But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. —James 1:25 NIV
My poor husband, Ray. He had quite a job getting me up to speed as a bicyclist. Since he had enjoyed the hobby for a long time, he wanted me to join him on bike rides. But I was so timid. I braked constantly and was afraid to change gears. It all seemed so complicated compared to my bike as a child with no gears and a step-backward-on-your-pedals braking system. I would huff and puff and stand up on the bicycle to make it up a hill. And believe me, in New Hampshire, there are always hills.
Not using those gears wore me out. Ray patiently explained that when I made a change in gears, I just needed to keep pedaling and the derailleur would move that chain to the proper gear. When I pedaled away and tried to change gears, I’d hear an awful clicking sound and stop in fear that I had wrecked my bike and then … I would wreck the bike, and I’d have to call Ray to put my chain back on. I didn’t listen well to my husband and the results were disastrous: several stops along the way to fix a chain … more timidity on my part … and very greasy oily hands for the hubby. These were not among our best marital moments.
Yesterday we were out bicycling, now many years later, and, as I changed gears and kept pedaling, letting the derailleur do its thing, I remembered those early days. Why did I stop doing what I was supposed to do when it “sounded” wrong? Why did I stop even though I was supposed to continue pedaling? Now that I have learned to continue … bike rides have improved dramatically! They truly provide happy moments and happy memories for the two of us.
Sometimes we are poor listeners to the Lord in the same way. He tells us to forgive, and we try it for a bit, but it feels like it’s not working, so we stop, instead of continuing in that command. He tells us not to forsake assembling together, and so we haul ourselves to church, but the “gears grind” as people disappoint and sermons don’t excite and instead of continuing in what God commands, we stop. We miss the blessing that comes from doing what God says and not giving up. James writes: “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do” (emphasis mine).
Dear Father, Your Word is right. All the time. Whether it “feels” right to me or not. Forgive me when I stop because it seems hard or feels like it “isn’t working.” Help me, please, to continue to obey through good times and bad, to trust You that the blessings will come and to know that just doing Your will is best. No matter what. Thank You for Your patient guidance, Lord. Thank You for rules that are for my good and not my harm. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)
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