James 2:17 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).”
Now listen to the words of James 2:17 this time in God’s Word Translation which says the verse this way:
“In the same way, faith by itself is dead if it doesn’t cause you to do any good things.”
Faith destroys fear. . .crushes doubt. . .conquers the unknown. . .inspires others. . .and makes us victorious in all our hands find to do.
If we want to do more than we’ve done. . .be more than we’ve been. . .then we need to step out in faith … as long as it lines up with His Word.
God’s Word tells us what to do. . .if we take a calculated risk and fail to succeed.
Proverbs 24:16 in the New Living Translation says:
“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.”
I’ve found that scripturally-directed action. . .even though it appears risky in the natural. . .produces successful results. Sometimes those results are immediate other times they’re progressive . . .as a result of the actions taken.
Learning to hear God is a process but if we hear the voice of the Lord and don’t ever act, we will never learn.
Here are seven keys to getting active instead of distracted.
First, taking action is your duty.
Did you set goals for the New Year? How are they coming? Are they a faint memory like who gave you what last Christmas?
There is an old saying: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
What you intended to do so far this year but haven’t done. . .isn’t impressive to you or anyone else and especially not to God. He judges us by what we do. . .not what we talk about doing or think about doing. . .but rather, what we actually roll up our sleeves and do.
If you have as yet to act on your goals. . .don’t despair.
First, you’re not alone. Only 3% of the population sets goals and only 8% of that 3% achieve their goals.
Second, as my fine wife Bev says “you haven’t missed your opportunity.” It’s never too late to do what you should have done but haven’t yet.
Third, make a life-changing decision today to move on your goals for the New Year.
Ezra 10:4 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“Get up! It’s your duty to take action. We are with you, so be strong and take action.”
God didn’t create or call you to be a spiritual couch potato. . .He called you to be a doer of the Word not a hearer only (James 1:22).
Luke 9:62 in The Living Bible says:
“But Jesus told him, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
Wow. . .that’s a strong statement.
“Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
How are you dealing with distractions?
Maybe we should ask ourselves. . .what if anything. . .is distracting us from being about His plans for our lives?
God created and endowed you with the seeds of greatness. . .the ability to see a need or opportunity and then do it.
By the way, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t say “I have a critical path.” He said “I have a dream.”
You and I need a dream, a goal, a vision of what can be. . .recognizing, then taking action, creates a spiritual force. . .a dynamic. . .a momentum to success.
John Barrymore, the actor, once said:
“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.”
Second, you’ll know what to do. . .if you know Him and His Word.
If we don’t know what to do. . .then we’re talking to the wrong person. . .because God will always show us the way He wants us to go.
Exodus 33:13 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You [progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, perceiving and recognizing and understanding more strongly and clearly] and that I may find favor in Your sight. And [Lord, do] consider that this nation is Your people.”
Psalm 25:4 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.”
Psalm 25:4 in the Easy To Read Version says:
“Lord, help me learn your ways. Show me how you want me to live.”
God tells us He will show us how He wants us to live in His Word. We have to persevere in seeking Him and the way will begin to open.
He won’t send you a fax. You won’t get a letter in the mail. But you will begin to sense and then see things that pull you toward them.
Isaiah 28:13 says:
“But the word of theLordwas unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little…”
Some people want a word from the nearest prophet instead of profiting from reading the Word of God.
The way to prosper is to keep claiming the Word and don’t be amazed when God shows up through an opportunity you hadn’t recognized before.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” is a quote attributed to Thomas Edison who held 1093 patents for things he’d invented in the United States alone.
Without question, the Word of God shows us the way He wants us to tread.
Psalm 5:8 in the Easy To Read Version says:
“Lord, show me your right way of living, and make it easy for me to follow. People are looking for my weaknesses, so show me how you want me to live.”
When God shows us the “right way of living”. . .what do we do with it?
Do you keep a journal or a notebook where you detailed the divine directives you receive from the Lord?
When you read or pray. . .always keep something close by where you can record any insight, revelation, spiritual discovery or directions you receive.
Daniel 11:32 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“With flattery he will corrupt those who abandon the promise. But the people who know their God will be strong and take action.”
Ernest Hemingway once said:
“Never mistake motion for action.”
If you know what to do...do it. If you don't know what to do...ask. It's your future...do something about it TODAY.
Third, we’re to take action. . .not just talk about it.
Once you make a decision. . .you need to stop talking. . .and even quit praying if it means you are hesitant to get going. . . as they say in Texas. . .get a move on it.
The Word of God backs this up in several scriptures:
When God has called us to move, we need to move:
Exodus 14:15 in The Living Bible says:
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward, march!”
If He has inspired us to begin something … we need to begin:
Ecclesiastes 11:4 in the Living Bible says:
“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”
We are called upon every day to live out our faith:
1 John 3:18 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“Dear children, we must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words.”
Benjamin Franklin once said:
“Well done is better than well said.”
Don’t just talk about it. . . do it. . .because your Heavenly Father is watching every step you take.
Proverbs 5:21 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“Each person’s ways are clearly seen by the Lord, and he surveys all his actions.”
Proverbs 14:23 in the New Living Translation says:
“Work brings profit; talk brings poverty!”
Are we doers of the Word? The fruit is His blessing.
James 1:25 in the New Living Translation says:
“But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
Fourth, God sees the actions you take.
God is more interested in what you do. . .than what you say you’re going to do.
1 Samuel 16:7 in the Amplified Bible says:
“But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
God isn’t looking at whether you wear Armani suits or faded blue jeans. . .whether your hair is done by a stylist or isn’t stylish at all.
God isn’t looking at your outward appearance but rather what’s in your heart. . .and what you do about it.
Proverbs 5:21 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“Each person’s ways are clearly seen by the Lord, and he surveys all his actions.”
God sees things about us that no one else can see. Yes, He sees our innermost thoughts. . .things we thought were hidden. And, yes, they may be hidden from our family, closest friends or even our pastor. . .but they are NOT hidden from God.
Andrew Carnegie said:
“As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”
So here’s the question. . .how many of us think that God is really pleased with what we do?
Notice I said. . .what we do? Ask yourself that question during your quiet time or while in your secret place.
If He’s not pleased. . .then you know what to do.
Fifth, inspect what you expect from yourself.
Lamentations 3:40 in the New Living Translation which says:
“Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord.”
In monitoring your progress. . .you will find that any turning from the Lord or minimizing your time with Him. . .will adversely affect your progress. That’s why monitoring or self-examination is one of the most important things you can do.
1Timothy 4:15 in the New Living Translation says:
“Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.”
Check your progress each day around lunch time and make any necessary adjustments. At the end of the day. . .any tasks that have not been completed should be moved to tomorrow.
Galatians 6:4 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.”
People may doubt or question what you say. . .but they will believe what you do.
Sugar Ray Robinson, the boxer, once said:
"To be a champion you have to believe in yourself when no one else will."
One more scripture.
Psalm 18:20 in the Message Bible says:
“God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I'm alert to God's ways; I don't take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I'm watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.”
When I got my act together. . .God gave me a fresh start.
I’m alert to God’s way and I will never again take Him for granted.
Every day. . .not just Sunday in church. . .but every day. . .I review the way He works and I’m watching my step.
Can somebody say “Hallelujah!!”
Sixth, taking action. . .is pleasing to God.
Philippians 2:13 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please him.”
When you do what God tells you to do. . .then on Judgment Day you’ll be singing “Oh, Happy Day” instead of “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen.”
Well-pleasing in Strong's Concordance is the word euarestos G2101 which comes from the Greek word eu (yu) (G2095) which means to be:
“well-off, fare well, prosper”
G2101 is the same Greek word used in Matthew 25:21 which says:
“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
And the remainder comes from the Strong's G701 – arestos meaning pleasing, agreeable.
John 8:29 says:
“And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”
The Message Bible version of John 8:29 says it this way:
“The One who sent me stays with me. He doesn't abandon me. He sees how much joy I take in pleasing him."
The scripture offers some very basic guidelines on how you can live a life that is well-pleasing to God.
Matthew 11:26 in the New American Standard Bible says:
“For this way was well-pleasing to God.”
Living our lives under authority is well-pleasing to God.
Titus 2:9 in the New American Standard Bible says:
“Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative.”
The New King James Version says “not answering back” is well pleasing to God.”
Seventh, taking action. . .brings rewards.
At various times in our lives. . .we may have been rewarded. . .by a parent for good behavior. . .by a teacher for making good grades. . .a coach for a great game. . .by an employer for doing a job well. But we can’t even begin to imagine . . . the kind of rewards coming for our obedience to God’s direction.
And by the way, God owes NO ONE… we will receive our reward. . .NOW. . .and not just in the sweet bye and bye.
Hebrews 11:6 says:
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for rewarder is misthapodotēs (G3406) which means:
“one who pays wages, a rewarder”
He is one who pays wages to them that diligently seek him. And we’re not taking about minimum wages either.
Are you getting this? God also rewards those who take action on His divine directions.
Jeremiah 17:10 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“I, the Lord, search minds and test hearts. I will reward each person for what he has done. I will reward him for the results of his actions.”
Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics said:
“There are two things people want more than sex and money -- recognition and praise."
2 Chronicles 15:7 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“But you must remain strong and not become discouraged. Your actions will be rewarded.”
I’d rather be rewarded by God than by anybody else.
Try this LIFE-CHANGING EXERCISE.
List three steps you can take tomorrow that will turn past inaction into action.
One final look at Jeremiah 17:10 in the Message Bible says:
“But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be."
When it comes to taking action. . .God judges us on what we really do. . .not what we think about or even pretend to do.
How do you plan to spend the rest of this year? Think about it.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS