I keep asking myself the question, What if I lived my life as if I believed everything the Bible said is really true? What would THAT look like? I actually do believe that, but I know that through the years of life’s experiences I have unwittingly allowed little lies to creep in or built up protective walls to defend myself that can also be a barrier to real truth.
Life seems to have brought one trial after another the last several years and this week dropped another bombshell. My initial reaction was not a calm reflection of the truth I know in my heart and what I’ve read in God’s word. It was human – wrought with pain, fear and anxiety. But I cried out to God and laid it down before Him. I told Him that I didn’t understand, but I was going to make the choice to trust in His plan and provision for me. His Word promises He will provide for His children (Matthew 6: 25-34) and that His plans for us are good (Jeremiah 29: 11). I thanked God for the positives I could see and somehow, my simple act of trust has brought peace, a peace that doesn’t even make sense to me (Philippians 4: 6-7).
For me, to Live out Loud means that my actions need to reflect the truth I believe. All of it, not just the comfortable parts. I’m not going to beat myself up over my reaction the other day. It’s ok to feel hurt and sad when trials come. It’s okay to be angry at injustice. But fear can take you over if you’re not careful, and it can minimize the power of God to work on your behalf. God does not give a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1: 7)! Fear is a tool of the Enemy that comes straight from the pit!!
After I laid down my anxiety, I came across these verses and I was both inspired and challenged. Philippians 1: 12-13 says, “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” Wow! Paul was in prison, but he was able to view the walls that some thought confined him with a vision that was bigger than himself. I am not in a physical prison, but it often feels as though my life circumstances have been their own metal bars. I was challenged because I want all the bad that has happened to me to somehow serve as a platform to advance the gospel, just as Paul was able to do in the most dire circumstances. Now THAT is Living Out Loud!
I don’t have all the answers. Sometimes, I don’t even know the question! But I place my confidence in the fact that I know the One that does. So I will keep asking myself that first question, What IF I lived my life as if I believed EVERYTHING the Bible says is really true? Then perhaps, I’ll keep my eyes focused in the right direction – vertical – so that no matter what life throws my way, my gaze will be fixed upon the One who can use it to advance His good work. Lord, please let it be so. Where we are weak, make us strong. When our faith falters, renew our trust in You alone. Make us a people that Live Out Loud for you no matter what our surrounding circumstances look like!!
A Repost from My Journey of Faith Magazine