We have all heard this. We know that actions speak louder than words. Did you know that the Bible speaks to this very thing as well?
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.James 1:22-25
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.James 2:17
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.1 John 3:18
This is just a few of the New Testament verses that talk about this exact thing! In fact, it is so important to Jesus the we show faith and love, not just talk about them, that he actually told a parable about it!
“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.Matthew 21:28-32
All throughout the Bible, we are taught to not just claim our faith with our mouth, but to live it out. Jesus doesn’t call us to just say we trust him, he instructs us to actually trust him and to follow that inward trust with outward action.
Jesus taught his disciples for several years. They repeatedly professed their faith in him. However, when Jesus left them to go prepare places in heaven for his followers, he told them to do something. They were to go out into all the world and preach the good news.
The two commandments that Jesus gave was to love God above all and to love your neighbor as yourself. Both require action. Someone telling us they love us means little. However, someone showing their love to us is what means the most.
So what keeps us from acting out our faith? We all have difficulties at various times. Why is that? It is because of strongholds. You see, we can be believing Christians, but allow Satan a stronghold in our mind. (See “Strongholds” for a more in-depth look at strongholds)
Fear, anxiety, lust, wants, pride, and many more can be strongholds. What makes them a stronghold? When you are not able/willing to control/overcome the emotion even when confronted with the truth. This is not a worldly occurrence though, this is a spiritual one.
You see, when you have an encounter with Jesus, you can’t help but tell everyone. Think to when you first put your trust in Jesus. You were likely so elated you wanted to tell everyone. Not only that, but you were happy to obey all his commands. Where is that excitement now? Has it given way to fear? Where is your servant’s heart? Has it been squashed because you are in disobedience?
You see, a stronghold is anything that gives Satan or his demons a safe haven in your mind, often allowing them to control your emotions. Are you unwilling to give up certain types of entertainment because you like them and deserve them? Despite knowing that they are inappropriate for a follower of Christ? Do you look to food every time you are upset instead of look to Christ? Are you focused so much on saving money or the next thing that you are unwilling to give to the needy when the Holy Spirit prompts you?
These are examples of a stronghold. These strongholds can effect other areas of your life as well. The longer Satan has the stronghold, the more territory he tries to take. If he can’t keep you out of the kingdom of God, he will do his best to keep you from expanding the kingdom of God.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.1 Peter 5:8
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.2 Corinthians 11:3
But God has not left us without weapons to attack and conquer these strongholds. The Holy Spirit alerts us to these strongholds. By using spiritual weapons with our obedience we can overcome these strongholds in our lives so that we may live our lives to the fullest for Christ.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.2 Corinthians 10:4
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplicationEphesians 6:13-18
By learning the truth we understand what we are to do. By living righteously, we put actions to our faith. Our faith will aid us in defending against Satan. Knowing the word of God will help us to fight against the devil’s schemes. All of our weapons are activated through prayer. The Holy Spirit helps us in these circumstances but we must seek his wisdom.
Your armor may be rusty. That is ok! Keep working at reading your Bible, praying, spending time with God, and telling others about how God is working in your life and that rust will start falling away!
And most importantly, remember that Jesus has already won the war. Claim that victory and win your battles!
- What strongholds do you have?
- Take some time to find verses about what God says about that stronghold. Write them down and keep them near you to reference whenever you feel them come up.
- Write down 3 small things you can do, that you aren’t already doing, to shine up your armor.
Meme pictures derived from social media and shared under Fair Use Copyright Law
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