James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (NIV)
This verse reminds me of a friend who lost her husband. I was saddened and impacted by his passing, but found that I quickly was re-absorbed into my issues, problems, financial pressures and made no tangible action to help this new widow until my wife reminded me of this verse. The Lord convicted me of my disobedience to His Word. What hurt worse than my disobedience to God’s Word was how my heart was calloused to my friend who had just become a widow. Hebrews 3:13 says, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” As I pondered how I could be in the Word, but not obeying the Word, the last part of this verse answered my question – “keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” I have always interpreted this part of the verse in terms of purity, obedience, and Godliness. But when tying it to my experience with this new widow, it was easy to see how God’s work in my life had become polluted by “my stuff.” The things in your life can quickly displace God’s will for you. The external world is constantly bombarding your life with things to displace God as the Lord of your life. The stuff in your life should be dwarfed by God’s eternal presence, love, and work in you. Your ability to be side-tracked or calloused to the Word of God and His work in you may indicate a lack of passion and relationship with Jesus. Pursue Jesus with a passion that builds an impenetrable relationship with Him so that you can withstand the world’s attempt to consume your God. Romans 12:21 states, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Stop now and ask God how you can make your relationship with Him impenetrable to replacing your Savior, the God of the universe, with your stuff!
Haggai 1:9 “‘You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.’” (NIV)