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Are You Wandering?

The last exhortation from the book of James is very important. He deals with an issue that’s prevalent in our generation. It’s about those who wander from the truth.

My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
James 5:19-20

James is dealing with a number of issues in this passage. The first is the fact that a Christian can wander from the truth. The word, wander means to roam or rove around.

In the natural, wandering takes place when we get distracted by something. When I’ve gone hiking, there have been times when I’ve gotten distracted and missed a turn in the trail. A couple of times I had to do a fair amount of backtracking before I got to where I should have been.

That’s why this Greek word can also mean deception.   Deceit is when I knowingly try to distract you from the truth. The question is; how does this wandering manifest itself in a spiritual setting?

One day, Jesus explained this very concept to the Sadducees, who were trying to prove to the Lord that there would be no resurrection.

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”
Matthew 22:29

The word, error, in this verse is the same word wander that James used. Jesus was telling these priests that they had wandered from the truth because of two problems. They’re the same two things that cause modern believers to miss out on God’s best.

The first, was not knowing the Scriptures. This was an interesting thing to say to the Sadducees, since they had huge portions of Scripture memorized. They had to know all the books of Moses by heart just to qualify for the priesthood.

The problem was that they only knew about the Scripture. The word that Jesus used was a knowing by experience. These priests knew what the Bible said, they just didn’t want to apply it to their lives. Without the application of Scripture, we’re merely wandering around hoping to stumble upon God’s best for us.

The second thing that causes us to wander is not knowing the power of God. That’s probably the greatest hindrance in our generation. In many church circles we’re relying upon secular corporate models or clever programming to grow our churches.

In many cases, if the Holy Spirit showed up on Sunday morning, we wouldn’t know what to do with Him. In some churches He’d be escorted out the door, in others He’d be told to sit quietly in the corner. The last thing they want is to see the power of God active in their services.

I believe that the goal of God’s people is to see, and experience the power of God actively in their lives. In my opinion, that’s what the world needs to see. More than structures or programs, it’s the power of God that will bring them to repentance and salvation.

I want to see a new move of God in my generation. But for that to happen, we need to stop being distracted by the world around us. In other words, we need to stop wandering from the truth.

By focusing on experiencing the truth of Scripture and experiencing the presence of God we can once again see the Lord’s best manifest in us. As a result, there will be a great harvest of souls when they see the hand of God actively working in our lives.

Question: How much time do you spend actively applying Scripture to your life and seeking God’s presence?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

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Holy Spirit Guidance

GPSI’m posting about how the closer we walk with God – the more He shows us of Himself. This is key if we truly want to know Christ.

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:10-11

I want to know Christ. Our vocabulary is watered down sometimes. We talk about how long we’ve known Christ, but we mean how long we’ve been saved. Our salvation and truly knowing Christ are two separate issues entirely.

When you walk with Christ for the purpose of knowing Him better, things start to take place.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12

You will not walk in darkness. In other words, the Holy Spirit will begin to guide you every step of the way. You don’t have to wander around through life. The direction to go will be clear.

This is how Jesus lived and ministered when He was with the disciples.

Then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?”
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.”
John 11:7-10

The Lord was led by the Spirit in all that He did. He didn’t go somewhere just because it was expected of Him. On the other hand, He didn’t stay away because of a fear of being killed.

Fear of the future is one of humanity’s greatest fears. We worry about what’s ahead all the time. But if we walk with Christ, listening to the voice of His Spirit, then we need not fear.

If the Spirit is leading, then He’s also protecting.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me.
Psalms 138:7

That’s why we need to cultivate a close relationship with the Holy Spirit. He’s our guide through all the uncertainties of life.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Isaiah 30:21

I love this verse. In it I see the Holy Spirit as my “Life GPS”. We can’t afford to live without His presence.

Question: What was the last guidance you received from the Holy Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2016 in Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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