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James 1:6-8

posted Sep 29, 2012, 11:22 AM by David Gerhart   [ updated Sep 29, 2012, 12:27 PM ]
Sometimes we think to ourselves:  'I can't take the next thing that comes along' -- it's the knifes-edge of exasperation.

But there is the reverse:  I can.  The other side of that wrazors' edge is patience, endurance. 

We go to the Lord in prayer, asking for strength, wisdom, patience so that we "can" ... but in the end we fail, experiencing all the can'ts -- ending up bitter-angry-resentful, harboring unforgiveness...

"But when he asks he must believe and not doubt, because he who who doubts is like a wave tossed by the sea.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is double minded... unstable in all he does."  James 1:6-8

' You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Strength actually comes from obedience.  By obeying God's ordinance we are built up, made ready.  There is a subtle mistake that stumbles ...

"Observe therefore all the commands ... so that you may have the strength  (to go in and take over the land... and so that you may live long in the land... a land flowing with milk and honey.)" Deut. 11:8-9

it's clear from that instruction that Strength flows from obedience.   Obedience is a faithful response to the alternatives we face:  Those knife edges of decision.

In praying for strength, we pray against our weakness.  That weakness is faith.  Praying for increased faith is asking of God what he is waiting and happy to supply.  

Still, we go wrong. False beliefs are everywhere.

Mormons today often study and quote the Deuteronomy text -- but just like the Pharisees at the time of Christ the fault lies in the manner of belief.  When obedience exists in service to success, it is prostitute.  When obedience exists in service of love -- that genuine knowledge and friendship of God -- it is holy.

Are we obedient in expectation satisfying an expectation, a promise or result?   Or is our obedience out of love and honor - a dignity owed in subservience?   Sometimes a difficult question to answer.  Hmmm....

 "The unexamined life is not worth living."  Socrates.
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