God is real. He is absolute truth and the source and architecture of reality. From within His framework, our lives are the consequence of our faith and what we choose to believe shapes the limitations of our possibilities. Faith then is the basis for our reasoning, it’s the lens through which we comprehend our experiences and ultimately, determines how we respond to the circumstances of life. It’s within the wellspring of the heart where faith wells up and it’s from this place where life is lived. “For with the heart one believes…”
The world teaches that intellect is the basis of reasoning and that it’s a matter of mental aptitude, not faith. What we believe, and therefore our heart, is considered secondary, and in some cases even, unnecessary. However, what this conventional wisdom overlooks or perhaps even ignores is that even the idea that reasoning supersedes belief is itself a matter of faith. Nevertheless, a double-minded man is often modeled as acceptable and sometimes actually praised for his prowess in behaving one way but believing another. Yet this is a 180° turn from the truth! This way that “seems right to a man” is a demonic delusion and a perversion of God’s image and likeness for which we were created. The doing cannot be separated from believing.
In fact, every worldly wisdom that separates heart from action, perpetuates this diabolical deception. God’s very nature, after which we were designed, renders this duality of character an impossibility. Integrity by definition is wholehearted, so there can be no half-measures and going against the grain of this design fosters a fallacy which reaps destruction akin to the catastrophic collapse of a dying star. This is why it is said, “the wages of sin is death.”
Proverbs 4:23 warns us to, “keep watch over your heart with every diligence, for from its wellspring flow the issues of life.” The issues of life, i.e. the fruits of life, originate in the heart. The heart is the soil that truth, or lies, are sown into, and is where they take root and where they grow up. It is a garden where what we believe gives birth, and reproduces after its kind. What is being cultivated in our hearts, whether it be fear, hate, love, peace etc. is evidenced by the choices we make and the attitudes we carry.
Therefore, our lives lived, more than our words spoken, are the proclamation of our faith, the testimony of what we believe in. Our lives are our evangelistic message. Ministry, i.e. preaching, teaching or outreaching, is meant to be an expression of God’s heart, which is being established in our own. So, ministry is a result, a fruit really, of an intimate relationship with God. It is never a duty or a method to be performed and it is not a “special calling,” because we are all called to love and shine.
1 John 4:8 says, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” It sobers me to think that though many call Him ‘Lord,’ very few truly know Him. While faith has the power to shape our lives, it is through the catalyst of love that life is truly transformed. Faith without love is like a flower without fragrance or color. All the form and function of life without any of its beauty and vibrancy. Love is faith’s radiance.
It’s in intimacy with the living God that we are changed and why our light can shine before men in our daily routines. The vibrant colors of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, seen in our lives make the reality of His love evident. We can be a beacon among men, drawing them to God by the pleasant fragrance of His transforming goodness. This is how we are set apart from the world; how we are in it and yet not of it.
The goal of love
It is impossible to have genuine intimacy with the living God and not be transformed by His love and when His love starts forging you into His image and likeness, those around you notice. You begin to shine. The transforming power of His love is naturally evangelistic because it begs the question, why are you so different? You never have to try to be different you simply revel in His love and seek to know Him more and you will simply be changed. You have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you so “let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Genuine faith in God operates through His love and its authenticity is expressed, or rather shines, through its transformation of our life. Therefore, our LIFE in Him, is Love In Faith Expressed.
“I have come that [you] may have life, and that [you] may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b