Posted on May 17, 2021 in Devos with Dani

Are you ready?

James 1:12

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (ESV)

The end of school is in sight!  Some of you have already been taking exams, and some of you still see them looming in your future, but you know that they are almost over and then you’ll be free for the summer.  Are you ready? Or have you been procrastinating?  It’s so easy to procrastinate when you know what the deadline is.  You can push the work off until the last second and then cram to get it done and hope for the best.  I know, because that is how I am.  However, bad habits are hard to break and that habit of procrastination can seep into our relationship with God as well.

God hasn’t given me a syllabus with all of the things that I need to accomplish and the lessons I need to learn and the dates that all of those things are due, but nonetheless, there are going to be lessons and tasks and tests in my Christian life that I need to be prepared for at any moment.  So I really can’t afford to procrastinate.  I can’t afford to wait until work slows down to get a better focus on prayer.  Nor can I afford to let my personal devotions slack because my schedule got busy.  We do our homework and we study because we know that we’re going to be tested on that material and we don’t want to be found unprepared on the day of the test, but when it comes to our relationships with God we sometimes let prayer and study go untouched for a few days not realizing that the test is right around the corner.

We can’t afford to procrastinate on a stronger relationship with God through prayer, personal devotions, and fellowship with other believers.  If we let those things slide for the short term, it’s likely to turn into more of a long-term issue and you’re going to find yourself facing a test, unprepared to fight the battle.  God strengthens us through time with him and in his word, and he’s given us scripture and prayer as the weapons to fight our battles just like Jesus fought his in the wilderness when he was tempted (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).

However, be very careful that these things don’t simply become routine, if you notice James 1:12, it doesn’t say that God gives the crown of life to those who successfully followed a routine of Bible study and prayer.  It says that the crown of life goes to those who love God and have stood the test.  Our love for someone is demonstrated in the actions we take to know them and spend time with them, etc.  Our fellowship with God and other believers should be an action of love, not obligation.  If it’s done in love we will also get more out of it ourselves and it will produce more fruit in our lives that helps us stand firm in trials than if we simply do it out of obligation.

So, take a second and examine your life.  What do you invest your time in?  Are you ready for the trials that are coming without warning?  Or do you need to reassess the efforts you’re taking to be able to withstand those trials?