Posted by: heisourstrongtower | April 1, 2013

United We Stand; Divided We Fall

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”  James 1:5-8

 driven by the wind

What’s the old saying…”United we stand; divided we fall!”  This is so true!  This truth is not just about the people you are united or divided with, either.  This can also be applied to your own personal walk with the Lord.

In our chronological reading plan, today, we are in the book of James, and the book of James is rich in godly knowledge and wisdom.  God inspires me daily by how He will take something that is going on within my life and either affirm me or convict me with His words.

Last week I was having a discussion with a friend and my friend was sharing with me something that she biblically believes to be true, but she will not stand firm on that conviction when it comes to people around her.  I was saddened by what she said and told her that while I am happy that she holds herself accountable to His truth, I personally do not believe that you can stand firmly on His foundation of truth, with one foot in the Bible and one foot in the world.

That, my friends, is a heart divided, that, my friends, is loyalty divided.

This type of thinking is going to make us unstable in everything we do!

I have another friend who is well aware that she not living her life within the will of God.  She is well aware of the fact that God does not approve of her lifestyle.  She told me, personally, that she knows she is living in sin…” I know I am a child of God, loved deeply by God and I have NO DOUBT that I will be in Heaven when it is my time to be called home. Yes, I will have to answer for my decision, but I will not have lost my place in Heaven because of it.”

I believe her loyalty is divided too.  What scares me and should scare anyone with divided loyalties is what God will give us when we are divided…Nothing!

What a desolate thought!  Jesus died on the cross for our sins.  We just celebrated Resurrection Sunday yesterday, how can we continue to walk that divided line when we consider the pain that Chris endured for us????

I saw a quote on pinterest the other day, which I believe sums up what many of us think as we are walking that divided line; “I will hold myself to a standard of grace; not perfection.”  I am sorry friends, but I do not agree with this statement, unless I am applying it to others.  I do believe that I should hold others to a standard of grace, not perfection, but personally I should hold myself to a standard of progress…not perfection!

Let’s take a little detour from our reading plan and read what it says in Philippians 3:12-21;

Pressing toward the Goal 

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. 

15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made. 

17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. 

One of the most important points stated in this group of verses, something that we all need to write on our hearts and remember…“But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.”

What happens in a football game when the forward progress is stopped by the other team, or the quarterback gets sacked behind the line of scrimmage?  They lose yardage which they need to make up, if they want to put any points on the board.  They find themselves in the position of regaining those lost yards because they were not able to continue their progression down the field.

It should be much easier for us to hold onto our progress in this life.  Why?  Let’s look at verse 21 above…“He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own, using the same with which He will bring everything under His control.” 

I know for me, it easy to slip-up and lose my grasp on my progress when I start looking into the future instead of living in the moment.  God gives me just enough of what I need to make it through this moment, on this day.  My concentration should be focused on Him and the plans He has made for me today.  No divided loyalty…I need to be moving forward and holding on to the progress I have already made…not looking anywhere, but at Him! 

Dear Lord,

I come to you today and I ask you to help me to make progress.  I do not want to live a life of divided loyalties.  I know that perfection is not possible here on this earth, but that with your help I can keep the momentum and continue moving forward.  I know Jesus died and that I do receive grace because of His death…but grace should not be my goal.  Grace means that I have not stayed within Your will for my life…progress means that I am trying to do my best to walk on this earth, as a follower of Jesus not as a follower of the world or worldly pursuits.  May I offer grace to others and remember that perfection is not attainable for any of us here on earth.  Help me Lord to remember that my desires are to do everything for Your honor and glory…In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

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