I get so overwhelmed at the scope of God's love for me. So pure. So sweet. So unconditional and so undeserved.
His love covers me and wraps around me with such gentleness. The warmth I feel is undeniable. He protects. He shelters. He calms.
I curl up in His holy lap and am overcome at the peace that soon envelopes me. His presence is almost stifling and I can barely draw a breath, yet it settles me. The heaviness I feel is welcomed as I know it means that He is here with me. My shield. My portion. My Savior. My God.
As the Lord ministers to my soul, I begin to see the depth of my need for it. I ache to be filled with more of Him. His power. His spirit. His love. I recognize some areas that He is ministering to as places that need His touch. His grace. I hear his voice whisper to my heart.
"Beth, do you love me?" Oh, Lord, you know that I do!..... "Feed my sheep, child"
I thought I was doing just that, but as I draw closer to His side, I see just how hungry some of those sheep are and I see how I have neglected to nourish them in His name. I see that I have spent a lot of time feeding myself. Edifying my own spirit. Nourishing and nurturing my own body. Filling my hungry soul with His Word and thinking that I was doing good. Singing the right songs and reading the right books. Doing 'this thing' in the name of Christianity.
But I am grasping that somehow I've missed the mark. Veered off the path. You see, it's not just about the songs we sing or about the time we spend in His Word or about saying the right words. It's not just about the time spent in His presence. It's about what we do with all those things. It's about what our Faith causes us to do. It's our Faith in action.
James tells us in verse 17 of chapter 2 that our faith is dead if it isn't accompanied by action. See, all those things we do to grow spiritually are good things. It's important to study His Word (2 Timothy 2:15). It's important to attend church to be fed and to worship. It's important to sing praises to a very worthy Lord and Savior. It's important to sit still before our God and bask in His indescribable presence.
But if our encounter with God doesn't leave fingerprints on our soul, we have only experienced Him. A true encounter with our Holy God will cause us to take our faith and walk it out. It will compel us to be doers of the Word. To put to action all that the Lord has taught us. Otherwise our faith is empty.
In his commentary on the book of James, Warren Wiersbe says, "People with dead faith substitute words for deeds"
Fruitless faith exhibits hypocrisy but a genuine faith is conscious of others. True saving faith results in a changed life and that is always evidenced by works. Always.
I so desire to have the kind of faith that results in doing the will of my Father. I don't want it to be about me at all, but all about Him. I want to grow so I can be useful in God's kingdom, not to make a name for myself. I want His work in me to be profitable for His kingdom. I want to back up my words with works!
I want Him to whisper to my spirit, "Beth, I know that you love me because you are feeding my little lambs. Well done."
"It is faith alone that justifies
but faith that justifies can never be alone"