Today I want to encourage you with this word from the Lord! Please take a brief moment to read.
James 1:22-25 says this “(22)But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (23)For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; (24)for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of a man he was. (25)But he looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
This portion of scripture is one of my favorites as it challenges us to step beyond the comfort zone and reach out into a realm of faith. If we only receive teaching and preaching without application, we are actually deceiving ourselves into thinking that we have understood the Word of God. Faith comes by hearing…but faith without works is dead. We can hear all day long, but it is not until we get out of our seat and move forward that the faith becomes alive. If faith is dead until we put it to work, it is like having a car but not driving it. We have been given the car, it sits nicely in our garage or driveway, but it is not functioning taking us somewhere until we get behind the wheel, put the key in the ignition and press our foot to the gas pedal. In the same way, we can receive the Word of God, it can excite us, we can believe it, but until we step out in literal action, we will truly not activate it in our life.
I remember one day as I came to our church early on a normal workday for prayer. I was praying and praying but I felt an unction to go downtown and witness. I was so pressed upon my heart to do this I could not concentrate on my praying but on the thought of getting in my car and going downtown to witness to people. At this point in my life I had never done anything like this before and the thought of going someplace new and doing something I had not tried was intimidating. I thought “I could go downtown, but I have a lot of work to do, bills to be paid, people to pray for, music to be played”, but the urgency upon my heart couldn’t wait any longer. I finally said out loud “ok God, I’M GOING!” So I jumped in my car, began to drive downtown and pray in the spirit.
As I arrived downtown Denver, I said to myself “what am I doing here? Can I go yet God?” But the uncomfortable urgency upon my spirit had not yet left. I began to walk down 16th street mall and saw no one to minister to. I was wondering who I was supposed to minister to and how would I know? All of a sudden I turned and saw a man begging on the side of the street and my spirit leaped and I knew he was who I came down there for. I walked up to him and talked asked if I could buy him breakfast.
As we sat in McDonald’s eating he began to share with me how he was not homeless but had a wife and 2 daughters. He had hit rock bottom, he was unemployed and addicted to drugs. He felt he had not hope left and didn’t know what to do. Being led by the Spirit of God I pulled out my Bible and began to share the love of Jesus with this man, over a few minutes time he began to weep and accepted the Lord Jesus into his heart! Praise God! It was at that moment that he began to share the rest of his story and it blew me away. He told me that morning he woke up and was going to hang himself because there was no way out of his problems. He had woken up, made a noose, and was going to take the free bus down to the bridge and jump. When he arrived at the bus terminal there were two buses, one going towards the bridge and the other headed down 16th street. He said that he had never begged before but something inside of him said to humble himself and ask for money. In that moment he made his choice and went to beg for money and only 10 minutes later I walked up to him. He then pulled the noose out and said “I won’t be needing this anymore, I’m going to get my family back!” I took him to the store, purchased some basic toiletries, gave him some money and helped him to the homeless shelter for the night.
We picked him up for church on Sunday and after the service he told me how the Salvation Army set him up in a rehabilitation facility and he was going to get clean! He looked at me at the church and said “I would be dead if it wasn’t for you, thank you for sharing Jesus with me, He changed my life!”
As I left church that Sunday I praised God all the way home and thought to myself how awesome God is. It was also at that moment it struck me, if I hadn’t been obedient to the Lord that day, that man would have killed himself and be in hell right now leaving his wife and 2 daughters without a husband or a father. I again begin to praise the Lord that He put such an uncomfortable urgency in my Spirit that I would know I should act and STEP OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE. The Word of God became more real in my life in that moment than ever before because I didn’t think about doing something, I stepped out in faith and did it.
What can you do today, tomorrow, this week for the Lord? Who is that person that is on your heart right now to witness to? What is that ministry that you may be avoiding joining because of the time commitment? What are things that God is speaking to you about building His kingdom? What ever it is, I challenge you to step out in faith and not be a hearer only but a DOER of the Word!
God Bless You Today, May His Face Shine Upon You!