As the Pendulum Swings
How often does the Lord move you? How often can you feel a tug at your heart, whether through teaching, worship, prayer or just whatever? How often are you so full of the joy of the Lord that you can’t help laugh or smile, or your heart broken so deeply you can’t help fall on your knees and weep, are you moved so violently by a need for justice that you go into deep intercession for nations? I believe these are things that need to happen. We should be marked by our faith, marked by our God.
Now, I struggle in this area often. Time to be a little transparent and venerable here… I grew up with people around me being overly emotional and constantly flung to and fro by every whim and feeling. So, naturally.. or maybe not so naturally, I tend to be on the other side of that and not show emotion very easily. I attempt to be level headed, practical, and calm. That is not a bad thing at all. I find it easier to be in relationship, talk to, and just be around this type of person. So please, do not think that I am coming against being somewhat cautious, level headed, practical and calm. That is also deeply needed in the lives of believers and in the Body.
Just as I saw the people in my world being so over-the-top emotional and severely, extremely one sided…. I became just like them for a time. I was also severely, extremely one sided. It happened to be the OTHER SIDE of their over-the-top emotionalism. I was painfully silent and stoic. When it came to emotions, anything that could have a deep effect on me, or did, I did not go there with anyone. I didn’t even breach that place with myself. I had that place in myself tightly bound up and locked away, or so I thought.
As I go through life I learn more and more that God never intended us to live in extremes in any area but one. So yes, we need to be moved deeply by God. We need to feel things in a deep way so that they prompt us to good works. AND we need to carry out those good works in a practical, level headed way. We have to use wisdom from God just as much as we need to feel deeply & be moved by God. It’s both, not just one in the extreme. I know most people would agree and just say, ‘yes, yes we’ve all heard this…’ but how often does it happen effectively in our lives? James 2:14-26 is a powerful reminder of how this principle should be working in our lives.
“What does it profit, my brothers, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed of the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works,’ show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble!
But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham out father justified by works when he offered Isaac on the alter? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:14-26, NKJV)
Yes, we are saved by grace. And by the grace of God faith will CHANGE US. There has to be a change in us when we come to know our amazing creator and savior (2Corinthians 5:17). That is just one verse, there are so so so many about this. The old has gone and the new has come, read Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Ephesians… That point is made abundantly clear that we are made new in Christ. Christians know this, we have hear the verses. But what does this look like for real??
It looks like being touched and moved so deeply by our God that we are compelled to action. 2Corinthians 5:14, the love of Christ compels us. When we truly see God’s love for us it will change us. He loves us so deeply He died for us. He would rather die than live without us! Literally!!! How amazing is that?! The CREATOR of the entire universe + more wants us to know Him, wants us to commune with Him, to love Him. He died so that we could do these things! He did not die for you to sit in a pew once a week and punch your ‘church card’. He died so that we can know Him intimately, so that we can be deeply moved by Him. Our heart should break for what breaks His (Jeremiah 8 & 9).
Look at Jeremiah, God grabbed ahold of him and he caught the vision and the heartbreak of God. He saw the world and his people the way the Father saw them. The things that were going on in that time broke God’s heart, and when Jeremiah was moved deeply by God those same things broke his heart. AND HE WAS MOVED TO ACTION. He was a prophet speaking out against these things, calling a nation back to the Lord! He is called the weeping prophet because he could feel God’s heart breaking!asChurch, we need this desperately! We have got to be so moved by our God that we change, that we are moved to action. Jesus Christ should move you so deeply that you weep over His sacrifice and beauty and then let it compel you to act!
The action part looks different for every believer. Some are called to teach, prophesy, pray and etc… We are all called to all of these in our new reality of Kingdom life, but that is for another time.. We all have a ‘job’ in the Kingdom. I am called as an intercessor. I pray. When I feel the heart of God I am almost always moved to prayer first. For someone else when they feel the heart of God they might be moved to feed the homeless first, or clothe the poor, or smile at every person they see and talk about Jesus with anyone who will listen. We are all drawn to a certain response first. Do it. Don’t just get caught up in worship and reading and teaching and then go about living your life as though nothing is different. Everything is different, church! And please don’t be on the other extreme of getting so caught in doing something all the time that you never feel the heart of our Father! That is just as bad!
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”(Matthew 7:21-23)
Beloved, don’t let this be you! We have to know our Father through Christ Jesus! This means we have to be intimate with Him, we have to let Him move us! As I am writing I am filled with an urgency for the Body of Christ to grasp these things. We need to be a balanced Body, full of only one type of extreme. We have to be so extreme in our love for Christ that we let Him move us to action. Beloved, are you letting Him love you? That is the only way to fully love Him & experience Him (1John 4:19).
Please let Him love you. Let Him change you. It is the only thing that matters. We have to let Him move in us and through us! It is what we are made for. Please beloved, let Him move you deeply, let Him move you to action.