"But be doers of the
word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (James 1:22
Last Sunday God talked to me in an amazing way. I had ordered an audio CD about a terrific sermon two weeks before, only to discover that instead of having just 1 sound track, it had 16 of 2 to 3 minutes each. It wouldn't have mattered if I had bought it for personal reasons, but I had hoped to make this terrific sermon available on the Net. There was no way I could make it available in 16 different streaming audios of 2 to 3 minutes each! So last Sunday I went to see the person who is in charge of the sound equipment at my church, 10 minutes before the service started.
As I requested his help to my plight, he clearly told me he had no time for me, as he had to get ready for the service. I continued to intercede and asked him if I could talk to him after the service. There again he told me that he had no time, as he was planning to leave right after church for 2 days in Toronto. I requested if it was possible to meet with him after his trip, but again his answer was negative. He insisted that he didn't have time for this and that I wouldn't be able to do anything about it anyway as I probably did not have the right equipment. But didn't he have the right equipment? I thanked him for his time and wished him to enjoy the service.
However I was upset, quite upset. Aren't we here to help one another? Shouldn't it be our goal to make God's message available to anyone? What is our purpose in coming to church if we don't help one another? I started the praise service with a heavy heart, and instead of praising God with all my soul, I was easily distracted by little things.
About 15 minutes into praise and worship, God talked to me clearly:
"Why are you upset?"
"I am upset because I wanted to make this sermon available on the Net and the person in charge of sound doesn't have time for me..."
"Am I upset?"
"No, but..." It's then that I realized that I was upset for selfish reasons. If God was not upset about the situation, why should I?
"Have you forgiven him?"
"I am trying to, but it's sooooo hard!"
"Rely on me and you will be able to forgive."
It's amazing what relying on God can do. As soon as I did it, the heavy weight on my heart was released and I was able to start praising God with all my heart. I started to pray in the spirit for my friend who had hurt me, praying that he would enjoy the service and that he could enjoy a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. My anger was released and instead I was filled with a deep love for the one who had offended me. I released the matter to God. If it was God's will, that sermon would appear on the Net without any of my efforts. So why should I worry about it?
Then God asked me another question, that made my face turn pale.
"Don't you treat others the same way sometimes?"
Immediately several incidents came to my mind, incidents where I hadn't given the time of the day to some of my students to help them or to answer their questions.
It was then that I realized this whole incident had happened for me to learn an important lesson: "Be a doer of God's Word and not a hearer only!" It wasn't about the one who had offended me, it was about me offending (unknowingly you can say) others! I repented and made the decision that from now on I will make sure to make time for those who have questions or need help, no matter how insignificant their requests may seem. And if for some reason I don't have time right at that moment, I will make sure to give them time later on and let them know I will be there for them. My whole being was filled with God's presence and I felt at peace.
Then the preacher spoke. His text? James 1:22-25. The same text God had brought to my mind earlier on. God had confirmed His message to me right from the pulpit. You should read this text, my friend. It will be quite revealing to you. Are you a hearer or a doer of God's Word? Talk to your Heavenly Father about it and be ready to be amazed of His revelations about yourself.
In His love,
Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org