Melissa offers some timely interruptions with the James: Mercy Triumphs study. Her information usually flies right over my head. But today she offers a legendary quote by Mark Twain for a filter for chapter 4: “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand.”
This I understand…
1. Submission is a position thing – a reminder that I have a part and God has a part. God doesn’t need me to do my part, but I need Him to do His part. When I do my part, it goes better for me. And I learn my lessons a lot more quickly. Healthy communication is the key. I can cry out to my God in the midst of life, but it’s just not right to be fussing and whining at Him for not giving me what I want when I want it every time I come to Him. I don’t think it pleases Him for my every communication to sound like the temper tantrum of a 2 year old. He knows the big picture and the other side of the fiery furnace. James Chapter 1 says to “Count it all joy…”
2. Being deliberate in what I resist and what I draw near to is a free will thing – Although saved and blessed with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, He still gives me choices. These are choices I make deliberately or by default every day. Dare I say aloud, this chronic people-pleaser finds resisting the Evil One an easier exercise. I flee from getting into trouble. Always have. I pray for a Holy Spirit alarm to go off like a loud, flashing siren when I step over the line of what is right in His sight. However, I am easily ensnared by what I draw near to. This takes more discernment. I have an “all in” personality that doesn’t always give me the “proceed with caution” sign until I am in so deep that I can’t touch the bottom.
3. Judging things and not people is the result of regularly walking in the Spirit and it’s a love thing – More than my share of blessings-from-disappointments has taught me to give folks the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes Godly people do ungodly things. But we serve a God of redemption. One who specializes in putting broken people back together. Let me recognize the broken ones, Lord.
4. Making future plans in a uncertain world is a hope thing – I may not know what will happen tomorrow, and my life is a mist that appears for a little while (4:14). But I have a new baby boy about to enter this world this Spring direct from the creative hand of God. He will know a Grandmother who is “clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
I will address the parts I don’t understand another day. I have more than enough to fill my cup to overflowing. It’s time for a cookie.