6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:6-8
Have you ever found yourself in a situation that you thought that you would not be able to get out of? A situation that at one time you thought that you were totally in control of and then all of a sudden it spiraled out of control and you found yourself in a place where you had no idea even how to move? There have been many times in my life that I have experienced a situation like this and I had to literally stop everything that I was doing and deal with the situation if I was ever going to be able to move at all again. In laymen's terms we call this an impasse. Webster's defines impasses as a predicament affording no obvious escape: DEADLOCK; an impassable road or way. It paints for us an image to where we are completely stuck and have no way to get out of the situation on our own. And if many of you are like me... I don't like being in situations where I am out of control... and possibly depending on others to help me. It is not that I don't trust others... but it is a part of me that makes me feel that I am bothering others because of my inability to overcome my own obstacles. But that is exactly what God has called us to do for one another in a time of need.
A spiritual impasse is something that we may face when we come to a situation that needs discernment and theological answers. Situations that have caused denominations to split, churches to break away and people to literally leave and possibly never come back. In the midst of the world, we have to remember that the Church is made up of imperfect people
and we all bring with us situations and foundational thoughts about how the world should be and how we as the church should respond. In understanding that scenario, we have to be very careful not to step and rely on the patterns of the world to lead us past the obstacle. A spiritual impasse is a tool that the devil loves to use to distort the truth and cause chaos. It is an opportunity to step in and steal God's joy and misdirect the TRUTH. Have I seen and experienced spiritual impasses.. yes. Some have been so trivial as what the color of the carpet should be in the sanctuary and others have been based on leadership patterns of the church. I have watched churches fold and lights turned off because people are not willing to budge and come to the table. We are able to watch as personal vision and power struggles infiltrate into God's Church and cause strife, chaos and dissension. The aftermath leaves entire families at an impasse and causes some to literally walk away from their faith all together.
We see that James is willing to take hold of this subject as he is writing to the persecuted churches of Jerusalem. He is writing to encourage them and help them recognize the spiritual battle that may be causing many to question if they can continue to be a part of God's movement. We are able to watch as James continues to remind them that we have to continue to move forward and that through the chaos, God is creating within us spiritual fortitude and perseverance. But the question remains that we have to be ready to move and ask for help. In the part of the scripture we are tackling today, we see that James is warning those that may be struggling to be careful that we are sincere in what we ask for with God. When we reach this point of impasse, we have to fully believe that God is going to walk with us through the situation. He challenges our hearts and our willing to step out in faith with God. When we ask, we cannot doubt that God is not going to lead us through the valleys. We cannot think that we are not going to be able to get out of the situation because it seems too dire. No, we don't want to be like a wave in the ocean that continues to go back and for with our faith in God. We want to recognize the situation at hand and pray believing that God is going to blow through the obstacle like no way we can ever imagine. James is helping us to see the same situations that the early church faced and reminding us that God is there to help us out if we are willing to pray and pray believing that God is in control.
So today our challenge is one of personal fortitude meets humility. We have to recognize that when we face these situations that arise, we are more than able to break through the walls that have been set before us. We must be willing to take hold of the strength that God
provides and recognize that the only way we are going to endure is working together to come to a solution to overcome the impasse. We have to be willing to let down our pride
and open our minds to see that sometimes we do have to collaborate and work together if we are truly wanting to provide the best opportunities to reach people and build the Kingdom of God. If you are in a place like that today, please know that you are not alone. Please know that we are here to walk with you... pray with you... and find ways to build you up in your time of need. Just because we come to a place of impasse, it does not mean it is going to be an obstacle forever. It means that we are able to take hold of the moment.. learn from the obstacles that caused us to find ourselves in this position and recognize the importance of breaking through. We are truly meant to work together and I hope and pray that you are willing to recognize the value of being a part of the ARMY of GOD. The walls are not unbreakable, but we have to all recognize the value of reaching out for the hands that are there to pull us through.