1. Living Great Things
“[we] are philosophers not in words, but in deeds;
we exhibit our wisdom not by our dress, but by truth;
we know virtues by their practice rather than through boasting of them;
we do not speak great things but we live them” – Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage in A.D. 256.
Faith is basically a conviction to press forward in truth, in what is right/just/good, and in the right direction/purpose. It is about God and His righteousness ruling the hearts and minds of people. It is about the kingdom of God (which is in our midst, as Jesus said in Luke 17:21). It is about walking/living in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). It is about walking in the fruit of Spirit: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23). Anything that is at counter purposes to the kingdom of God is what we call sin. To those who wonder why God is bothered by sin (and why we should be), that is an answer.
2. The Calling
In his book Essentialism, Greg Mckeown writes about making the “wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution”. The writer isn’t talking about the kingdom of God, but seems like, at a foundational level, God’s calling and purpose for us in the kingdom of God. We walk in the fruit of Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and use God’s gifts, resources, opportunities, circumstances, etc to press forward in God’s righteousness and the kingdom of God.
3. Path of High Resistance
Anyone walking in truth and in what is right/just/good etc (walking in the Spirit) is a threat to those whose lives are at counter purposes to the kingdom of God (many of who are very powerful and/or dangerous people). So one should expect high resistance. Jesus as the epitome of walking in the Spirit without compromise, faced the highest resistance, to the point of being killed by those whose religious hypocrisy was exposed by Jesus.
Jesus said to his followers in John 15:20: “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also”. Persecution is not necessarily some great opposition to faith by governmental authorities (those of us who in free societies with constitutional/legal protections – like in the USA and India do not have that problem for the large part) – we will still face resistance, trials, sufferings in many ways – and it is very easy to get frustrated with the obstacles we face, and with those who oppose and seemingly getting away with it without any consequences. Relentlessly pressing forward, as Jesus did, therefore needs a strength of character and the power of God in our lives.
Walking in the Spirit will essentially entail facing resistance, often dangerously – while displaying humility and the fruit of the Spirit, and it is a path of sacrifice, as the life of Jesus illustrates.