First of all, thank you to all my new followers! I just ordered my new book to review and I am really excited. You can check it out for yourself or wait for my review. God in Slow Motion by Mike Nappa looks like it will be a great read, and I am excited to get a resource for free and let you all know what I think of it. You made this possible, my faithful readers, by finally hitting “Follow!” Thank you!
Last night, I was at a friend’s house and I felt so encouraged by them. It was great to fellowship, newlywed to even more of a newlywed, about life, God, and living for God in the midst of life. That said, I finally woke up at a somewhat decent (indecent to others) hour. I was able to start some of the dishes and have some quality time with Jesus. It is a work in progress. As I was sitting on the couch reading, integrity is what I kept being felt challenged by, especially as I read this verse:
Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. (James 2:21-22 NLT)
I see that so many times I can put on a good front. I have played the Christian game enough that I know what to say and do to make it seem like I have it all together. In the middle of this passage where James is instructing the church that basically if your faith is genuine your actions will prove it, He gives the example of Abraham.* And integrity came to mind. I felt challenged that my personal walk and my life at home was not as true as I may sometimes make myself out to be or try to fool even myself to believe. My walk is very shaky, not because I don’t believe in God or love him or long to serve him, but because in the moments where it counts, in the early morning devos and daily choices to get to know God, I fail to activate my faith. I fail to believe that God is going to rekindle the passage I have read a thousand times and grant me new understanding and wisdom.
Webster defines integrity as, “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” It is the idea of living honestly in the open public and in the quietness of your home. I feel I have the moral and ethical integrity, but I felt challenged to live an even higher standard of integrity in my walk. I felt challenged to be real, open, and honest, and to begin truly letting my actions match my words, to begin activating my faith and allowing God to speak to me and through me.
*In case you do not know the story from Genesis, Abraham heard the Lord tell him to take his only son to the mountain and sacrifice him on an altar. He doesn’t understand, but he takes Isaac up the mountain to make a sacrifice to God, acting in complete faith. As he raises his knife to slay his son on the altar, God interrupts him and provides a ram instead. So, no, we do not believe in sacrificing our children if we truly love God and want to follow Him.