Faith y’all. Faith.
Faith without works is dead. James 2:17. The whole chapter is worth reading.
My brain is finna feel dead. I have four posts to edit in addition to the four? I’ve finished and Proverbs 21. Sheesh. It’s my fault though. Poor planning and time management. Digression.
But, works require us to do something. God gives us insight and wisdom on how to obtain some things that we pray for. Either we miss it or are stubborn, obstinate, don’t want to do it His way.
If we do nothing the faith we had to ask for it or believe it would happen dies. Why? Because we do not obtain what we believed through our failure to act.
There are some things and miracles God just does and gives. I’m not talking about that.
I want to lose weight. I want to drink more water. I asked God for help. This isn’t the first time. I have tried.
I didn’t love exercising. I didn’t love water. Usually didn’t drink much of anything unless it came with the meal and could eat without any beverage. Didn’t love the outdoors. Ion like weather extremes after living in the cold midwest and hot south and not being out in it much as a child.
Something happened in the middle of the pandemic. Y’all, for my Apostolic/Pentecostal/Holiness/well informed folk, I just quickened.
In the middle of death. In the middle of devastation. In the middle of uncertainty. In the middle of chaos. In the middle of confusion. In the middle of confinement. In the middle of quarantine. In the middle of loss. While I was essential personnel. While I worked every scheduled shift unless I requested off. I lost weight while others gained it.
I would love to say I worked hard. But I didn’t really work at all. I just stopped eating more than one maybe two meals. It was really laziness. I was staying up after I got off at midnight and sleeping or not wanting to go get food. I wasn’t cooking. I feel like I may have said some of this elsewhere. Forgive me. It’s worth repeating.
Once I saw what I had done while accidentally, inadvertently intermittently fasting, I was sold. I bought a half-gallon igloo and decided to drink my water. I started craving it.
I started walking in the park and loved it. I get irritable, definitely today, when I can’t go outside and walk due to the weather. I have been out in walking in the teens or low twenties at the coldest. I just bundle up. I have come to love, love, love God’s nature.
I don’t just eat vegetables and healthily. As a matter of fact, I lost weight eating junk and fast food. I stopped most of the bad stuff at first. I don’t eat nearly as much junk as before. My water intake has slowed. As has the exercise. Moving and having a different lifestyle is an interesting adjustment. But somehow, I am still losing.
I have worked my faith and God has been gracious to me.
Whatever you are believing God for, figure out what your part is. And walk it out. Work it. He just may be waiting on you.
1-5 Dear friend, do what I tell you;
treasure my careful instructions.
Do what I say and you’ll live well.
My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it!
Write it out on the back of your hands;
etch it on the chambers of your heart.
Talk to Wisdom as to a sister.
Treat Insight as your companion.
They’ll be with you to fend off the Temptress—
that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductress.
This author is ADAMANT about us listening. The last few chapters we have been told the same thing in similar ways. They want to make sure we listen. They want to make sure we value wisdom and insight, comparing it to people and relationships. They wanna make sure we stay out if trouble via wisdom and insight
6-12 As I stood at the window of my house
looking out through the shutters,
Watching the mindless crowd stroll by,
I spotted a young man without any sense
Arriving at the corner of the street where she lived,
then turning up the path to her house.
It was dusk, the evening coming on,
the darkness thickening into night.
Just then, a woman met him—
she’d been lying in wait for him, dressed to seduce him.
Brazen and brash she was,
restless and roaming, never at home,
Walking the streets, loitering in the mall,
hanging out at every corner in town.
Oop. No words. Lol.
13-20 She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
boldly took his arm and said,
“I’ve got all the makings for a feast—
today I made my offerings, my vows are all paid,
So now I’ve come to find you,
hoping to catch sight of your face—and here you are!
I’ve spread fresh, clean sheets on my bed,
colorful imported linens.
My bed is aromatic with spices
and exotic fragrances.
Come, let’s make love all night,
spend the night in ecstatic lovemaking!
My husband’s not home; he’s away on business,
and he won’t be back for a month.”
21-23 Soon she has him eating out of her hand,
bewitched by her honeyed speech.
Before you know it, he’s trotting behind her,
like a calf led to the butcher shop,
Like a stag lured into ambush
and then shot with an arrow,
Like a bird flying into a net
not knowing that its flying life is over.
24-27 So, friends, listen to me,
take these words of mine most seriously.
Don’t fool around with a woman like that;
don’t even stroll through her neighborhood.
Countless victims come under her spell;
she’s the death of many a poor man.
She runs a halfway house to hell,
fits you out with a shroud and a coffin.
Like. The author is talking about a woman. But again, this seems like a metaphor for sin, lost, anything that is a distraction or takes us off course. We gotta watch and pray so we don’t enter not into temptation cuz the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41 KJV). Jesus said that! We gotta use this here wisdom and insight.
How odd for a Christian to not go to church. I honestly never thought I would be anything less than a faithful church attendee.
But the reality is this: after 26 years of mostly faithful attendance, the past 5ish years has been spotty and mostly nonexistent.
To many that’s baffling. Especially some of the people I’m closest too. I was hardcore active and present every time the doors opened. For a multitude of reasons, I even chose to go to church instead of seeing my cousin when she came in town. 🙈
I’m not a perfect Christian or person. I’m human. But you learn a few things, see a few things, by being a halfway decent Christian according to mainstream standards for 26ish years.
There are a couple of the many churches I have attended that are my favorite. It’s hard for others to measure up. Not to mention my distillation of the Bible I read and believe has led me to a complex conclusion with strong held convictions.
For comparison’s sake-when it comes to church I’m kinda a snob. Like Starbucks diehards. Or many iPhone owners.
When you’ve experienced the best why settle? Especially when it is something as important as a relationship with Jesus and salvation.
I won’t get into all of my beliefs and the inherent contradictions. I am well aware that all of this many not be kosher when considering what scripture has to say.
But I read my Bible. I could do better at that. I talk to Jesus. I could do better at that too.
We are all striving and can all do better. Where I am right now is good enough for me. That sounds slightly horrible as I tap it out.
I just don’t want to go to church for the sake of going to church. That’s religion. I’d rather have a relationship any day.
People don’t trust their kids with just anybody. Why should I do that with my church attendance?
Maybe I’ll find somewhere. Maybe I’ll find something. Maybe I should be more proactive. But maybe, just maybe, I’m fine just where I am right now.