This has been prompted by a tweet from @clearingtheroad in which I read the phrase 'faith and inactivity' which got me thinking, and I was off on one of my tangents.....
One of the ways I like to describe Christian faith is 'active belief in Jesus' which obviously requires some further explanation and is not the only description.... However, for me, the concepts of 'action' and 'activity' are inseparable from biblical faith, but not just any old activity with a 'God' label stuck on it! It is so easy in life, at every level, to content ourselves that busyness equates to usefulness, that sheer momentum is the same as worthwhile activity, and this is no truer than our approach to the things of God. It is too easy for our activity and busyness 'in His name' to become a substitute for a listening, obedient, reverent relationship in which activity is focussed, fruitful, faith inspiring and often preceded by periods of reflection during which we don't simply read God's word - we wrestle with it and seek to understand it ( something very different from learning and remembering it).
When it comes to our faith driven activity the words 'quality' , 'effectiveness' and 'fruitfulness' spring to mind. Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 3:12-13 (NIV)
If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.
I pray that my faith would, in part, be defined and recognised through activity and that the activity would be more than 'busyness with a veneer of Godliness' riding on an 'inadequate grasp of His living word'. May the activity be derived from Him, focussed upon Him, result in Glory to Him and be used by Him for the increase of His kingdom. May it pass the quality test of 1 Cor 3 and may it liberate and be liberating. Mere activity in the name of faithfulness is a poor substitute for the radical biblical faith filled activity that communicates Jesus in culturally relevant and powerful ways, that is passionate about the eradication of injustice and which relies on 'His power at work in us' rather than 'our power trying to work for Him'
This is the level of activity that, by His grace, I aspire to. It is the enemy of apathy and a cause for Satan to tremble........... Powerful and effective. Let if be so in Your Church Lord.
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