Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
So often, this world asks us to believe what we believe but not really live it out. Think about that. As a Christian, what does that look like?
Believe that God answers prayers, but then act like he's not going to answer them after you've prayed.
Believe that God wants you to give, but then fear he won't make that possible when you're tight financially.
Believe that God wants you to have peace, but then worry constantly because you don't trust him to make it possible.
Believe that God wants you to spread the gospel, but then take no role in doing so, whether it be support for missionaries or going and doing it yourself.
Believe that God wants you to live by faith, but then try to earn your salvation too.
Believe that God wants you to live a good life, but then take his grace for granted and live in sin.
Believe that God wants your marriage to work, but then think you're an exception when you hit hard times and get a divorce.
Believe that God wants you to rejoice in your salvation, but then focus on worldly worrisome things to the exclusion of all else.
Believe that God wants you to believe in the face of suffering, but then fall away the moment it gets difficult.
Believe that God wants you to speak the truth in love, but then back off in silence when people criticize you.
Is this really how we're meant to live? Believing one thing, and acting out another? I think often we don't do what we believe we should from fear of failing and hurting. We need to remember that if we live in faith, we will please God. It is when we do not have faith that we will not. God promises us certain things if we live in faith, if we walk by the Spirit. Kindness, long-suffering, love, peace, joy...these are amazing things. But we can't get them if we're not walking by the Spirit, if we're not living by faith.
I've been convicted of these things recently, between experiences I've had and some sermons I've heard. Speaking out against falsehoods and for truth is hard. There are those that will criticize and find anything and everything wrong with it and with you that they can, even if that isn't true. They will tell you that you're rude for telling people about your belief when you know they don't share it. They will tell you that you're doing something wrong for not keeping it within the walls of your home.
They will criticize you for living like you believe.
But what does God tell you? He says go and tell the world, to the ends of the earth. He says love and help others. He says that life will be hard sometimes, but he is worth it in the end. He says he will provide if we're trusting him and seeking the Kingdom first.
God wants you to live like you believe.
So the question becomes, which is most important to you? What others say and think or what God says and thinks? Maybe its time for more Christians to step up to the plate and live out their belief--live like God is real and that your life is nothing without him, because you sincerely believe that to be true. Live like you want to do the things God tells us to do, live the way God tells us to live. Give to people, even when it means you can't go out to dinner with your spouse like you usually do. Pray for missionaries, give financially to them, be a missionary yourself, even just in your office or neighborhood--you don't have to get in everyone's face, you can show them what it is to be a Christian. Pray like you know God will answer, and trust him to follow through in doing the best he can for you. Give credit to the grace of God and don't live in sin, but don't expect to earn your salvation because you're doing good.
Living like anything less than God's Word is true while saying you believe is living a half-truth at best.
I've yet to see a person who truly did so unable to say that they were blessed for it. So challenge God in your life, and live like he's there.