I don't know if you have been following the theme of the last few blogs but how we live matters. It matters because it is our living testimony about Jesus. We can say all that we want with great words and wonderful stories. We can quote lots of scripture and sound very holy. We can consider ourselves to be wise and let everyone know it, giving our opinions and pointing people in the right direction. However, it is the testimony we live that people listen to the most.
I am not talking about the hypocrisy of judging other people's sins and then going out and doing the same thing differently. I am talking about things that are a little more subtle. I am talking about how we tell everyone we love Jesus and then live a life that shouts out that we don't trust him.
Uhu! Think about it more a moment.
You tell everyone how much you love Jesus and that they should love him too. You tell them all the benefits of loving Jesus and how much he has done for you. Then, when things don't go your way, you panic. You are choked by fear. Anxiety keeps you from sleeping. Worry plagues your every waking thought. All the joy is sucked out of you. And all those people you told about Jesus look at you and dismiss any thought of Jesus. Your living testimony is louder than your words.
I don't think we quite get this relationship thing with God. I think we consider him to be an investment against trouble, like an insurance policy. We think God is there to make our life easy. We don't quite get the reality that it isn't about us. It's not about having any easy life or having everything our way. It's about dying to ourselves and allowing God to do his will through us. It is like being the prophets of old who were unjustly treated because God spoke through them. It's about us trusting God's will and considering that will to have replaced our own.
Do we even understand what Jesus prayed in the garden as he faced is torture and death?
Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. (Luke 22:42)
Have you ever noticed what happened after Jesus submitted and allowed the Father's will to become his own?
An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. (Luke 22:43)
When you choose your own will over God's he allows you to do it but then you are faced with all the ugliness that comes with it. When you choose the Father's will over your own, he provides you the strength that you need to do it. You are meant to experience peace and joy not anxiety and fear.
Love equals trust. If we love Jesus then we trust Jesus. He told us:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. (Luke 14:1)
He repeated himself when he promised us peace:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (Luke 14:27)
Trust is accepting from God even the things we do not want. Trust is saying that we prefer his will over our own even when we lose something we love. Trust is like King David who pleaded for his child but when the matter was settled he stood up and continued on serving God, free from guilt, anxiety and fear. Do you love Jesus enough to trust him, even if everything that is important to you is taken away? Do you love and trust him enough to serve him with great joy, accepting the strength he provides for you to carry out his will?
People are listening to your living testimony more than they are listening to your words. They are judging Jesus by how much you trust him, especially in the dark moments of your life. Fear, anxiety, depression, worry are all products of distrust. Peace and joy belong to those who abandon themselves in God's love, not allowing their hearts to be troubled. What is the world seeing as it looks upon you? Are you robbing Jesus of his glory?