“Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.
Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!”
– Ephesians 5:11-16 (The Message)
I love this translation! We do not have time to walk as unwise. We do not have time to be wayward in our walk with Christ. We do not have time for compromising our faith. We do not have time to waste our lives!
YOLO is NOT the motto. Christ did not die for us to constantly fall into sin on purpose…Wake up! If you don’t know how to walk or which way to go, Christ will lead the way! Whatever wisdom we ask for will be given to us freely (James 1:5).
It’s one thing to speak the name of Jesus wherever we go, give Him praise when he gives you a new job or ask for help on an exam every once in a while, but it takes a lot more to actually LIVE as though he is dwelling within you. To continue walking with him even if you aren’t succeeding in life – as the world would have it – and even if He seems far away. It takes a lot more to continue to praise God outside of a Sunday service or Wednesday night Bible study. It takes a lot more to walk with God no matter what the circumstances may be and no matter what environment we’re in. In the words of Jesus himself “you will know them by the fruits they bear” (Matthew 7:16). You cannot get grapes from a thorn bush and likewise, a thorn bush cannot produce fruit. Regardless of what a person says or who they claim to believe in, Jesus said it best when he told the disciples, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Matthew 15:8). We receive those fruits by walking with Christ, not by putting our hope in worldly pleasures (even those that are deemed morally right). Because we know living morally right is still not going to get you into heaven. It’s all in how you walk…
But seriously, would people know that you are a Christian, not just by the things you say, but by the way you live? If you couldn’t speak another word for the rest of your life, how would people know by your walk that you have Christ, the Savior, living within you? How we walk affects the Gospel. There are some people in this world who are confused about Christianity, because of how “believers” are walking. We can’t say we’re set a part if we’re still living like we don’t have a heavenly citizenship. We can’t call ourselves new creatures in Christ if we still live (talk, walk, dress, treat others, etc.) like everyone else in the world. It’s all in how you walk…
Don’t get me wrong, we all fall short. I know Romans 3:23 like the back of my hand, but this isn’t AWANAs or children’s Sunday school class. It’s time to put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11) and become adults. We’re moving away from the milk and getting into the meat…the “nitty gritty”. Grace is not something merely to be taken advantage of, but it should cause us to fall on our face in repentance. Repentance is a word that sometimes gets thrown around, but it literally means “to turn away from”. This is a step further than just asking for forgiveness, because you can fall right back into sin over and over again after asking for forgiveness. But repentance is handing the situation over to God as an act of reckless abandonment!
When we recklessly abandon our own “strength” and begin to rely on the strength of God dwelling within us only then will our walk begin to look different. Only then will we actually start bearing fruit when we are no longer relying on our own strength or our own accomplishments…which can sometimes be a cover up for pride. We are strong only through Christ, not our own fictitious might. God is our strength (Psalm 28:7). Anything outside of relying on Him will fail…
So, back to my first question, solely based off of your daily walk, would anyone know that you are a Christian? If we’re going to claim that we are followers of Christ our actions must show that. Our actions must reflect His character. Serving God is any everyday thing. His grace and love are mind-blowing and it’s crazy how much He loves us despite how much we fall, but there comes a time when we are going to have to grow. Even in the covenant of grace there is still a standard of living. Christ did not die for us to keep our dirty, stained clothes on. He’s given us new garment. If you were covered in mud and someone offered you new clothes – I’m talking about top-of-the-line expensive, celebrity designer stuff – would you reject them and continue walking around in your muddy clothes? No? Then why do that to the Creator? “In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (Colossians 3:7-10).
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be walking around in my heavenly Versace! We’ll call that righteousness…
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3)