Romans 5:6

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Speech and Footsteps

     What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

      But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
   Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
   You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
   In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.  ~James 2:14-26

Most believers I know love talking about “walkin’ the walk, not just talkin’ the talk” where Christianity is concerned.  Sadly, though, not all of them (myself included) do so well at maintaining this lifestyle consistently.  Why is this so?

What if the Church as a whole took this seriously?  What if we put faith into action through all of our deeds, not just our simple Sunday School routines?  What if our speech was proven by our footsteps?

If we waiver in any of our convictions, even just one, we in effect are causing our speech of desiring to be obedient to the Lord to be disproved in our footsteps (our actions).  The Lord has reminded me in recent months that all of the convictions He gives have powerful purpose behind them. 

Many things that He called me to at a younger age seem impossible by the world’s standards, and even undesirable among believers.  Though many surrounding me questioned my actions, even stating that I believed myself to be superior in some manner for the beliefs the Lord gave me to uphold, I knew that if I waivered, I’d be disobedient.  I knew that if my speech and footsteps didn’t align I wouldn’t be walkin’ the walk I so often speak of.

I write this to lend encouragement in those areas that you are questioned most about.  Knowing my convictions in all things caused me to believe more that the purpose would be fulfilled “at just the right time”.  He has given each one of us different convictions not because we are to esteem ourselves as more righteous than others, but to equip us for greater ministry.  The Lord sees far beyond our circumstances.  What He has called you to obey in today is preparing you for all of your tomorrows.  I knew that if I waivered in my strong convictions I would lose some of the influence that He set apart for me to live in.  Our convictions aren’t merely for our own benefit, as if to make us only “do better”.  I believe that our convictions benefit the Body as a whole.  If we forgo what we know to be true in our own lives, the standard that Christ has called us to as His Bride and as individuals, we miss out on the beauty found in faith and deeds working together.

Hold fast to your convictions, brothers and sisters… every one of them!  A new day is on the horizon where He will reveal His purpose behind each one.  “At just the right time” the Lord blessed me with the fulfillment of many prayers and strong convictions… things that only He could have ordained.  I believe the same is true and/or will be true in each situation in the believer’s life.  When our faith exceeds our desire to be “normal” in the world, our deeds will prove this. 

Had I not obeyed the Lord several years ago, my story with the man He has for me to marry wouldn’t have been the same.  When we look beyond our circumstances of today even for a moment we find that He has written a story for us far beyond what we could have dreamed up on our own.

We know that the Lord says, “Obedience is better than sacrifice”.  I believe that coincides with our faith and deeds.  He knows the world we live in.  He knows it’s difficult… but He calls us to a higher standard.  Our obedience is for the benefit of those watching our every move… it’s for those who are living in doubt, but will be able to watch our footsteps and listen to our speech and see us as different.

Keep your convictions.  He desires to use them, and your story, to minister to more folks than you’ll ever know.  It’s your speech and footsteps people will know and remember you for.  What’s your walk and talk saying about how true you are to your convictions?