I heard this from a preacher on the radio in Chicago a few years ago.
We were there for Josh’s graduation from Wheaton College.
First we had visited Josh’s brother in St. Louis for a few days, then we brought Uncle Jay with us and piled into a rented Jeep to drive to Chicago for the graduation.
It was a grand affair, visiting Wheaton was a magnificent experience, and the ceremony was inspiring to say the least.
On our last night in Chicago we were winding down in the hotel room with the boys.
Josh went for a swim in the hotel pool, and I tucked the boys into bed.
They used to listen to music as they fell asleep, so I was trying to find something soothing on the radio.
I found a preacher.
One of those southern gospel preachers, you know?
With the booming voice and the beautiful lilt to his words.
They always sound like they have something amazing to say.
I’ve always wanted to visit at least one of those churches – maybe one day.
That day the radio was enough.
I just couldn’t change the station.
I can still remember one line of the preacher’s sermon.
Just one line that has stuck with me and changed me in different ways.
One line that applies to so many areas of life.
“You got to stop sitting on the premises, and start STANDING on the promises.”
Ya, I just LOVE that!
This one line has grown my faith immensely.
It has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone over and over.
And now it is encouraging me in areas of health.
You see, my body is sore – EVERY day.
Not just sometimes anymore.
ALL the time.
It started about a year ago, when I was writing my last exams for university and I knew the book would be published within a few months and church planting in Northern Ontario was the new direction we found ourselves on.
There was a whole heap of new things, big things, wonderful things going on.
And I’d gotten really used to sitting on the premises.
When big things loom in front of you – it’s not easy to stand up.
It’s much easier to just keep sitting down.
I’m not talking physically here – I can go through the motions as good as the next person.
I’m talking spiritually.
It’s this verse that sticks with me…
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. – James 2:26
I’ve been working out the “faith without deeds is dead” part for a couple of years now, and it’s been motivating me to “start standing on the promises” all over the world! In my own neighbourhood to Northern Ontario to Dominican Republic. Such great adventures, with more coming I hope.
It seems it’s this part that I have to work on next – “the body without the spirit is dead”.
Going through the motions and neglecting to live in the moments of them is proving to make me worn and tired and sore.
I think I tend to leave my spirit at home when it’s time to stand on the promises.
I think I leave a chunk of me behind – to keep sitting on the premises.
It’s safe there, it’s under control, it’s familiar and warm and comforting.
Standing on the promises is often unfamiliar, cold, strange, confusing.
But it’s time to start moving.
The more I sit, the more sore I get.
The more I hurt.
It’s three simple words that had been on repeat for a while in my heart, but I’ve forgotten them the last little while.
Just… keep… going.
But not just physically, it’s got to be spiritually too.
It’s got to be all of me that stands up.
A wonderful lady sent me these words recently – she has Parkinson’s and this simple phrase is highlighted on one of the Parkinson’s exercise posters…