What we believe is revealed in how we act, yet, how we act shapes what we believe. The Lord is involved in both.
Proverbs 17:4 A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to a malicious tongue.
I’ve always dealt with this verse as the wicked being drawn to other wicked people. Today, I would like to internalize it. What we tell ourselves is usually what we will believe because we trust the one saying it (our pride shows through). What we need to do is quit trusting our voice and start listening to His voice.
How? How do we do this? Robin hit upon it this morning! It comes from this verse:
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
If we would be like God, then let us demonstrate God-like characteristics. It’s not about feeling them first; in fact, I think God is looking for us to try based on faith BEFORE we feel like doing it. Take Peter, for instance:
Luke 5:4-5 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
Peter had been fishing all night; He was tired and likely frustrated (no fish) and maybe a little anxious because they had nothing to sell at market. Yet, when Christ told him to cast again (Jesus wasn’t a fisherman, so how would He know?), Peter did it because Christ said so.
With us, He asks us to be respectful of authority; we should do it because He said so. He asks us to treat each other with kindness and gentleness; we should do it because He said so–whether we feel like it or not. Our faith shines brightest when we DON’T feel like it.
The redeeming factor is that after we have begun demonstrating our faith by being obedient, we many times begin to feel Christ’s love and compassion, which are coming straight from Him on His throne–the throne of our hearts!
When we are successful in this endeavor, the person to which we are demonstrating is confronted with Christ; He, then, must decide what to do with this Jesus. It is, indeed, a major part of our witness.
Let’s be good ambassadors for Christ by being obedient to Him when dealing with others–and even ourselves! He loves us dearly; He demonstrated His love on the cross. He died for us; let’s live for Him.