Part 3: Be an Olympic Torch amidst the Candles
Honestly, this last part of Living a Sold-Out Life has been hard to write. It has made me look hard at how I’m living and my motivations for why I do so. My thoughts may be a bit muddled but bear with me.
Most importantly, remember that my relationship with God is very different from yours. We are different people and your story is not mine so our experiences will vary greatly. However, this does not negate the truth that the Bible is applicable to everyone and that the calling of a Christian is the same- “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19, 20)
Keeping this in mind, explore with me this blazing torch business. Living a sold-out life means that we need to share our hope of salvation!
So in review, we’ve gone to the ultimate source of true peace and love, we’ve begun to let the Holy Spirit guide our thoughts and actions, but HOW CAN I SHOW PEOPLE MY FAITH?
A few weeks ago when I began this series, I instinctively would have said, “Let my light shine.” My actions and good deeds will be evidence of my faith and all people will simply have to wonder what’s different about me! (sarcasm intended) This is a very “Christianese” response to our dilemma.
To be brutally honest, it solves nothing because there are lots and lots of good and loving people that don’t have a true relationship with God. Lots of little candles. How do I “shine my light brighter?”
Good deeds themselves do not reveal the motivation of the heart.
This is why my “light-shining” good deeds are indistinguishable and only point a blurry and ambiguous line to my faith.
Who’s to say that volunteering at a homeless shelter is because I felt called to help or because I felt guilt over my many blessings or because my school requires it? The result is the same- the homeless shelter has another volunteer.
Well, that’s just frustrating because again…HOW DO I SHOW PEOPLE MY FAITH?
Straight-up Answer: You don’t. God does.
I, Annamarie Gerick, have no power or ability to change a heart. Only God the Father Almighty can do that. He can use anything in creation to do so, including me. So my job, my responsibility is to be faithful and keep running the path He has set for me; to “finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).
What does this look like?
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6-7).
When you seek out your source of strength and peace, you become rooted and established in your faith. When you become stronger in your faith, you begin to filter your actions and thoughts. Now, as you see the fingerprints of God in your life and want to share that, simply let “Child of God” be your identity.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin (Romans 6:6), that whoever is united with the Lord is one with Him in spirit (1 Corinth. 6:17), and to all who believed and accepted Him, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1: 12).
You are no longer a slave to fear; you are a Child of God.
Do not hide what God has done for you. If someone asks you about a situation you’ve been dealing with that God has brought you through, tell them how you drew strength from your Savior! If a friend is discouraged about a relationship, is confused about what to do next in life, or simply tired from life, don’t offer platitudes and pity. Don’t pretend to have an answer or a fix-all solution.
Listen and offer prayer. Then follow through and pray with them right then! The most meaningful witnessing you will ever do is to the people closest to you. They will know you and will see that your identity is rooted in Christ.
You let God be so apart of you as a person that it will infuse your being and God will take care of the heavy-lifting. That my friends, is how you show your faith.
That is living sold-out for Christ.
You find strength in Him. You let the Holy Spirit guide you. You stand firm in your identity as a Child of God.
The road goes ever on,
P.S. Thanks for sticking with me through all of this! This was a pretty heavy topic for me, but its been an incredible time learning and struggling to get the right words to express what I’ve learned. I’m not perfect at this, but I know the gold standard that I need to keep aiming toward. So take heart! This is why life is a journey- we can’t finish it in a day. 🙂
Keep it real y’all.