Romans 12:2 is helpful in this area: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” True worship is to give up our lives for God, that is to live for Him alone. That doesn’t mean we go in hibernation, but rather letting God’s plans and purposes shape the things we do. Our minds aren’t switched off, but rather transformed and renewed by God, and so we become aware of the new way God wants us to live. This takes self control and it takes us doing something. Because far too often, we allow good thoughts and good words and good intentions to stop short of good actions.
Finding our way out is not wandering through life aimlessly and seeing where God would have us drift. Instead finding our way out is seeing the path God wants us to take, with its ups and own, trials, and failures, and deciding to take the steps to a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. God’s Word has so much to say about taking action. If you need a jumpstart, consider these verses. for your “Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.” Ezra 10:4. 1 Peter 1:13 says, “ says, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
In the end, finding your way out is about changing your focus – rather than expensing your energies to achieve the things you desire, use all your energies to achieve the things God wants for our lives. And that means taking action to move us from where we are to where we need to be.
Now that’s not to say it’s not a struggle. It is easy to stop and wonder “how did I get here.” But if we set our sights on God and start taking the steps we need to take, we can find our way out.
- What’s one of the biggest obstacles to finding a way out?
- What has God burdened you to change in your life? What’s keeping you from taking action? What do you need to do to remove these barriers?
- What impact on others do you think you could make if you decided to take action?
- What is your next step?