"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Beware of the Declare!

Scripture to reflect upon: James 2:17 (The Message)
Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

The other day I posted on my facebook status: “Today I choose to stand in the Spirit God has given me: power, love and self control.” Little did I know that in order to stand in that Spirit, I needed to live in it instead of merely declaring it.

The very next day was a different story. Instead of shouting off the virtual rooftop, I decided to truly stand in the Spirit of those things by living it.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever declared something scriptural over your life and almost immediately your joy was stolen. God wants to know where we truly stand. Do we merely “stand” on the Word, or do we live it? When faced with adversity are we still living the Word, or did we give up and give in? I gave up and gave in. Quite honestly…I caved.

I was tested at every corner the day I posted that. I nearly had a nervous breakdown. I was so incredibly overwhelmed by my life that I simply gave up and ignored the world for about an hour. Not to say that we shouldn’t do that sometimes, but I was trying to escape rather than relax. Fortunately, my escape is food magazines and recipes and not alcohol or drugs.

I was just making a statement. I wasn’t living it. I had hoped that just by staking a claim for the Spirit of power, love and self-control that I’d have it. But it takes so much more than putting your stamp on a scripture. You actually have to step outside of yourself and make a conscious effort to do it. Just because the Word says something powerful like that doesn’t mean it magically happens!

Jared was given a vision of me when he was twelve. He lived his whole life looking for me. He dreamt of me day in and day out for fourteen years. He stood on the promise God gave him. Years ago, before we met, a friend asked him if he would wait for me even if it meant waiting to see me in the afterlife. Without a second thought he said yes. Now with that promise, once we met and realized we were God-matched, Jared didn’t stop living in the promise. When he says he loves me, he lives it. He shows me. He does things to make me happy. He helps me around the house. He cooks, he cleans, he does laundry. He pampers me with time when I need it. He walks in the promise God gave him, and he walks in our love daily.

Here’s the other side of the coin. Once Jared found me he could have easily said, “Phew. Now that I’ve found her, I can sit back and relax,” and never make any real effort. What do you think would happen to us as a couple? I’d be doing all the work and be miserable and feel completely unloved and it would never work. It's like when someone tells you they love you, but never show you how. Those words end up meaning nothing without something to back it up!

When we have a partnership with God, we need to play a part in it. We can’t just sit back and make God do all the work. When He gives us a promise, we need to stake a claim on it, declare it, and then walk in it no matter what comes at us. Hold your head high and choose to live the Word.

NOTE TO SELF: This is not a “God helps those who help themselves,” message. Instead: “God helps those who let Him help them.”

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