I have been reading the book of Judges in my times with the Lord and today it was encouraging/convicting to see how Israel lived and how we often follow in their footsteps. If you have not read the book- one of the main things that you see is the circle of sin and repentance of Israel. Israel would rebel against the Lord and fall into idolatry... God would deliver them into the hands of their enemies to serve them... Israel would cry out to the Lord for help... God would send a judge to deliver them and lead them back to the Lord... God would give them peace... then they would sin again and repeat the cycle.
What stuck out to me this time was that it seems that Israel was able to obey God as long as they had a judge alive to keep them from falling back into sin. It seems that their hearts were not right- they were just complying with the judge for national peace. It was not love that motivated them to keep God's commands. Once the judge would die, Israel would return to the sins that they had been involved in before the judge came. I pray that we are not like this. How often do we depend on pastors, friends, surroundings, etc to keep us from doing the sins that we really crave in our hearts? I feel like God wants us to evaluate our lives- if all restraints were taken away and we did not have anyone pushing us to do godly things- would we still do them or would we pursue lives of sin? Are we obeying God because He is wonderful and we love Him with our whole hearts or are we just obeying Him because we know that it gives us a good social standing in our communities? I pray that the Lord will continue to encourage us to check our faith to see if it is real. Do we honor Him when no one is looking?
This line of thinking reminds me of something I often think when getting on facebook. A common facebook "trend" is for women to praise their husbands and say how great they are. While I think it is WONDERFUL to think highly of your husband- I have seen some of these same women belittling their husbands when they think no one is looking (I want to add here that I also see some women who praise husbands on facebook love and adore them when no one is looking). Are we the same person in the quiet of our homes as we profess to be in public? I guess that's just what's been on my heart lately. I want to be genuine. I do want people to know that I adore my husband and kids but more than me SAYING I feel this way about them- I hope my actions SHOW that I feel this way. I know that the Lord wants us to be real. If we cannot love our families when no one is looking, let's not pretend in public that we are crazy about them. I guess my goal here is not to keep people from praising their families and friends but to love them as much in private as they do so openly on the internet.
My hope is the same for our faith. Let's not profess to love Jesus by just posting bible verses but let's post bible verses AND live lives (in public and in private) that show that we love the Lord.