GET REAL! A Call for Authentic Faith: A Series (Part 1)
Our culture is re-defining Christianity. It is mandating what our behaviors should look like, not just in our business life but our personal lives as well. It is dictating what is to be preached at the pulpit. This is a counterfeit faith and the sad thing is we are following it in droves. Our culture has turned upside down and we need God’s people to step up or step out!
God has saturated this past summer with the statement…..Believe Me! With every trial, with every circumstance, and with every blessing He whispers to me…Believe Me. We are in a time where we need to trust Him and Believe Him more than ever. We have had things pretty good for so long that I think we have forgotten that we need Him.
We will be looking at the book of James for this series. It all stemmed from a lecture I did on James chapter five. I was actually slated for chapter four and was prepared and excited to study chapter four, but God had other plans. (I got summoned to jury duty). At first glance, I was thinking I got the short end of the stick as it looks like James chapter five is a bit discombobulated, but as I put the entire book of James together I saw an incredible thread. James has a message for us and it’s time we listen!
**WARNING– The information here may not be suitable for busy people, but keep reading! 😉 It would do you well to read the entire book of James. I know what you are thinking. “I just hopped on this blog for a quick minute and now you want me to go read the whole book of James. I do not have that kind of time.” I get that! I really do. But as I always say….”Read the book, don’t wait for the movie.” The message here will make much more sense in the context of the whole book. Now, if you just can’t read the book of James (or won’t) stick with me. I am sure you will pick up some nuggets!
Listen up Christians! I believe time is short and there is an urgency. We need to get real with God. No more playing patty cake. It is a time and age for the real deal. Are you with me? Let’s do this!
The protocol for authentic faith that we will be looking at in this order is:
We will be looking at all of these over the next couple weeks in detail.
Patience- My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:2-4)
Be patient therefore, brethren unto the coming of the Lord. (James 5:7)
It’s interesting to me that James starts off right out of the gate with patience. I think we have a skewed view of what patience is. We see patience as waiting and although it is that to a degree. It is much, much more.
The two verses are actually two different words in the Greek. The word used in chapter one means a cheerful or hopeful endurance, constancy; literally an abiding under. The word used in chapter five means to bear long, be long suffering, patiently endure; to be long tempered.
Websters?The definition of patience is “to not lose heart” or to remain.
It’s ironic to me that the old adage goes…”Don’t pray for patience!” But here’s the reality we should pray for patience! Do you see what patience produces? “….that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing….” That is a pretty big result of patience. I have to admit patience is something I greatly lack, but I do not necessarily seek it either. But the verse in chapter one clearly states it should be a trait found in
me. Part of my problem is this culture has duped me into believing that trials and temptations are bad and God must not be in them. We have missed the boat! The trying of our faith begins a process that in the end leaves us perfect, entire, wanting nothing. To me, this means we move to spiritual maturity through the trials and tribulations that come in front of us. God uses the trials to mature us. Our natural response is either to run from it or we wallow in defeat and despair because we think we don’t deserve what we are facing or that God has left us. It is utter failure of the test. Each trial bring one of two outcomes, either a tempting to do evil or a testing to do good.
In chapter five as he is closing the book, he reminds us to “Be patient therefore brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. “. He even uses the patience of Job as an example to us and we all know that account. Job remained. He was constant. He passed the test.
What about us? Are we remaining or are we turning tail and running as fast as we can from the very things that will make us spiritually mature?
Do we whine and cry and ask God “Where are you?”
We know the result of our trials and temptation.
That is how we count it all joy.