The Lord used these four words, based on your activity, to capture my attention this week; He planted them within my heart and caused me to contemplate them several times throughout the last few days. I found myself ending every question, complaint, and annoyance, even my acts of thanksgiving with this: based on your activity, why did this fail? Or, based on your activity, how did you contribute to this mess? Or, you rejoice because the Lord saw your heart, based on your activity of prayer and praise. One morning I felt Him do a heart check by asking me, "based on your activity, do your behavior and actions line up with what you say?" Words are easy; the difficulty is matching behavior and actions with the words. I wonder if we began to scroll through the Rolodex of our mind for a little Spiritual inventory, what messages we might find waiting for us based on our activity; what offers might be appealing or enticing to you? The Lord is going to send messages that lead us away from sin, while our adversary, Satan, is going to send us messages that draw us into it. We must be mindful of the fact that, based on our activity, which offer we found most appealing will be revealed.
The book of Acts reveals the conversion of Sinister Saul into Passionate Paul. Based on his activity, Jesus came to Saul in the midst of a bright white light and asked him, “Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me? Why do you insist on going against the grain?”, (Acts 26:14 MSG). Paul’s activities included persecuting Christians, throwing them into jail and voting for their execution (Acts 26:9-11). He was a bully, harassing anyone who believed in Jesus. However, once he saw Jesus in a different light (literally), the activities of the past were over. Saul was gone, and Paul arrived, ready to follow and obey what God had called him to do. Throughout the New Testament, we can read about Paul's mission to make the message of Jesus known to the Gentiles following his conversion. Standing before King Agrippa he testified that he “…made known openly first of all to those at Damascus, then at Jerusalem and throughout the whole land of Judea, and also among the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works and live lives consistent with and worthy of their repentance” (Acts 26:20 AMP). Paul’s behavior and actions took a drastic turn once Jesus revealed Himself and made clear to Paul God’s plans for his life. But, based on his past activity, the apostles did not trust Paul’s sincerity; he had to prove his life had changed by partaking in new activities. This might be the missing key for many of God’s children today. We speak of our faith, yet, hold tightly to the activities of the past, refusing to allow God’s plan for our life to come to fruition.
These four little words, based on your activity, caused a series of questions to stir within my heart. I’ve decided they are important enough to ask myself as I do a weekly spiritual inventory. I’ll list them so you can use them if you wish:
Based on your activity….
How is your relationship with God? Is there sin you need to confess?
Do you spend time in prayer and study of the Word?
Is there evidence you have given Him top priority in your life?
Is there anything you must no longer participate in?
Do you live a life of obedience or of convenience?
Do you have idols, people or things, you’ve put before God?
Do you involve yourself in pleasures of the sinful nature, or are you sold out in the ways of Christ?
Where have you allowed your thoughts to take you?
Have they led you away from Christ or into a deeper relationship with Him?
Does your bank account reflect wise choices or poor?
Based on your activity, if you are married, how is the health of your marriage? Does your spouse know you are committed to them and sense your love for them? While it might be easy for words to spill out of our mouths, declaring love for our spouse, they might have reason to suspect otherwise, based on our activity. If our behavior towards our spouse is unloving and cold, if we refuse to spend time together, and speak cruel and unkind words to each other, well, actions do speak. There are times when our actions are more than a whisper; they are screams into the heart of those we made a vow to love.
As a parent, do your children see you faithful to your word? Are you faithfully loving and nurturing each child? A parent’s priorities are clear to their children, based on the activity of the parent. When you choose to spend quality time with your child, you reap the benefits of a good relationship. However, a parent who refuses to care properly for their children, attend to their needs, and lovingly nurture them may wonder why they have no relationship with their teenager. Over the course of 18 years, parents have one opportunity to raise a child; one chance to let them know how valued they are. Give them the tools in life they will need to become the person God planned long ago for them to be. Help them learn to live life God’s way by being a parent who clearly had their priorities in order.
Well, it is time, my dear friends; I am holding the mirror up and asking the question, based on my activity do my actions and behavior match the love I say I have for Jesus? I want them to, honest I do, because……
Activities: the state of being active: behavior or actions of a particular kind.
Betray: to fail or desert especially in time of need, to prove false.
Claims: to say that (something) is true when some people may say it is not true (Merriam-webster.com).