Strange, abnormal and confused. These are the labels that will be placed upon you when you’re living a lifestyle of faith. Such living, in fact, is so paradoxical to this world, it will be difficult for you to fit in.
You’ll be told that your beliefs are “too radical” and that you follow biblical principles “too seriously,” as if this walk allows for a laxed way of living. Your oddness will be so obvious that it will appear as if you are the one who’s wrong. And because your way of living stands out, people will try to offer their input and advice since they perceive you are lost and in need of some help.
While in this position, you must be very careful of what you hear—because too much of the wrong input can distort and damage your faith. Most people will be shocked by your lifestyle of faith because this way of living causes you to live by God’s timing; and in our day, such living specifically troubles and offends those who claim to be saved. These individuals will feel as if you are losing and wasting time when you can fix matters with your own hands. Be careful not to govern your life by such wrong advice or else it will ruin and disappoint your hope.
It’s interesting that for most, the concept of waiting on God has become overrated—even anti biblical—and an act not supported by God. I can admit that people tend to take the terminology to the extreme, just like many other terms can be used incorrectly (such as grace and mercy); yet, I don’t see us abandoning these truths.
But to believe that waiting on God is antiquated and not scriptural, is delusional, deceptive and demonic. People must have forgotten that Christ waited on them. Their very salvation was based on timing but somehow, waiting on God is ungodly. The Bible not only commands us to believe in Christ by faith, but it also tells us that the just shall live by faith (Heb. 10:38).
The word “just” in the Greek is dikaios. It describes one whose way of thinking, feeling and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God. It means someone has been approved and has been found acceptable by God. To be found acceptable by God implies He has tested and tried you and you have passed His inspection. This is why the lifestyle of faith is not popular even among professing Christians because many will not meet God’s standard of approval. Many are called, but few are chosen, which signifies those who remain after being abased and tested.
Today, saving faith is discussed loudly, which is indeed important, but why is the lifestyle of faith a whisper? First, because Satan knows that a saving faith not followed by a lifestyle of faith disqualifies a believer from receiving a promise. In fact, Jude 1:5 says, “So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful.” Second, because too many believers are convinced that as long as they are saved and don’t practice obvious sin, then their lifestyle and the choices they make for themselves are OK with Christ. Well, that’s a very subjective view that’s really at odds with numerous scriptures. And not only is it at odds with scripture, it’s at odds with the life of Christ. He lived a life of divine paradox. This is why He along with His message were rejected.
Keep in mind that a lifestyle of faith will make you appear weird to the world. How you live will go against the way the world thinks, responds and lives. And when this happens, you draw the attention of Satan because he doesn’t want you to be a stranger in his domain. He wants believers to feel welcomed, to be at home and to love this world. And when believers fall in love with this world, they make themselves an enemy with God (James 4:4).
Choose to follow the narrow path, knowing that it’s the way that leads to Heaven. Choose the ridicule and mockery of the present world, knowing that this world even scorned your Lord and Savior. For a servant is not greater than his master; so you, likewise, look to that joy that’s set before you. Endure your cross, press through the shame, and know that you serve a God who is not unjust to forget your labor of love. He will make sure that your labor for Him will not be in vain. God will never allow your suffering to be greater than His reward.