The name of the game

“Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imagination and affections will harm us if we can keep it out of his will… Active habits are strengthened by repetition but passive ones are weakened. The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel”.

Screwtape to Wormwood, “The Screwtape letters

The dangerous thing about what happens on any given Sunday is that we will sing, pray, read along with the scriptures and listen to the sermon with a great deal of energy. But then what happens? We are, I fear too entirely prone to feel a great deal about the Word that we hear from God without doing anything in particular about it. This begs the question: did we really hear anything at all?

We must consider that the name of the game in the war for today is inaction.

When it comes to the truly preached word of God, Satan does not care if you hear, only that you never act on what you hear. Action. That is what can make you truly dangerous for Christ. Practice and pursuit of godliness in the grace of God makes us hungry for more of the same. We are imperfect and perfectly weak, but Christ has done all for us to redeem us and bring us to life eternal with himself and the Father(Hebrews 10:12). Let this sink down into your ears and your heart.

When we understand this, we have less to complain about in our church (the worship, the music, the people, the time/length of the service itself), worry about in our lives (spouses, children, money, jobs) and concerning our neighbors. Only then will we have more that we are seeking to do based out of God’s lavish love for us in Christ.

The Apostle James warns us about not acting on the truth of the gospel that we hear ..”If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.(James 1:23-24 ESV).

The word of God is a like a mirror. As a reflection of the holy character of God, it can show us what is wrong with us by probing and revealing the depths of our sinful hearts. Like a signpost, it can point to the obedient, slain and risen, now exalted Christ who satisfies for all our righteousness. We are called to act on what we know that his Word reveals and turn to him, at the same time turning away from the false alternatives and idols that we are offered for our happiness. This turning, repentance is not just what happened at our conversion, though it did happen then in an absolute, definitive way. Now we must daily take up our cross and follow, denying ourselves(Luke 9:23).

What have you recently heard from the word of God that you need to act on? Do you know that the Holy Spirit was given to you, dwells with you to motivate your affections, empower you and make Christ’s life evident in you? Do you know that Jesus is already waiting for you to act, simply by turning to him in your obvious weakness?

Will you?

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.
(John 6:28-29 ESV)

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~ by secondaryreformation on January 23, 2012.

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