Hi everyone. Rob here again.
Yesterday was my wife’s birthday. It also marked 10 years since the devastating Christchurch earthquakes that impacted our whole country to some degree. On a personal level, it was also 10 years since I flew out to Hawaii for my first Wild at Heart Bootcamp that kickstarted a decade of personal growth, great travel experiences and learning to embrace a wholehearted approach to life and faith. There were successes and failures, wins and losses, celebrations and griefs and now, a decade on, I want more. I want more faith, more growth, more intimacy and more of God in me, through me and around me. I’m still hungry and thirsty. But there’s a problem. To get to the more I also have to want less. Less cynicism, less ‘battle fatigue’, less self-relief measures, less ego and less distraction. I want more but do I want less? At a heart level the answer is yes. Now it’s a case of matching will to action, which, in a sense, is what this last decade has been all about.
Matching will to action is where faith often gets confused. We’ve fallen into two lies. One is that it’s all up to us and the other is that it’s all up to God. This is ironic because we love to say that God has a relationship with us. Well, relationships are two-sided and so is our relationship with God. Of course, God is the senior partner in the relationship. Our action is always a response to his action, his love and his act of coming for his in Jesus. Our actions, if they are to be in any way Christlike, arise from God’s other initiative of sending his Spirit to dwell in us. But faith is only useful if it’s lived out. Faith and action are always partners. If I don’t respond to God’s initiatives then where is my faith?
Now, God’s invitations are not just to behave well or do good works or feel good about myself. They are invitations to partner with God in his redemptive activity in the world. It is to align myself with the coming of the kingdom of God. It is to always stand with God’s will and God’s rule and God’s love. It is to oppose the forces of the world, the flesh and the devil. It is internal action and external action. The internal action is to pray, set my mind and heart towards God and surrender my whole being to him and his kingdom. Externally it is to show love, kindness and grace to others. It is to stand with justice, hope and mercy. Our internal posture is to ‘keep in step with the Spirit’ so that externally we can show the fruit of the Spirit, that, in turn, point towards the love and kingdom of God.
For me, right now, it’s the internal posture that needs help. I don’t need to over-complicate matters here. It’s a simple fact of not spending enough quality time with my Maker. I’m essentially speed-dating the Lover of my Soul and that never works. I’m also noticing that I’m feeling short of quality time in my other relationships as well. That tells me I need a new rhythm, new priorities and perhaps, a new way of connecting with God. But this blog isn’t about those details. It’s about the fact that we need to take our actions seriously and not just rely on the fact that we still ‘believe in God.’ What does that even mean without living for God as well? The invitation is for our internal and external to be in alignment with God’s love and God’s kingdom. Faith without action is dead James tells us. He’s right and that truth applies always.
May your faith and deeds align with God’s Spirit this week. Grace and peace.