If the possibility of someone watching you makes you nervous, I assure you that you can relax. You don’t have to worry about the possibility because it is definitely happening! United States founding father Thomas Jefferson said “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.”
For Believers, it is one thing to talk the talk – to declare God’s sovereignty and faithfulness and to affirm trust and belief in God’s mysterious ways. However, walking that talk, particularly in the midst of a crisis, is a completely different exercise. Romans 8:24 says “For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see?”
As a young child, I remember a Christian show on TV – sort of a music video forerunner where these beautifully dressed and coiffed people would softly sing hymns in perfect harmony against scenic natural backdrops every Sunday morning as I got ready for church. The camera switched focus from the natural surroundings – lakes, meadows, flowers, and trees – to the smiling singers. Each episode was completely perfect the entire time. I couldn’t fully articulate it, but although the show was visually pleasing, something about it disturbed me. The whole show seemed artificial. Even as a child, I felt that if that was what being a Christian was all about, then I was doomed to fail. Even at seven years old, I couldn’t imagine some constantly smiling, saccharin version of my adult self.
Turns out, I was right. Being a Christian isn’t about being perfect nor fake. Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior doesn’t give you a free pass to sidestep troubles and hardships. In fact, once you declare a side, the enemy may work overtime to distract and discourage you because you have a relationship with your Creator that he will never have again. As a result, you must recognize the power of your witness. Once you declare your identity as one saved by grace and lovingly adopted into the family of The Most High, you will be watched. Those who have yet to take a similar leap of faith are watching just like my seven-year-old self to see if you are Christian of convenience or whether you cling to God, pursue Him relentlessly, and declare His goodness beyond the challenges of an immediate need or situation. John 4:24 tell us that “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” Acknowledging our dependence on God, our trust in Him – His wisdom, favor, provision, restoration, healing, and deliverance – is an act of worship.
Life can present unwelcome and unexpected situations that shake us to our core and challenge our belief in ourselves as well as in the God who we claim to trust and serve. Yet, it is often in the midst of the ugliest situations that we can become the most beautiful witnesses for God. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 reads “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
Do you recite the gospel or actually live it? When we lead with love over hatred, faith over fear, peace over anxiety, truth over falsehood; we present an honest snapshot of faith in action. It’s not perfect, it’s not pretty, but it is authentic as we become the poster children for God’s grace. Acts 1:8 says “But ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” To our observers, we set spiritual landmarks where we point to a place along our journey and bear witness to God ministering to us, delivering us, encouraging us, and blessing us in the midst of otherwise heart-crushing circumstances. We emerge victorious not because of who we are, but because of our belief in who God is.