"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."
I read this passage of scripture this morning in my quiet time. The question prompted in my Bible study was asking when the last time was that I responded to an obvious need like this.
I quickly began going through my mental rolodex of past experiences where I was privileged to be the hands and feet to those around me. (BTW, I am not always so quick to lay down my own to-do's to pay attention to the needs around me.) That time we had a homeless mom and daughter live with us on our couch for nearly a month. Feeding the homeless downtown. Passing out water with our family to displaced families after a tornado. Giving our baby gear to a single mom who just had a baby.
Then I began looking at other victories in my life journey. You know, those times when God shows off and provides every penny we needed for that bill, or the VISA for our daughter so we could bring her home to America, or the full healing from the almost deadly ectopic pregnancy.
I'm sure you can think of a handful of times when you were obedient to the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit to act in faith. And I'm certain you can recall times of God's faithfulness during a difficult season. Remembering experiences like these are so important to remember. In fact, God tells us to remember them frequently to encourage one another and to remember His goodness and faithfulness.
But past victories and obedient works aren't enough for the plan He has for us TODAY. He calls us to be available at all times, not just obedient in stand-alone situations. We are to die to ourselves DAILY. Put on the armor of God and fight this battle DAILY. And we fight it by loving our neighbor DAILY. By being His hands and feet DAILY. By getting on our hands and knees DAILY and surrendering for what God has for us THIS day. (Even if it is simply serving your own family with a happy heart instead of resenting the mundane tasks you continually have to do.)
We can't rely on our past victories to be enough for today's mission.
Yes, remember the past victories and Praise God for allowing you to be a small part of His bigger story. Then loosen the grip you have on today and release it to Him so He can add more pages to your story TODAY.