Monday, June 5, 2017
Kiss the Book, Have No Love
“But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” James 1:22
When my children were little they knew how I felt about everything as it related to right and wrong. Any of their actions or behavior were rarely out of lacking the knowledge of what to do. It was more about making a decision to walk out right or wrong. They chose to either hear and do what was right, or hear and do what was wrong. As a result, they walked out the consequences of their choices. It was pretty cut and dry…black and white.
As adults, we tend to make God's black and white ‘50 shades of gray’ when living out His commands. (No, I didn’t read that book.) We rationalize, calculate and manipulate to get what we want. C.H. Spurgeon describes this living perfectly. He explains through his writing that ‘There must be knowledge of God before there can be love to God: there must be a knowledge of divine things, as they are revealed, before there can be an enjoyment of them.’ He further explains this morning’s verse in a powerful picture for those of us who claim we are His followers but knowingly continue to sin in some behavior. He explains ‘We may kiss the book and have no love to its contents, we reverence the letter and yet really have no devotion towards the Lord who speaks to us in these words.’ When we choose things of this world to occupy our time instead of sitting before the Lord ‘we will kiss the book and have no love’ towards to message. The 'book' says that God wishes to reveal things to us but we will devote time to ourselves instead of Him. For me, many times I must pray for God to settle my heart and emotions so that I can hear Him more clearly. I approach Him with honesty and humility when I really don’t feel like praying. Many times I know what He is going to say, but I need Him to tell me again the way He wants me to live. Repetition was extremely important when my children were little and repetition (not perfection thankfully) is paramount in my walk with God. We must not just say what we want without doing the work to receive it or we are just deceiving ourselves. 50 shades of gray will never deliver black and white and we will lose out on the beautiful blessings of God.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24.