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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Believe and Act Accordingly

 by Niki Turner

Believe and act accordingly.

That's my resolution for the new year. That's it.
The brevity of it terrifies me.

I entered 2011 in panic mode. This is the first time in decades I've started a new year without an arm's length list of resolutions. (Call 'em goals if you want, but it's the same basic idea.) This year, as I prayed and sought the Lord for His plan, asking Him what He wants me to do this year, I felt directed to the following verse:
Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"
Jesus answered and said to them,

"This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." 

John 6:28-29 NKJV
What? 
The disciples were looking for a to-do list, a checklist. They were Jews, and they were accustomed to lots of rules and regulations, lots of "dot the i's and cross the t's" religion. But Jesus turned that upside-down.
The work we're called to apply ourselves to is simple and straightforward: "believe in Him whom He sent." Believe in Jesus.
Believe in His work for us.
Believe in what He has accomplished, what He has entrusted to us.

Believe? Really, that's it? Yeah. That's it.
Believe and act accordingly.
Believe you are saved, healed, delivered, redeemed, etc., according to the Word, and then act accordingly.
Believe you are the person God has called to you to be - writer, musician, minister, mother, photographer, designer, administrator, teacher, athlete - and then act accordingly.

It sounds suspiciously like playing pretend, doesn't it? At least that's what our "rational" minds tell us. But faith says something else:
"For we walk by faith and not by sight." 2 Cor 5:7
So, how can you apply "acting accordingly" to what you believe Jesus has done for you (or is doing in you and through you)?

22 comments:

  1. I love your post today Niki. I needed the reminder. Believing the word is hard to do if we aren't "in" it and I'm looking to do more of that and in more ways.

    PS It worked. blogspot likes you again.

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  2. One analogy that helped me understand the correlation is that if someone living on the coast of Florida hears a weather report that a hurricane is on the way, they go into action. They buy extra supplies, board up their windows. If it seems like the storm is going to be big enough, they may even flee their home.

    They do all that based not on evidence that they can see, at this point the sun is still shining. Nope they do all that because they believe what they've heard.

    If they didn't believe the report. they'd go on with life as usual. No special steps would be taken. I think the same thing applies spiritually. If we truly believe the gospel then we'll take action.

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  3. Thanks, Deb! I agree, we are "leaky vessels" when it comes to the Word. I try to use a different Bible version and a different read-through-the-Bible schedule every year to keep things fresh.
    P.P.S. Yeah, Blogspot liked me because I held its little feet to the fire and demanded accountability! : )

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  4. Lisa, that is an excellent analogy. Especially when we consider situations like Hurricane Katrina, and all the people who didn't believe the reports.
    It's disturbing to realize that we ARE acting on what we believe everyday, for good or bad, right or wrong. Looking at our own actions is an interesting way to check up on our beliefs.

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  5. I think I'm going to resolve to keep my posts shorter. I got excited the last two days when I saw the nice short posts. You have to write with more pop that way.

    Okay, that was a bit off subject. But I loved the content of the post too. Reinforces what I've been learning from Quaker Summer.

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  6. Dina, I remember reading somewhere that the Quakers (or at least some sect of Quakers) had "virtual" communion services -- no actual bread or wine -- but partaking of the Body and Blood spiritually by faith. I always thought that was interesting, since its so common for us to go through the motions of communion without the believing.

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  7. Lisa, thanks for that analogy. I'd never thought of describing faith that way. Makes complete sense.

    Dina, my goal in 2011 is to write shorter blog posts. Ignore tomorrow's because...well, you know.

    Niki, "leaky vessels with the Word"...so true. With all the different versions of the Bible, it's easy to pick one that phrases something in the right way for us to use it to justify our actions.

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  8. Gina, don't you think that works both ways? Sometimes a verse that has never made sense to us in one version comes alive in another. And sometimes we can quote whole sections verbatim without any influence on our actions.

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  9. Wonderful post, Niki! And Lisa, great analogy. I needed this. Sometimes I forget that walking by faith, not sight, means I actually have to move my feet. In the dark.

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  10. Overwhelming.

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  11. Very cool interpretation, Niki.

    There's the "let go and let God" feel to it with the take action follow up. That is where my panic button can go off (taking action) and I need to take a breath and remember that He is there holding my hand every step of the way.

    Love the faith/creativity thing you have going!

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  12. Great post Niki.

    And Lisa, I appreciate your analogy, too.

    My goals can be summed up quickly... I will work faster because I won't let doubt slow me down.

    Anita Mae

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  13. Gina is shortening her blog posts???

    I will believe that when I see it, chica!!!

    Great reminder to live our faith in deed and word. Love it, Niki!

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  14. Heather? Overwhelming in a good or a bad way?

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  15. Anita Mae,
    That's really good... doubt is the thing that makes us hesitate and falter! Let's get rid of it!

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  16. Susie,
    Reminds me of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where he steps out into what looks like NOTHING, and finds a series of stepping stones to the treasure. I agree, stepping is hard sometimes.

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  17. Cheryl,
    Thanks! We do have to remember that God is holding our hands, that He won't let us fall, but He wants us to keep moving at the same time!

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  18. Ruth,
    I agree about Gina's posts... and we aren't supposed to count tomorrow's post at all! : ) Love you, Gina!
    Thanks for the kind words!

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  19. Loved this, Niki. You've given me a lot to think about. There are a few things I want to work on changing in the very near future.

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  20. How do I apply "acting accordingly?" I pick up the pen (or open the laptop in this case) and write without letting my internal critic take over.

    Great post Niki.

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  21. Joy, absolutely correct! We believe we are writers, therefore we write.
    Blessings!

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