“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:2-8 NIV
Why does it seem as if some people are stable and solid and blessed whilst others seem to be constantly unstable and always in the middle of a crisis?
These unstable people are blown all over the place by every wind of adversity that comes their way. Their circumstances totally control them – controlling their attitude, their mouth and their actions. They are full of doubt and fear. The word of God says that if you are a doubter, you are like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. You don’t know what it is that you believe. You are double-minded and therefore unstable in all you attempt to do. Because you are unstable and you don’t know what you believe and you can’t make up your mind what it is you want – you don’t receive anything from the Lord!
On the contrary, the man of faith – who knows what he believes and in whom he believes and what it is that he wants – is solid and stable. Because he asks clearly and he believes absolutely that God’s word is true, he receives what he asks for!
“Why do you call me, `Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:46-49 NIV
You can call God your Lord, but do you really believe that He is your Lord? Do you really act like He is your Lord? “Lord” means “Master” – the boss! The boss tells you what to do. Do you do what He tells you to do? The only ones who have a right to call God “Lord” are those who do what He tells them to do and who put His words into practice. The person, who is a doer of the word, digs down deep to build the foundation of his house. He digs down into God’s word and he lets God’s word dig down deep on the inside of him! He builds his house – his life – on the foundation of God’s word by receiving it as if it is written to him alone and by applying it as if it is a command to him.
The person who hears God’s word, but does not receive it personally by doing it or acting on it is building his house – his life – without any foundation. Even though it may look good on the outside it is neither solid nor secure and the first storm is going to blow it away!
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22-25 NIV
Those who hear the word and still do not receive it as written to them, nor put it into practice, are trapped in the bondage of self-deception. God’s word gives freedom. Those who receive God’s word and don’t forget it, but are careful to do it, will be blessed in all that they do.
If we want to be blessed, we should read God’s word as if it says on every page, “This means YOU!”