I was minding my own business, in the midst of writing a 5 page paper on the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard when the initials for my magazine, WOW! (Women of the Word) popped into my head. Immediately following that thought were the words “With Or Without.” I have been, for lack of a better word, tortured by recent events that have been going on around me – from deaths to rumors to disturbing news – the full gamut of incidences and the full spectrum of emotions have surfaced lately. Lord, what does it all mean? I know that he isn’t going to give ME the answers, and why should he?
He is sovereign and He knows not only what’s going on, but He knew that it would be. Still, those words With Or Without lingered in my head and I wondered if there was a connecting scripture on its heels. Then a scripture came to me: James 1:22 states that we should be doers of the Word of God, not just hearers, for if we are merely hearers we deceive ourselves like one who looks into a mirror and then walks away forgetting what one looks like. I think that the Lord is pretty tired of us going to church every Sunday, BTU, Young People’s Fellowship, afternoon service, night service, Tuesday night worship, Wednesday night Bible Study, Friday night service, Sunday School, Youth Conference, Women’s Ministry, Men’s Ministry, Women’s Retreat, Men’s Retreat, Youth Retreat, Annual Conference, National Congress, National convention, WHATEVER – He’s tired of us getting all this WORD and then walking away as if we have forgotten what we have been taught through His Word! Whom are we deceiving? When will we get the fact that our lives have been bought with the precious blood of Jesus and they don’t belong to us? We cannot continue to live any kind of way and say that we are His! How can we continue to stand among sinners and not be able to offer them the free gift of eternal salvation because we aren’t living the Word of God? Do they even see a difference in us? Do we look just like them? Do we laugh at the same dirty jokes? Are we, too, trying to get our mack on, our freak on or whatever else we’d like to call it? Are we more concerned about having a husband or a wife than we are about kingdom building? Is it more important for us to get a new car, a nice house, more money, more money, more money, than it is about learning the Word of God and delighting ourselves in Him? Do we play the same dirty politics on our jobs and in our churches that are welcomed in the world? Do we continue to engage in the same laundry list of things that Paul warned against in Romans 1? When we look in the mirror is the glowing reflection of a mighty and sovereign God looking back at us or do we see a cracked mirror full of deceit?
I know I must sound angry or frustrated or what I’m saying might seem a little harsh. However, I’m disgusted! I’m disgusted all across the board with the body of Christ! We’ve got to get it together and we can do it TOGETHER! WE are so busy doing “church things” that we’ve yet to do the work of the church! Why do we still have folks church hopping from one place to another but the unchurched numbers still rise? Why are we more concerned about how many ministries this church has or how great that pastor can preach or do they have a single’s ministry or a nursery for my kids than we are about evangelism and outreach and serving the least of these? Do we get as angry about the sin that is rampant in our communities and the many souls that are dying and going to hell as we do about who is in charge in what ministry, why I won’t support this ministry, why someone is sitting in my seat or “chile, have you heard?” Are we so bogged down with what folks ought to call us – minister, reverend, pastor, preacher, apostle, bishop, prophet, prophetess or grand pumbah! When did this whole thing become about us????? The apostle Paul was a brilliant man, but all he wanted to do was give God the glory and take none for himself! All he wanted was for Christians to live out their purpose and look with joy toward the promised eschatology as written in the scriptures for those who walked righteously before the Lord – realizing that we can’t bring our own filthy rag righteousness to the table – our paschal Lamb, our Redeemer, our Savior has given us righteousness through His shed blood – so why do we continue to walk around in our own?
The bottom line, my brothers and sisters is that we will either walk this walk – With or Without God’s Word. WOW! Are you going to live by the Word or are you going to do your own thing? You’ve got to make a choice and you can’t keep straddling the fence. The time is running out, the playbook is before you…what choice will you make? I ask God’s forgiveness for whatever I’ve done by word, thought, motive, deed or attitude, my sins of commission and omission so that I can truly live by His Word and live out His purpose for my life. May you do the same….I’m going back to finish my paper!
©2009 Candie A. Price