Doing what I am supposed to do, according to the Bible, is one of the hardest things in life. It’s easy to be self-indulgent. It’s easy to be lazy. It’s easy to hide behind my emotions, my desires, my fears. It’s hard to be a Christian.
One’s own folly leads to ruin,
yet the heart rages against the Lord.
“I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15).
The Lord Jesus Himself promised us that we would be given power, the power of the Holy Spirit: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” But that power isn’t the power to change circumstances, to make our lives easier, even for happiness. That power is the power to witness: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
We need to ask ourselves what our purpose in life is. It isn’t, as many preachers might tell us, to find happiness, to live a long and productive life, or even to build a family. Our purpose—our sole purpose as believers—is to be a witness. And we can only be a witness when we strategically and deliberately live a life that is holy and pleasing to the Lord.
Just this morning, I was reading A. W. Tozer, That Incredible Christian. He writes:
“For a long time I have believed that truth, to be understood, must be lived; that Bible doctrine is wholly ineffective until it has been digested and assimilated by the total life. I have held this to be an important element in the preaching of the Old Testament prophets, and I have felt it to be near to the heart of the moral teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. I admit that this belief has made me a little lonely, for not many of my Christian brethren share it with me” (p. 92).
The only thing that separates a true believer from everyone else in the world is how she lives her life. If we live our lives understanding that we are a witness, that everyone else is looking at us to see what it means to have the power of the Holy Spirit within us, perhaps we will make different choices.
I know that I need to!