As many of you know I recently spent the day at the hospital. Even after a year and a half in another country you can eat things that just mess you up. I am feeling a little better but the doctors never quite figured out exactly what is wrong with me. I really wanted to think I was getting better even though I knew something was wrong. Even after three weeks I was drinking lots of fluids and even went for a three mile run shortly after getting here to Ocala. I neglected going to see a doctor because of wanting to go see family and spend time with my dad who I pretty much only see once a year. Everyone kept telling me I ought to go to see doctor, but I just kept saying “I know, I know but…” followed by an excuse. Well, after seeing some family but starting to feel worse and worse, I finally broke down and went to the hospital. They said I should have come a long time ago. I was dehydrated and they ran many tests but never quite found out exactly what was wrong with me. But I actually was very sick. The funny thing is that I had deceived myself into thinking that everything was alright. The same is true of our spiritual lives as well.
How many times do we do the same thing when it comes to God? We make excuses for our lack of obedience. We really and truly are busy many times and doing important stuff. But something inside of us tells us something is wrong. Even though we know that, somehow we trick ourselves into believing everything is okay and that we will eventually get to where we want to be or to the better, more important stuff we know we should be doing, We somehow comfort ourselves in our lack of desire for God and our spiritual laziness. “I know, I totally plan on doing that”, we say. But that’s just it, we keep saying it, yet many times rarely DO anything. There is one little verse in the Bible that makes me uncomfortable (among many) and gives me a sense of urgency about things when I get sidetracked (which is very easy to do). James said “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17) You can go back and read the chapter for the context, but the verse is pretty self explanatory and can be applied to many areas of our life.
Sometimes it’s our own flesh, and sometimes it’s the enemy. In the song Cosmic Powers by Shai Linne, there’s a great line where he speaks of the enemy’s tactics against believers. Shai Linne says, ” his (satan’s) top priority is that we deny the Book, tactic one the Bible, keep you from reading it, and if you’re reading it he’ll try to keep you from believing it, if you’re believing it he’ll try to keep you from obedience or speaking it, he’s got temptations for every season kid”. He definitely will try to keep you from obedience.
What is common more often than not in real everyday Christian life is a Christian reading and studying the Bible, yet lacking in obedience or application of what they know. But again, James exhorts us to ”be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”(James 1:22) But whether it’s our own fault, or a plot from the enemy to keep us from doing what many times we know we should be doing, if we know what we should do (according to God’s Word) and we don’t do it, to us it is sin. We can even try to comfort ourselves with our honesty about our lack of obedience, but we still need to do what we know is right and be careful not to linger there too long. Don’t end up like that guy who put off going to the doctor but ended up worse off when he knew something was wrong all along. That feeling calling you to action just may be the Holy Spirit bringing to remembrance (John 14:26) the things we “know” Jesus said, taught, and commanded of His followers. Pray.