How Has Your Faith affected Your Character?
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart’” (1 Samuel 17:7) and “Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16, AMP). The foregoing verses in the Scriptures are a clear warning for us to be mindful of how we spend our time on earth. As sons of God that are waiting for the soon appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, we cannot afford to judge things by their appearance, our feelings or experience. It is always important to return to the Master to reveal the essence of things to us before we run with them as they have a way of affecting our character. If not, one will be filled with regret when the Master appears. That’s right! He is coming, and it is very near, no matter what the naysayers are saying. This calls for preparation, and for one to prepare well.
An incident happened in the Scriptures that would help us understand why we must prepare and not work on assumptions or deductions. Prophet Elisha went to a city that was facing an embarrassing and an irreversible situation in the eyes of men: “Then the men of the city said to Elisha, ‘Even though our lord can see that the city’s location is good, the water is bad and the land unfruitful’” (2 Kings 2:19). The city is well located and looks good from the outside, but on the inside it carries death and barrenness. So many today are well positioned in the Body: They are born again, baptized, tongue lashing and equally serving, but on the inside they carry death and bareness. The foregoing Scripture says the water of the city is bad and so makes the land unfruitful. Beloved, how is the water you carry on the inside? The water here represents the Word of God. Is the ‘water’ muddied or ‘flavored’ to suit you? Since the water is not pure, the land which represents your character and attitude will be unfruitful. The purity of the water and the drinking of it by the land is what brings forth a great character or attitude: “Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Timothy 4:15). Beloved, the faith you claim to have, how has it affected your character and attitude or you are still carrying the attitude and character of your old nature, and you feel God will overlook it since God is merciful? You cannot claim to have good water (the Word) and your land (character/attitude) is bad. If you insist on this stand, then you are yet to know the God you claim to serve, and you are in danger of entering eternity with regrets.
Beloved, the outward show of your life does not matter if your inside is filled with death and bareness. You might claim your water is good. Great! But how much has your character and attitude changed to reflect the good water you carry? Don’t shut your heart and say you are being judged. That is a dangerous reaction to take. Rather: “Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you – unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected” (2 Corinthians 13:5, AMP)? No more excuses, there is a remedy! “He replied, ‘Bring me a new bowl and put salt in it. After they had brought him one, Elisha went to the spring of water, threw salt in it, and said, ‘This is what the Lord says: ‘I have healed this water. No longer will death or unfruitfulness result from it’” (2 Kings 2:20-21). The Lord has brought salt (undiluted Word) in a new bowl. Allow Him to pour it into your water and your land! Beloved, the momentary salt you have been using is not working and will not work because it has lost its flavor (Mark 9:50). Salt, naturally preserves; the Lord’s intention is to preserve us till His appearing so that we will not be swept away by the storms of the world. But we must return to the Owner of the Salt for refreshing, healing and regeneration. May the Lord grant you understanding and Grace to return, be healed and prepared for eternity with Him in Jesus Christ name. God bless you.