It is bright here in Sunny Florida this Wednesday morning. I woke up determined to get ‘my agenda’ done for the day but felt compelled to slow it down a notch and mediate on God’s word before I began. My devotions this morning talked of accountability amongst believers and close friends. I felt to share what the Lord spoke to me this morning.
James 5:13-16 “Is anyone among you afflicted (ill-treated, suffering evil)? He should pray. Is anyone glad at heart? He should sing praise to God? Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the church elders (the spiritual guides). And they should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name. And the prayer (that is ) of faith will save him who is sick and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray (also) for one another, that you may be healed and restored (to a spiritual tone of mind and heart). The earnest (heart-felt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (dynamic in its working).”
In James, he is speaking first of those who are sick to come and receive prayer; to stand in agreement with other believers and believe in faith for healing. If we are blessed, we are to sing praises to be of a thankful heart. Then James speaks of if we are in fault, error, we make a mistake, or fail in some area of our lives it is good to seek prayer with fellow believers (friends in Christ) confessing our sins to Christ and forgiveness will be given.
Such a gift – forgiveness….
You know, it is easy for us as believers, I think to pray for our healing or to praise God. Well, maybe I should not use the word ‘easy’ so lightly. However, when in comparison to being accountable to others for our walk and lifestyle asking prayer for healing is much easier.
We as humans do not necessarily ‘enjoy’ exposing ourselves to others in such a vulnerable way for fear of judgment or that we just feel that hiding our sin is easier than walking in the light of truth. Many feel that privacy is the best policy and some may feel that accountability will keep them from rising to the top in whatever capacity of success one is seeking. Such things as pride, fear, or self-preservation will keep someone from being accountable. It is a dangerous bridge to walk on, especially walking life alone.
When we allow ourselves to be accountable, we are mirroring the relationship of Christ and His Bride. We may not feel comfortable being accountable but I’m sure Christ didn’t feel comfortable when he was exposed on the cross for our sins either. Christ’s desire is for us to be free and whole. The willingness to be free is powerful once felt and can bring about such unity when praying with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We should not be afraid that too much will be known for if one is truly following after the heart of God than judgment will not be present. James mentions that healing and restoration comes when we confess our slip ups bringing wholeness to areas that felt such shame, guilt, and pain.
How free do you want to be? Don’t you want to feel light? I know I do!
You might say, “Well I’m sure she doesn’t talk to anyone”. “Who does she think she is for telling me I should be accountable to someone.”
Believe me! I’m not anyone but I can say, I learned the hard way about allowing others in my chili pot! It took me a while to trust those God placed in my life, but I can tell you now those God has given me to be accountable to are such dear friends. They are the kind of friendships that will last my lifetime; they are there for me any time of the day, at the drop of a hat and I’m there for them as well.
We were made for relationship and accountability it is one of the many reasons God has given us the desire to be with others; intimacy is God created.
I want to encourage you this morning to reach out to someone if you are alone – don’t be fearful – believe me I’ve been there it is kind of scary at first…being vulnerable and all – but do it and watch and see how God blesses you with freedom and friendship. You are not alone there is strength in numbers.
Be blessed & Keep Smilin’,