Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Effective, Fervent People

Recently I have written about the life of Jacob, and his encounter with God that caused him to take a good hard look at himself, and admit what kind of character he had. He had to come to terms with who he was. We need to do that, as well. There are times that God calls on us to examine ourselves, to look at our own faults and sins, and to ask God to give us the grace to overcome. While it is important to do this between ourselves and God, we must not forget the importance of having someone near us to hold us accountable and to hold us up in prayer. Today, I want to speak about having the right people in our lives.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16

How many services have we been in where we are told the last part of that verse? We may be around the altar in a prayer meeting, and we are encouraged that our prayers can move heaven. That is true, God answers prayer. But we can’t ignore the context of the passage. We are told to confess our faults to each other, that we may be healed. The problem is how do we know who to confess our faults to? Who can we really trust?

Many would read this and shudder with the thought of airing out their dirty laundry with someone else. What if that person blabs my issues to everyone and they’re dog? That is where the context comes into play. So many people spend their time telling the wrong people about their struggles. They tell a friend, a co-worker, or a family member without so much as praying about who they are talking to. But the verse tells who we should speak with- someone who is righteous! Not the church gossip that acts as though they are a consultant to the Godhead, but one who realizes that their righteousness isn’t their own, but Christ’s. When we find folks who are truly walking in Christ’s righteousness, we find those who can be trusted. We find those who won’t take your problem or sin to others, they will take it to the cross!

What we need are true friends. The Bible says that a friend loves at all times (Pro. 17:17). A true friend that we can put our trust in will show us that love by keeping our issues in confidence. Otherwise, it isn’t a true friend, is it?

We need each other. The description of the Church as the Body of Christ is so accurate. Think if your arm suddenly became disabled. The rest of your body would come to its aid and compensate for what is lacking. It’s the same in the Body of Christ. We need to be there to help each other get through life’s tough points. We need help to shoulder our weaknesses at times. Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

So be encouraged today, my friends. If you are struggling with a sin, find someone you can trust in to hold you up before the Lord, and hold you accountable. Because in finding that righteous man or woman to come to your side, you are finding the one to help you get the healing and deliverance you really need. God bless!

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