I’ve been involved in teaching and ministry for a large portion of my life. The key desire in my work with students and with men is that they be sincere about where they are in a relationship with Christ. That is to say, I have them continually answer one question on a virtually daily basis. “IF you really believe, what you say you believe, it will affect what you do”. I am confronted and convicted by the answer to that single question daily with regard to my relationship with Jesus Christ. What I say I believe has to match up with what I think, how I react to the world around me and the manner in which I act and the ultimate feet applied to that action.
The fact is this is a general question and can be applied to all manner of aspects of a persons life. Business processes and procedures, personal philosophies, parenting, science, and the list goes on. There is nothing particularly spiritual in the statement but the application of the truth behind it can profoundly affect how you approach your faith.
My desire has always been for students and men alike to “own” their faith in a way that is at once truthful and deeply personal. If I believe what I say I believe about gravity, I don’t take long walks off the top of five story buildings. The belief is that gravity will have its way with me and I will not be happy with the outcome. As they say, it isn’t the fall that hurts you, but the sudden stop at the end.
If I believe what I say I believe about God, His word, His promises, how He relates to me, then it will have a profound affect on what I say and do in this world. I have no problem with persons who deny God. This is a personal choice and one I will respect. My heart breaks for the choice made but I can respect it if they act in accordance to what they say they believe. I want the same level of conviction and honesty from those who claim the name of Jesus Christ. Let me carefully and clearly state that I don’t expect believers to be perfect because we aren’t and we can’t this side of heaven. However, I do want believers to be honest about how they are walking, and as stated before, “own it”.
Pride is a particular issue for me as is lust of the eyes and desires of the heart. I know this and seek the grace of God on a daily basis and generally have victory over these matters through the profound beneficence of a holy and living God. On those times when I fail, I can, almost without exception, trace the weak spot back to a moment where I consciously chose to believe or not believe what God has taught or told me about His own character, desires or promises to me regarding any matter. If I am tempted to a particular sin and chose to give into that I have believed something other than the truth or I have denied the truth entirely. The temptation is not a sin. Christ himself was tempted in every way as any other man, yet was without sin.
It is not just the believing but the right believing, the understanding and application of sound belief that is so key. With that in mind I will have a series of posts to follow and share that I hope will be beneficial to every reader including myself. Drawing from music, scripture and other dialogues that inspire the process to help us both to seek God more earnestly, more profoundly, and more deeply. I hope you’ll come along for the ride and that God will bless us both richly in our collective walks.