This is really an extension of last week’s post about salvation. You can read the full article here, but the cliff notes version is this: your behavior doesn’t affect your salvation. Rather, your salvation affects your behavior.
I want to tell you a story from my life to demonstrate this concept so you can hopefully understand it even better. Remember the phrase I shared from Tim Keller? “…Obedience flows out of faith; it is a consequence of saving faith, not a second condition for salvation.”
First, I’d like you to think about how that relates to you personally for a second. Where have you seen obedience that comes from faith in your life? In other words; how have you changed? What is something you can’t explain in any other way than God changed your mind about it? Here’s a story from my life.
Once upon a time my college roommates and I created a 101 List. A fancy name for a bucket list, it was 101 things we wanted to do, accomplish, or experience in our lives.
The problem with creating this list was that by #70 – something I had pretty much tapped out my ideas and started looking around at other peoples’ lists for “inspiration” (ok for stealing…I was straight up stealing my roommates ideas #sorrynotsorry).
One of the things many of my friends put on their lists was to adopt a child. I very clearly remember seeing this on their lists and being torn between honesty and writing it down in order to be one item closer to my 101 goal.
Because honestly? I didn’t want to adopt.
Not in an “I’m a terrible person and I hate adoption and children and puppies way” but in a “if I’m being truly honest, my heart just doesn’t have the intention of following through” way. I knew realistically I desired to give birth to the children I would raise.
If left to my own way of thinking and not allowing Jesus to actually impact my life, I would have continued in that thought process. I would probably have gotten married, settled down, had babies, and fulfilled my life-long desire to experience motherhood. And friend, there is not necessarily anything wrong with that picture. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty for wanting to carry and deliver your children.
What I am saying is when I fully understood God’s heart, my desire did a 180.
God is an adoptive father. You see, he takes these broken, lost, poor, orphaned, creatures called humans and says you are so valuable. Even if no one sees your value, you have it because I say you do. He says, “You are no longer alone in your sin and aimlessness, you belong to my family.”
He creates order, he exudes love, he sacrifices all the ease and comfort in order to chase you down and put you right smack dab in the middle of his family.
When I understood that God did that for people– when I finally got that he did that for ME– I couldn’t help but long to see all the orphans on this earth adopted into families. It’s a perfect reflection of who our father is. And since my sole purpose on earth is to bring him glory, I want nothing more than for my thoughts and actions to reflect his so that others may know him too.
A lot has changed since college (ironically my desire for motherhood has declined drastically- at least for this season of life). And I’m not saying I will never get pregnant and give birth to biological children, because who knows. But I am saying that I now cannot imagine my life without adoption being a part of it. We haven’t gotten there yet, but I can’t wait to see how God continues to mold that desire in our lives. And there is no other way to explain that change in me than that God got ahold of my heart and lovingly told me how wrong I was.
We don’t like to hear that. But beloved, we’re going to hear that a lot from our God in our lives. We aren’t God, and we can’t understand him let alone think like him. There will be lots of people who you disagree with on earth who will be sitting next to you in heaven…but more on that in a future post.
Is your life bearing the fruit of a Christ follower?
This week at church, the preacher gave a powerful word about the necessity of bearing fruit in your life. If you profess to be a Christian but nothing about your life looks different compared to before you became a Christian, something isn’t adding up.
As I said before, the actions, the “doing”, the works, do not DETERMINE your salvation but they are a RESULT of it.
So to say you haven’t changed, to say you don’t act any differently, to say you still think the same way about every issue in life is to imply you don’t know true salvation. You’re basically saying you didn’t need God to save you because your actions and thoughts were perfect the way they were (and that just sounds ridiculous).
My main point is this: God didn’t wait to extend salvation until I had a right understanding and desire for adoption. He saved me, and then continued to change me. My faith LEAD to obedience. My life began to bear fruit. Obeying God isn’t what saved me, it’s the result of him saving me.
I’d love to hear how God is working in your life. Please comment below with what you thought of this post, or share your story! Then, to receive weekly encouragement similar to this straight to your inbox sign up to receive my weekly email newsletter.