Scripture: “Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealousy over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us?” James 4:5
Observation: Sometimes the important is missed over the obvious…
Analysis: In the first paragraph of Chapter 4 are these:
- What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?
- God opposes the proud; gives grace to the humble.
- Resist the devil and he will flee.
- Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.
- Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
I have underlined these in various copies of my bible over the years; I have written memorization cards to put in my car, on my wall, in my pocket, etc. These are all positive affirmations of the results of my actions towards God—plenty of verbs and to do’s to account for; a bunch of “if/then’s”: If I do this, then this will occur…
Good stuff all around.
But I noticed (just today) something stuck in the middle of what James is saying, something that specifically escaped me reading James but had to be there. It is the “Why.” Why is God enabling this, why is He forming me in this way, why does He want me in this way?
I cannot help but think that many Christians skip over this—the INTENSITY of the Love of God; that He is Jealous of our Heart and where it may be tilted to.
Jealous is a strong word, usually a negative indicator, indicating a less-than-pure emotion towards someone. God is the only Person that this CANNOT be applied to. His Jealousy is Right and Righteous, Pure in all things imaginable and unimaginable, and something Man cannot share the way He experiences it.
But, recognizing how generally Man skips over this, I definitely skipped over this lately. I heard it once said, “The sin of Israel was—they soon forgot”, and Israel repeated this over and over. I do the same and can identify the last 4 weeks as a major “forgot”—my bad.
What did I forget? I forgot the love of God, that love that I cannot understand the depth, width, and intensity of. What did I substitute? Despair, depression, myopic focus upon myself. I tried to salt it with memorized verses, principles, platitudes—but it only softened the blow. My wife and a few friends tried to rouse me out of my forgetfulness, and it helped and started me back on the narrow path.
But what really kickstarted was singing—singing worship songs that were about God; not about me living in God’s provision or the benefits of living for God (which is kind of silly sounding, seeing that all Mankind lives dependently upon God’s common grace), but singing about His Character, His Purposes, His Being, etc., and being able to sing loudly, softly, remembering poignant verses.
Good worship songs, songs that stick to my bones, are songs about Him.
Anyway, I apologize to any reader that noticed I was away. I hope I get back into the saddle consistently again.
Prayer: Father, even though I kind of wrote upbeat here, I am still struggling—and I will depend upon you to bring it out into the open. Thank you for every provision I enjoy, despite my not deserving one whit of it.
You are my God, and I worship You.