Living Out Our Faith

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures. [1]

James 1:17-18

Tyrone came up to me immediately at UGMD after our monthly chapel service. Tyrone is a young man barely in his 20s. He crumbled into my embrace and began telling me how he’d messed up. He’d disrespected and disobeyed his mother, chasing skirts and showing the world he was a man and that he had arrived. He’d made lot of bad choices, done lots of bad things to people. Now, only a couple years later, he was living life on the street, separated from those who love him. He wanted to make things right. He said he wasn’t going to cry or hide. He was man enough to do the wrongs; he was man enough to own up to them. He had messed up. I asked Tyrone if he’ placed his faith and trust in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Tyrone declared emphatically, “All day, every day!” I looked him straight in the eye and with authority said: “Then live like it.”

You see, too often the way we live is in direct conflict with what we know to be true and what we believe. We buy into the Enemies lies because the grass looks greener on the other side. Since we were created, Satan has been trying to defeat us, God’s creation. The Devil knows something we often forget or struggle to accept: you and I are created in the image of God.

So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.[2]

Genesis 1:27

The Devil doesn’t care about us. He only cares about hurting God. We’re just a means to that end. He divides and conquers us, ensnaring us in dead-end arguments. As believers, ideally, our lives should reflect that of Christ, in whom we profess to believe. That’s not always the case. Even though we know the Truth, we chase the Lie. We live life trapped. We live life defeated.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.[3]

1 Peter 5:8-9

The moment we become friends of God, we become enemies of Satan. He goes to work immediately to silence us by destroying our testimony. He seeks to injure us before we ever even get on the field. The cost of battle is familiar to those living on the battle lines. For those of us insulated in our suburban Eden’s, the cost of battle is unclear to us, even invisible to us. The Enemy distracts us. He says “look over here” “be busy over there”…and like a fox he robs the chicken coop while we’re sleeping. We live our well meaning lives misguided, misdirected.

Know your enemy. The Enemy knows you. He knows your heart. It’s a lot like his; selfish, prideful, jealous, sinful. Yes, Virginia, we’re in a battle between right and wrong, good and evil, light and dark. It’s a real fight, even though we don’t see the battle as it unveils before our eyes.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.[4]

Ephesians 6:12

Know your Protector. Know where your help comes from. Don’t stay stuck in yesterday. Don’t fret tomorrow.

            I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

            My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth.[5]

Psalm 121:1-2

Focus on today. It has enough trouble of its own.

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.[6] Matthew 6:34

As Christians, we need fellow believers to speak truth into our lives. That way, when the journey gets difficult and we get swayed off course we are able to find our way back. God had spoken to Tyrone through brokenness and emptiness. Tyrone had clearly heard him. He just needed someone to help propel him forward along his journey of faith by speaking truth into his life.

Do you profess to believe? Then remember to live like it.

 


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jas 1:17–18). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ge 1:27). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Pe 5:8–9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Eph 6:12). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[5] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ps 121:1–2). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[6] New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mt 6:34). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

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