Spilling Scripture – Growing faith in working application
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:17 KJV)
Near the end of 1 Corinthians 9, Paul speaks about running with an intent of actually obtaining the prize. He also writes to Timothy of finishing a race. He speaks in Philippians of pressing on or pressing toward a prize. Why finish the race? Is there something beyond the start? Why is it necessary to bear fruit (see John 15:2)? Why is judgment spoken of in Matthew 25 based on deeds (or lack of them) rather than belief? What does it matter what we are found doing when He returns (see Matthew 24:46)?
It is so easy to forget that works are not a substitute for faith, but that they are the ingredient necessary to grow faith. The plain truth of the matter is that works grow that mustard seed of faith that was planted and that would otherwise never grow to bear fruit, evidence, or testimony. It is one thing to study medicine; it is quite another to actually treat patients. It is one thing to believe the principles of aviation; it is quite another to actually fly the plane. It is in that operating room and in that pilot seat that the marriage between belief and practice wrestle out a reality.
In my previous book Managed Surrender, I spent time distinguishing between the behaviors of management and surrender. In giving this contrast, it reveals a dimension that may not otherwise be seen. In this book, I continue this contrast with a special focus on Community and a Clearer Vision. (Not to worry, some new fun technical term correlations are also included.) Community is especially important to understand as it is the relationship that we have with others that reveals what God is working on inside us. It reveals the sincerity with which we practice what we learn in our quiet time with Jesus. It even can reveal our determination to pray through, heal through, work through, and believe through a more complete surrender in accomplishing the increasingly clear vision that God’s Spirit gives us. It is surrender in Jesus that best sharpens your set of battle skills. A clearer realization that He can heal like no one else, reconcile like no one else, love like no one else, have a peace when no one else is peaceful, show self control when we cannot even get a grip, and reflect God’s realness, presence, direction, and position to a world that continually moves itself to the darkest possible side of every situation. Let Him spill from you by flowing through Him.
These short devotional articles are also available on the Internet at either www.managedsurrender.com or www.spillingscripture.com should you like to post comments, questions, testimonies, or critiques on any of the articles that especially interest you.
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:18 KJV)