Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5, NKJV, emphasis added)
If one wanders from the truth he will know this by waiting on God with great hope.
Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20, NKJV)
James ends his epistle with this statement, which shows the emphasis he wanted to make. The truth is to be sought, taught, and caught (applied). Brethren is used because James wanted to express the concern of one family member for another in the application of the truth, and one’s straying from it. James did not want any of the disciples to which he wrote to wander from the truth and placed a brotherly burden, care, and concern on those who saw a wandering soul to act on the behalf of the family of God’s children. Do you consider other Christians your family? Will you do what it takes to bring a family member back to the truth? Wait upon the Lord and ask Him to develop this passion in you by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth.
If anyone among you wanders from the truth. This makes it clear there is danger of wandering from the truth when once in possession of it. Truth attained is good, but truth applied is essential to the believer. To wander is to be seduced and lead astray. The focus of those that wander is towards some sort of error. A disciple should be seeking truth and spend time waiting in God’s word to prevent such error. Be on the lookout for straying brethren.
And someone turns him back. The duty of the brethren is to turn a fellow believer away from error and back to truth in a loving, Christlike fashion. When we find ourselves in a situation when a brother or sister is in error we should approach the situation with prayer and great discernment. Remember a sin against the Lord is a sin against the body of Christ to which you are a part. We should apply the principles Jesus taught in Matthew 18:15-17:
If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.” If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (NASB)
He who turns a sinner from the error of his way. This plainly teaches you can turn a sinner from the error he is following towards the truth. Personally, I would focus on the word of truth with the power of the Holy Spirit to bring the sinner to repentance. Somebody should attempt to turn the wandering soul and there is nobody better than you who wait upon God for His discernment and direction in all matters.
Will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. The reward of your brotherly concern is to reconcile a brother to God and to the brethren. The reward is well worth the risk.
Prayerfully read and meditate upon the following passage, waiting on the Lord to make it a part of your character to apply it to your life and ministry:
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21, NASB)