KEY SCRIPTURE James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. RELEVANCE Today I want to talk about our God in whom is no shadow of turning. It's a strange phrase, but we get it. Whichever way God is turned, we see no shadows as in an X-ray image. But to where does He turn? Are there any specific directions or places? I've taken some liberty here so we can look at the eight so-called parts of a balanced life. Each area has an impact on our lives. At some stage we interact with all these areas, so I questioning myself, "Do I cast a shadow in any of them, a spot or blemish? As a potential son of God, should I cast a shadow of deceit, greed, infidelity, filth, hatred, or a wayward life? I can use the excuse that, "Hey, I'm only human!" But what does God hope for me?
The Apostle Paul said, I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). That high calling has no shadow of turning. Paul's ultimate goal was to be spiritually and naturally (outside and inside) clean and clear. We know Paul had initial trouble directing his body and mind into a state of obedience doing things he didn't want to do (Romans 7), but his pursuit was the same, being led by the Spirit and always striving toward maturity. Satan knows our weaknesses—our shadows—not by reading our minds, but observing our behaviours. Using these observations, he sets traps. He fires a fiery dart to get a thought going, then, as we become inflamed in our weakness or shadow, he sets those traps or further temptations along the way to keep us on that path to sin. The great thing is, that Jesus also knows our weaknesses. Not to trap and condemn us like Satan, but to show us the way out, the way to be clean, the pathway to mature innocence. His glorious grace covers us removing the pressure while we grow. In Jude 24-25, Jude highlights Jesus' intentions for us. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
How is your image? Any shadows of turning. Any black spots? Give them up to the Holy Spirit. Make a decision today to review these areas of your life. Jesus died so that we may grow into the image of our Father. For this, we should sing praises to His name. PRAYER Dear Lord, my image hasn't always been as good as I wanted it. Please show me my shadows, and also the way of overcoming them.
Photo by Martino Pietropoli