Aughts Against Any

“Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” Matthew 18:18.

For a long time I was puzzled..about what ‘loosing’ and ‘binding’ meant. Then I found out: it means that by hanging onto my judgement of another I can bind him to the very conditions I’d like to see changed. By our unforgiveness, we stand between the other person and the Holy Spirit’s work in convicting him and then helping him…Forgiveness means that I’m no longer binding a certain person on earth. It means withholding judgement…
A couple of years ago I was going through one of those prayers-no-getting-beyond-the-ceiling periods and I prayed ‘Lord, I don’t have enough faith. Give me the gift of faith.’
‘It isn’t your faith,’ the reply came ‘I can see faith even if it is as small as a mustard seed. No, It’s something else. When you stand praying – forgive if you have aught against any. That’s your trouble. That’s why your prayers aren’t answered. You go about with a lot of aughts against a lot of anys.’

–David DuPlessis
Quoted in the book Something More by Cathrine Marshall.

Faith in James

James is known as the book about faith. It is also my favorite New Testament book. A couple of days ago, while reading various verses, I decided to find each time the word ‘faith’ was used.

Tested faith produces cheerful endurance. James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Wisdom is given when asked for with non-doubting faith. James 1:5-6a  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and unbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. Notice that these verses are placed right in the middle of a discussion about trials. We must have God’s wisdom to get through the valleys of this world.

We should not show favoritism in people while having faith in Jesus Christ. James 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. The following verses give the example of favoritism biased on the way a person is dress or how much money they have. There is an old saying that goes something like this: “You only love Jesus as much as the person you love the least.” If we do show favoritisim, we are not loving our neighbor as our self (James 2:8), but we “commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors” (James 2:9).

Just because a person says he believes (has faith) that God is there does not mean he is saved.James 2:14, 19 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?…Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. Remember Matthew 7:21-27? Jesus is talking about the true way into the kingdom and He tells the parable of the two builders. Look it up; especially verses 21-23.

Faith without works is dead. James 2:17,20,26 Even so faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone…But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works in dead?…For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Faith is proven by her works. James 2:18,24 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without they works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works…Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. We know Abraham had faith because of what he did. James 2:22 Seest thou how faith wroght with [Abraham’s] works, and by works was faith made perfect? “For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh” (Matt 12:34b).

Faith filled prayer can heals and protects; with the prayer of faith, our sins our forgiven. James 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sin, they shall be forgiven.

The Armor of God: The Shield of Faith

Unlike the circular shields we think of today, some Roman soldiers had long rectangular-shaped shields. Theses shields were large enough to hide behind when the enemy sent a shower of arrows. Sometimes, a group of soldiers would gather together and form a testudo formation. This formation would protect the soldiers from all sides, especially when the enemy sent arrows tipped with fire.

We receive faith from reading and hearing the Bible. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). James writes a whole book on faith and the writer of Hebrews devotes a chapter to it.

When Paul says to take the Shield of Faith “above all” (or “first and foremost”) there is a reason. We need to have faith because faith is what will win the battle! “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). When we have forgiveness from Christ and fully trust in him no matter what it sounds and looks like around us, we are protected from the rapid, dangerous attacks from Satan.

 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Ephesians 6:16)