We started a new study in our community group reading the book of James. So I am learning "be a DOER of the Word and not just a HEARER." And I have been doing a bible study with my friend Ellen about Paul. So I've been learning about being SPIRIT LED and SPIRIT FILLED. And at church we have been studying Mark-last week was very introspective-looking at what kind of people we are. Am I a hypocrite-an actor? Or am I LIVING OUT MY FAITH on a daily basis. And then I started reading Crazy Love, and I am wondering if I am "LUKEWARM."
So today while running I had a real honest conversation with God. And I laid it all out there. I've been a believer for the last 14 years. I know all the right phrases; I know all the right passages; I know all the cliches. But I don't have a clue how to DO any of them. What does it mean to "take up my cross daily"? How do I "die to myself"? How do I know if I am "bearing good fruit" or doing "What Jesus would do" or "quenching the Spirit"? These phrases are ones that I am quick to say. But unless I DO THEM, what good is it?
I have been reading a blog about Christian cliches by a lady named Addie Zierman. She writes about all the Christian cliches and tries to get to the bottom of their meaning and purpose and give a new perspective on old words that have lost a lot of their vigor. And as I read these posts, I realize that I have been stuck saying empty phrases that do no good because I don't live them out. I am like the man in James who "looks at his face in a mirror, and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like." (James 1:23-24). It seems ridiculous. But that is how James describes a person who looks into the Word and doesn't DO what it says.
In case you are hoping for some amazing revelation that I had on my run, I will let you know now that I did not have one. But I do think I've figured out that the culmination of all these revelations is a real desire to figure this stuff out. I am tired of being okay with half-hearted explanations and trite responses like "I'll be praying for you." So I have to put my fear of the unknown aside and dig in. I mentioned a couple posts ago that I have been avidly listening to the new David Crowder Band album, and one of the songs is particularly powerful to me. It is called "Sometimes" and the bridge is amazing. It says:
It's Your love that we adore
It's like a sea without a shore
Don't be afraid
Just set your sails
and risk the ocean
it's only GRACE
Jumping into the Word--into prayer--into non-wishy-washy faith is scary. But I am convinced that a life with Jesus is life to the full (John 10:10). It's worth the risk.
PS I wrote this partly because I don't want to have this moment of clarity and then do nothing (again). I saw this on fb today and thought it was funny because it is so true (a movie, a book, a sermon etc)