Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Steve Covey wrote that we all create thing twice. First, we create them in our inner life. Then, we create them in the world. So, the shape of our inner life determines what flows out of our lives. Our character,  temperament, perspectives, worldview and experiences give birth to our actions.

James seeks to demonstrate that a proper walk with God produces proper actions. So, he encourages:

  • Right response to trial/temptation
  • “doing” the word
  • Fair treatment of people
  • Faith and works
  • Right speech
  • Wisdom and its deeds
  • Being friends with God
  • Being content
  • Right use of wealth
  • Being patient
  • Being honest
  • Being devoted to prayer
  • Encouragement to follow the Truth

The life of a Jesus-follower oscillates back and forth between flection, listening and absorbing to doing, loving and obeying. Doing allows the grace, love and spirit of God to flow from us.

The filling of the Holy Spirit alone does not produce fruit or promote spiritual maturity. The flow of the Holy spirit produces fruit and promotes spiritual maturity.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Guidance II

Just because there are surprises, it does not mean that God is arbitrary. He does not follow whims. He is not capricious. He does want us to know Him, understand Him, so we will trust Him.

We learn to trust people, when they tell us what they intend to do, how they intend to do it, and they do what they say. So, God reveals Himself to us, and He acts according to what He says. He always does what He says. So, we can always trust Him.

He promises He will guide us. He promises that He will not contradict what He has told us about Himself, what He values, or the way He told us to live. He did NOT promise to give us the precise method of guidance. 

He could have promised to mail us detailed instructions, complete with diagrams and a MapQuest map. But He didn’t. He sometimes tells us  where the end is. He promises to show us the right road. But fairly often, we won’t know which turn to make until we are right at the intersection.

Friday, May 15, 2009


One thing that most Jesus-followers hold is that God is active in the lives of people. This includes providing guidance. Guidance should make life easier. God knows a lot more than we do. But there seems to be a surprising lack of rules.

When Israel arrived at the Jordan River to go into Canaan, the river was at flooding. God commanded the priests to carry the Ark, and walk ahead of the people, right into the river. When all of the priests were standing in the river, God pushed the water back into a heap, so the people could walk across on dry land.

Sometimes, God’s guidance is just like opening up the river. You need to get your feet wet before the way opens up.

But sometimes God reveals the end from the beginning. Abraham knew he should go to Canaan. There he would have a son that would bring blessing to the whole world. Moses knew he would lead Israel from Egypt to Canaan. Jesus knew he would go to the cross. Paul knew he would take the gospel to the gentiles.

 God does not lead everyone only one way. He is the God of surprises. If God followed one method, he would become predictable. And we would follow him by what knew, and not by faith. This element of surprise leaves God in control. Following requires a bit of courage and a bit of risk taking.

Even though he does show us where the end will be, that does not mean there will not be unexpected turns or landslides blocking the road. We have never been on this road before. We will always need to be actively engaged with the road and with our Guide.