My purpose was for self, and when I was directed toward idols God repositioned my path which should have repurposed my heart, but far too often, He reveals, that my purpose is all about me.
Most recently, Isaiah 40-44 is revealing to me the reality of my heart. No matter what I preach, or teach, or am strongly convicted of, I find myself in a whirlwind of me. God nor others play the key role of my thought. I am enjoying the benefits of the gospel, but ignoring the responsibility.
Religion has been made many things. It is works over grace. It is empty and vain. I am finding that religion is when I make it all about me. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this", says James, "to visit the fatherless and widow in their afflictions, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." So if my religion is just to remain unspotted, I have gone half way, but the fullness of the gospel calls me to the fullness of religion. The call is to meet others in their afflictions as well.
I believe whole heartedly that James is speaking of actual fatherless, and actual widows. However, tonight I am seeing another layer to his teaching. When we consider that God is spoken of as father and groom, then James is also talking about the spiritually fatherless and the spiritually widowed. Those who cannot cry out "Abba, Father" are the ones who need the visitation of those of us who do. Those cannot call themselves "the bride of Christ" are the ones who need the visitation of those of us who do.
For those have never cried "Abba, Father" through Christ you can. For those who are widowed now because of the transgression that separates you from the bridegroom, through Christ you can become the bride. All that is required is a steadfast belief in the righteous works of Christ. In Him God fulfilled a covenant once given to a nation and now offered to the whole world. The covenant speaks of God reclaiming His position of Father and Groom. There is great benefit in that. The great responsibility is to carry on the renewed, restored relationship and testifying of it to those others who are fatherless and widows.
Lord, help me that I do not practice religion, but I hold fast to the pure religion and undefiled.
Sincerely Holly - NOW on BLOGGER (too)
4 years ago