Actions/Activity

<<doings, events>>

We will give an account of all we do (Rom 2:6, 14:12; Heb 13:17). What we do speaks louder than words, and indicates what is resident in our hearts (Mt 11:2-5). Watch carefully the desires of your heart as often they set in motion the process that will bring them to reality. Whatever we do has consequences or results so it is essential to think before acting – what is the likely outcome, will it bring glory to God? Will I be embarrassed at the outcome and regret the choice made? (Prov 4:23,26). Sow into the good worthwhile things of life, understanding there is always a period before the reaping (Gal 6:7-10).

Do what enhances life, not what is destructive or may jeopardize you reaching your potential in Him. There is more to life than ceaseless busyness, which although it may cater to your ego and satisfy the longing to be needed, will eventually leave you lacking direction, drained mentally and disillusioned with nothing lasting to show for it all.

Right actions should follow as a by-product of a right relationship with God and correct inner attitudes. For as “The tree is known by the fruit it produces” we are to produce fruit

    Am I living for Christ or myself?

in keeping with our profession of being God’s children (Mt 3:8, 12:33-35; Jas 1:20). God expects us to do what we can to bring about His purposes. We are to pray and seek guidance, but when we have received direction, we must act. God said to Moses stop praying, now is the time for action (Ex 14:15). Truth is active – “Listen...and do” (Jas 1:22-25). Seldom is more guidance given until what has already been given is acted on. Find out what God wants you to do and do it; belief leads to action (Jn 2:5; Eph 5:17). Doing what He says results in the blessing of prosperity and success (Josh 1:8). Obeying is putting into practice what you have been instructed to do, “Live up to what we already have attained” for although we don’t need to do anything to receive God’s love, we must obey to receive His blessing (Phil 3:16). Conversely through our actions we can bring about our own destruction or a curse by disobedience to the Lord’s specific commands (Deut 28:15-68; Josh 6:18, 7:20-25).

Rather than complaining, put the effort into trying to correct or sort out the problem that is causing distress. Work brings results while talk ends in poverty (Prov 14:23). Talk is cheap, after all is said and done, more is usually said than done, with no time left for the actual doing unless there is a real burning heart desire that motivates action. Good intentions often remain just that! The Bible's advice is, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men" (Col 3:23). After all our words and actions reflect what we believe (Lk 6:45). 

True love leads to action. When it sees the need, it tries to bring about the appropriate relief. The words of Jesus are, “When I was hungry, you fed me… by doing it to the least of my brothers” (Mt 25:31-46). Real authentic faith shows by the way that we act. We serve God by serving humanity. It is a demanding, yet rewarding task to help meet the needs of those suffering.

A word of caution is our actions influence those around us and impact others often in very powerful ways. Consider what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden when they disobeyed God (Gen 3:16-19). While it is true we did not eat the forbidden fruit, the sinful nature has been passed on to all people and we are all sinners (Rom 3:23, 5:12; 1 Cor 15:22). When God gave the Ten Commandments He said the repercussions of our actions (good and bad) would flow down through the generations (Ex 20:5,6). What an incentive to make wise godly choices as not only do they affect us but also those coming after us.

Balance and priority

God works through those who obey and team up with Him. We should pray as if it all depends on God, but act as if it all depends on us. This is faith coupled with works. The two extremes to avoid are doing nothing or thinking we have to do all. Although God is sovereign and all-powerful, He works through people. We must do His will, not just ‘watch and pray’. “God worked with them” (Mk 16:20).

Don’t let others dictate to you or pressure you to do what is contrary to God’s way. From the time of salvation, a lifelong process of transformation in heart and behaviour is taking place. This shows we are His children, resulting in Him being praised, and brings Him glory (Mt 5:15,16; 1 Cor 10:31; Phil 1:11).

We need to guard against excess – we can be so busy going to meetings and doing good works for people, thinking we are serving God but not spend any quality time with Him, listening to hear what He really wants us to do or rubbing shoulders with the lost. Like a cat chasing its tail, it is a futile exercise to be frantically busy but barren, for activity is not always worthwhile accomplishment. Not only are we neglecting Him, but our personal family relationships suffer too. He wants fellowship with us rather than service. We are not saved to serve; rather we serve because we are saved. We can't work our way to heaven, but we should work on our way to heaven. As salvation is a gift that can’t be earned and is not dependent on our actions (apart from receiving) it is pointless striving to gain merit through spiritual activity (Prov 5:21; Eph 1:6, 2:8,9; Heb 4:13).

There needs to be a balance between being and doing. Many things are not sinful in themselves but if they get out of control, they become idols by taking the place He should have in our lives.

There needs to be a balance between our responsibilities and the affairs of others (1 Cor 9:27). We must get our own house in order so we can adequately minister to others (Mt 7:3-5). From a stocked storehouse supplies can

come. While we should help people up, we don’t do what they are capable of doing for themselves.

What is the motivation behind our actions or behaviour? Is it because of our love for Jesus and people, wanting to see them blessed by Him and brought into His kingdom or are we running from someone, something or trying to prove something?

Prayer and action go together, “We prayed and posted a guard” (Neh 4:9). While both are necessary, neither is a substitute for the other (Josh 7:10-13).

Wise words spur us into action (Eccl 12:11). With any activity, we should ask is it beneficial, constructive, uplifting and God-honouring or is it destructive to my physical body and spiritual life besides being harmful to others or cause them to fall, as we have a responsibility to weaker Christians (Mt 18:6; Rom 14:21; 1 Cor 8:13). Is it what we believe Jesus would do? Will it enslave me or bring me into increasing freedom in Christ and fruitful ministry? The Bible says to “Love by actions not just words” (Tit 1:16; 1 Jn 3:18). Be an advocate for the cause of Christ; willing to take action and sacrifice to make a difference. “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith” presenting the real answer (Jesus) to those trapped in ignorance of their impending eternal doom (Phm 1:6). Don’t wait for openings to present – be proactive, create opportunities.

An activist is a person who campaigns to bring about environmental, social or political change. As ‘Christian activists’, rather than resorting to the world’s pressure groups endeavouring to bring about reform, we have at our disposal divine weapons to combat the evil spiritual forces (2 Cor 10:3-5). Through  spiritual warfare and prayers of binding and loosing, we can be catalysts for God.  Don’t wait

  Is advancing His Kingdom               the focus of my life?

for the unconverted to come to church – take the church to them but don’t act in any way whereby you will forfeit your God given ministry. What we do today sets us up for victory or failure tomorrow.

See also: accountability, achievement, attitudes, balance, being and doing, busy, good works, motive/motivation, peer pressure, priority, produce/productivity, servant.

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