Have you ever known someone where what they said, did not match reality? Like a person who talks about the purple heart they were awarded while they served in the military, only to find out they never were actually in the military. Or like one who shares about the college they graduated from with honors, only to learn the person never attended college.
When there is a gap between what a person says about themselves and the truth, it is a dangerous place to live. How so? Because they are living a lie.
Likewise, when someone says, “I believe in God,” “I believe in Jesus,” or “I am a Christian,” but their life shows the opposite, he also is living a lie. In some places, it is almost part of the cultural to believe this way, where nearly everyone does, from respected elected officials and local businesspeople, to inmates at the county jail and regulars at the local bar,
What do people mean by “believing?” It is an acknowledgement of their belief in the existence of Lord God. Also, their belief might mean they either ask for prayer, or pray to Him. Maybe they even go to church. Overall, in terms of their life choices, they will admit they are not perfect, but they feel their belief in God does count for something.
Let me ask, “Is there a standard for belief in God, or is it more whatever an individual feels it means to them?” Does God have something to say about this, and should it matter? Should it take precedence over what we think?
Jesus directly addressed this, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? (Luke 6:46) Put another way, “Why do you say you believe in Me, but you do not do what I tell you?” If Jesus asked you that question, what would you say? On another occasion Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word…Whoever does not love me does not keep my words.” (John 14:23-24) Jesus is saying the same thing here, but in a different way. Instead of saying “believe” He uses “love.” These statements from Jesus are summarized by God who said, “…this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me…” (Isaiah 29:13)
When we say we believe in God, it is a form of honoring Him. Notice God is more concerned about how one’s heart is toward Him, rather than what one’s lips say about Him. What demonstrates the attitude of the heart? One’s lifestyle, choices, habits. In other words, what a person does in public and private, shows the true condition of their heart toward God.
You say you believe in God, but how do you live? Do you do what He tells you?
Keep in mind the devil believes in the existence of God. The Bible says, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder” (James 2:19). But do you know what the devil does not do? Obey God. The only person he is going to obey is himself.
When you do what God commands it is a recognition of His Lordship over your life. It is a demonstration of your submission to Him. It is a true reflection of your heart toward Him.
No longer try to deceive yourself, others or God by honoring Him with your lips, while your day-to-day life is far from Him. To do so, is to live a lie. Jesus died and rose again to show He is Lord of lords and King of kings. As such, He commands everyone to turn to Him with their entire life because He has proven He is worthy of it.
A prayer for you. “Lord God, reveal if we have merely honored you with our lips, but not our lives. If we have, we confess our sin and humble ourselves under your Kingship. From this day forward we yield our lives to you by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Clint Decker is President of Great Awakenings. Please share your comment with Clint at firstname.lastname@example.org
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