I meant to go to the gym this morning. I even got up, got dressed in my workout clothes, and got my shoes on. But I got distracted. So distracted that the precious minutes I could not afford to waste zoomed by. It wasn't anything important at all. At the realization of my failure, I came to one conclusion: I won't get in shape with well meaning and I won't lose inches by intending to go to the gym. Intent is not the same as action. This got me thinking, as I read through the first few chapters of Proverbs this morning, that true biblical wisdom is not in intent, but in application. How often do I fail because I intend but do not apply.
In the age of "everyone gets a trophy," we say "bless your heart" and reward minimum to no effort. I can't get behind that. Genesis 15:6 says "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to Him as righteousness." The original language of this phrase does not merely suggest that Abraham heard God's word, and believed it to be true, it implies that Abraham heard God's word and acted on it. No matter how many times Abraham would fall short, He was credited as righteous because He acted upon His faith in God's word. Don't misunderstand me, works do not save; we are saved by Grace through Faith. YET, the acting upon our faith is the evidence of that faith. Just as with my gym membership, faith is useless unless acted upon. I have to move past intent, and use my gym membership, just a we all need to move past our intent to follow God, and obey Him. Jesus says "If you love me, you'll keep my commands." There's no room for intent. It's all application from there. James 2:14-26
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Has not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.